Pizza Nova — Dining With a View

| June 30, 2012 | 0 Comments

Charlie Muirhead has been delighting diners at his Pizza Nova restaurants for over 21 years. Of course, his locations change from time to time. Bottom line, though, his locations always seem to improve. There are three Pizza Nova restaurants operating now – Point Loma, Solana Beach and San Marcos. Whichever one visits, the food is always very good, the portions are large and the prices are very reasonable.

My personal favorite location is the one in Point Loma. It is easy to reach, the parking is ample and free and the views are wonderful. The restaurant faces a marina, where large and small boats are moored to create a colorful panorama of shapes that reflect the wealth some of our local citizens have acquired. Many of the vessels are very expensive…and look it.

In the late afternoons, the setting sun casts golden shadows onto the water. Squads of pelicans will often fly by hoping to snag some fish from the fishing vessels docked nearby. The restaurant has a second floor with magnificent views that is reserved for private parties during the week but becomes available to customers on weekends.

The restaurant entrance faces the parking lot so that the entire wall on the other side can hold windows for diners to enjoy the views. A new enclosed patio (enclosed by clear plastic) permits diners to enjoy the “outdoors” without the breeze. Finally, a lovely mosaic fountain greets approaching diners.

The nautical scenery from the restaurant is very appealing.

A roaring woodfired pizza oven situated close to the entrance is where the magic happens, where wonderful flavors are added to the restaurant’s signature dishes. The huge pile of takeout boxes reflects the popularity of the dishes for people who prefer to eat at home. Walking past the bar, one comes to the long row of tables on either side of the aisle. The view through the large windows is accessible to all guests.

Despite the “pizza” in the restaurant’s name, the menu offers something for everyone. There’s a good selection of appetizers, salads and soups. Sandwiches and lunch specials are available for the noon hours. There’s even a “kid’s meals” menu with all the delicious pizza and pasta that they seem to love.

After being seated, the server brings a platter of garlic rolls that are an amazing way to begin a delicious meal. The rolls are hot, made out of pizza dough, just out of the woodfired oven, fragrant with steaming garlic, crusty on the outside and wonderfully soft on the inside.

The pizza menu lists choices from a classical “margherita” to “goat cheese” to “Hawaiian” to “the works”. The eponymous “pizza nova” pizza is topped with smoked Norwegian salmon along with three types of cheese. Some pizzas are available in “gluten free” recipes. Pasta offerings range from a simple tomato basil angel hair to a complex chicken and mushroom fettuccine that combines Italian herb noodles with a tangy garlic cream sauce. The eponymous “pasta nova” uses Norwegian salmon again but with egg fettucine and cream. Simply delicious! The “specialties” are really worth considering. Parmesan panko crusted Alaskan salmon is served on a bed of sautéed spinach, glazed with a white lemon butter sauce. My favorite – the slow roasted lamb shank, a large portion of lamb topped with roasted vegetables and served with a smooth garlic mashed potato. The shank often holds succulent marrow.

My server told me that she created the recipe for my favorite dessert — a hot white chocolate macadamia nut cookie served with Hagen Dazs ice cream. Other choices include the classic tiramisu, crème brulee and hot lava cake. Desserts are made in-house.

Salads are delicious and bountiful.

There’s a daily (weekday) happy hour – 3 to 6 – with $4 being the price per item, food or drink.

Pizza Nova is particularly good for families because prices are so reasonable. And, of course, what kid doesn’t love pizza. Isn’t that also true for adults?

The Pizza Nova location in Point Loma is 5050 North Harbor Drive. Call (619) 226-0268 for information and directions. Check your phone directory for information about the locations in Solana Beach or San Marcos. Or, visit www.pizzanova.net.

Category: Entertainment

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