Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Pizzeria Seven Twelve

Pizzeria Seven Twelve
320 S. State St. #185
Orem, Ut 84058
(801) 623-6712

When you first arrive you are greeted in the parking lot by the smell of the wood-burning oven. The smell is great and is a hint at the flavor to come. Inside the decorations are simple but nice. There are paintings on the wall (My favorite is "Madonna with child ... and the dog") and quotes about good food. The idea of quality ingredients and good food give the place the character and let you know what to expect.

We had a group of 16 or so when we went. I went in person the day before and asked to make a reservation. They said they don't take reservations. I said we have 16 people and we don't want to flood the place during lunch what time would you prefer we come? They said they don't take reservations. Ok, we'll show up at 11:30 when you open and take what we get. They said they won't promise any seating arrangements but we could hope for the best.

We lined up at 11:20am the next day and the smell and ingredients were enticing. We watched them prep the kitchen and get things together. They seated us together at some tables pushed together. (The small size of the place has pros and cons, I like the intimate feel, I don't like sitting too close to other tables where everyone can hear each other. It won't stop me from coming back.) We came for the pizza and everyone ordered pizza. They said it might take a while but we were happy to chat and wait. They brought out some pita bread and hummus that were both tasty.

With the size of the group we tried to get a couple of people to order each kind of pizza and then we would trade. One goal of Tour of Provo is to try all the options around here and this seemed a good way to do it. The chef decided it was easier to make each type of pizza in batches which was better than we could have planned. He would make 2-3 of each pizza, they would come to the table, we would all have a slice and chat about it just in time for everyone to try the next type of pizza together. I got a slice of 4? different pizzas and they were all fabulous.

The menu changes with the seasons and flavors. Normally I would not order a cheese pizza, but Pizzeria 712 is not normal pizza and not normal ingredients. The pizza was just the right balance of three cheeses. We tried a pizza with homemade sausage on it and fennel and that may have been the winning favorite. I also tried a pizza with speck (like prosciutto but a little more flavor) and sopressata (which they described as fancy pepperoni, but I think that does it an injustice). The pizza was a bit much for something fragile like speck and the flavors didn't blend well. It was just ok.

A favorite pizza of mine is tomato sauce, basil, and mozzarella. If you want to know good pizza and the quality of the ingredients you need somewhere to start with the basics. Like using a palet d'or to determine the quality of a chocolatier's ingredients the margherita pizza tells you everything. The sauce was thin and didn't taste like sugar, it tasted like ripe tomatoes. The mozzarella was soft and smooth and the basil had flavor. The crust (as in all the pizzas) was thin and just a little elasticy. The flavor of the wood was evident in the pizza and the balance of all the ingredients and the wonderful crust was a treat.

In the past I have had dessert at Pizzeria 712 but I was too full this time. They make the desserts in house including many of the ingredients. They are just as wonderful.

They take great care with fresh ingredients and simple food. The flavors are prominent and fresh. Pizzeria 712 is tasty food in a pleasant atmosphere (you can see and smell the oven and preparation the whole time). I would be nervous to take the kids (small place), but would have no problem taking someone I am trying to impress.