Ever since I've seen the bright red awnings appear at West Alabama and Kirby (seriously, if you've driven by that intersection in the past couple of weeks, there's no possible way you've missed them), I've been dying to try Bollo Woodfired Pizza out. Actually, ever since I met owner Ray Salti during the Menu of Menus Extravaganza where he told me about the restaurant's opening this month, I've been dying to try it out. I've lamented on here about how much I miss the much beloved Sorrel Urban Bistro, so Salti's new venture brought high hopes.
We made our way over to the bar area and were informed that several appetizers, pizzas, and a mango ice cream would be coming our way throughout the evening.
While it seemed strange to have a bellini outside of my usual noon to 4pm brunch block, it was a very nice drink. It was not too sweet and subtly tart, garnished with a syrupy, luscious, dark maraschino cherry. Overall it was a refreshing drink that I'd definitely try again (...during brunch).
Next up were the crispy calamari, served with marinara and tzatziki, followed by some spicy Italian sausage with marinara. I did not try either of these, but Jon declared the sausage his favorite bite of the evening! He also loved the unique inclusion of tzatziki with the calamari. He said the fresh, light, cucumbery sauce went perfectly with it.
Okay friends, confession time: I hate kale.
Am I the worst vegetarian ever or what? Believe me, I've given kale its proper fighting chance. I've tried it in salads, sauteed in portobella caps, in juices, in smoothies, you name it. Just yesterday I was in Trader Joe's and spotted some kale chips. Against my better judgement I bought them, hoping against hope to love them. Spoiler alert: I didn't.
So for some crazy reason I asked our bartender if we could possibly try the kale and garbanzo beans.
At least in this form I do. Sauteed in silky olive oil with garbanzo beans, red pepper flakes, garlic, and shaved parmesan, this is a savory, thoroughly enjoyable side.
We never did get to sample the mango ice cream, but we we'd had so much to eat, we honestly didn't mind.
Ray told us his goal in opening Bollo is to create a local, neighborhood restaurant where people feel welcome and don't have to spend a premium on quality food. As a resident of the Upper Kirby area, I've been witness to new luxury highrises being erected almost daily, the bulldozing of local joints to make way for yet another CVS, and a never-ending sea of construction. So I am hopeful for Bollo, and I think it's just what this neighborhood needs. The Grand Opening is tonight, and doors officially open tomorrow. I urge you to make your way over for some decadent pizza and good conversation with friendly, soon-to-be familiar faces in the personable Bollo Woodfired Pizza.