A year ago, if you told former Aziza chef de cuisine Louis Maldonado he was destined to run a pizza restaurant in Sonoma County, he probably would have said you were crazy. Today, Maldonado is a happy chef, opening Pizzando in the Hotel Healdsburg, around the corner from sister restaurant Spoonbar, where he was instrumental in the recent three-star Bauer review. A16 vet Liza Shaw is consulting on Pizzando's compelling Mugnaini oven-fired pizza program, while Maldonado has found the time to help flesh out the rest of the menu with country-style Italian fare. Besides some inventively topped pizzas ($13-16)—Think burrata, arugula, roasted lemon marmalade—there are pickled sardines with mustard seeds ($9), spicy fried chicken legs ($16), spaghetti chittara with smoked black cod ($14), and much more.
Former Petite Syrah chef Ben Davies will serve as chef de cuisine, while barman Cappy Sorentino oversees a menu of housemade Negronis here, along with the bottled cocktails he's already started to roll onto at Spoonbar. Check out the full opening food and drink menus on the website. And have a glimpse at the modern-looking Pizzando decor above, decked out in copper counter tops, green bisazza tiles, custom Redwood tables and, of course, the Mugnaini wood burning oven. Hours are 1:30 to 10 p.m., Sunday through Thursday, and until 11 p.m on Friday and Saturday. As always, your early reports are most welcome over the EaterWire.
· All Pizzando Coverage [~ ESF ~]