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Review and Recipe: La Madia

By Anthony Todd in Food on Feb 6, 2009 9:15PM

We’ve already mentioned many times in this column our love of cozy, informal restaurants with great food. We don’t mean greasy diners or burger joints, though they certainly have their charm. We’re looking places with a stylish d├ęcor, unique and well-prepared food, a good bit of booze and a bill under $50 for two. La Madia fits the bill perfectly.
We’ve visited La Madia before for cocktails, and featured some of their drinks. Suffice it to say, they have a great cocktail menu and a large wine selection for an “upscale pizzeria.” The surprise, given the location and the price, was the quality of the food. Simple, sliced tomato and mozzarella salads, done exactly right. An appetizer of Foil-Roasted Nicoise Olives for $4 that kept us entertained for at least 20 minutes.

The best part, of course, was the pizza. La Madia has some unlikely-sounding combinations (Taleggiio cheese and roasted grapes) but they all seem to turn out well. We tried a pizza with House-Made Fennel Sausage and Mozzarella Cheese, and on a previous visit we sampled their Classic Margherita - both great. Unlike many “upscale pizzerias,” the pizzas here are plenty big enough to share - for $10, we were well fed and took home leftovers.

The olive appetizer really stuck in our minds, and so we asked for the recipe. It’s a great party appetizer or a warm snack. Hopefully, in the days to come, more of our reviews can include some simple recipes for appetizers you can make at home - but be sure to go visit for the real thing.

La Madia.jpg
Foil-Roasted Nicoise Olives
Courtesy of La Madia

Olive Oil
4 oz nicoise olives
Pinch of Chili Flakes
1/4 clove of garlic, shaved thin

Fold a piece of foil into a pouch. Put the olives, a tsp of olive oil, the chili flakes and the garlic inside. Close up the pouch and put it in the oven at 350 for 10 minutes, or until the olives begin to crackle. Serve warm.

La Madia is located at 59 W. Grand Avenue. You probably won’t need reservations, but you can make them online, so why not! Dress is casual.