|Customers dining at Pizzeria Biga|
|Chef Luciano Del Signore |
According to James Beard nominated Chef Luciano Del Signore, 'biga' is the special starter-yeast he uses to make pizza and breads, and thus it was a natural choice to name his newest restaurant--Pizzeria Biga.
To me the word 'biga' conjurs memories of the movie Big Night and this connection remained consistent to film's story line as my group was served momentous amounts of Chef Del Signore’s artfully arranged food. Pizzeria Biga opened eight months ago in Southpoint, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit, and has been regularly garnering “big” reviews.
Chef Del Signore, who also owns and oversees the award-winning upscale restaurant, Bacco, says, "I created Pizzeria Biga not to be healthy but to be good." He added, "I wanted a casual fast-food setting." Indeed he has achieved success with classic, sinfully delicious and healthy fare in an exceptionally inviting atmosphere.
All food is made in-house from local organic produce or sourced from the best regional small producers. All meats are natural, nitrate and nitrite free. Biga dough yields a light crust- replicating the traditional pizza of Naples, Italy, from naturally fermented, non-commercial yeast.
On the day of my visit, Chef Del Signore served the group a selection of small plates similar to tapas. The memorable tasting commenced with balsamic glazed sweet potatoes, sliced naval oranges drizzled with olive oil and onion and parsley, a chopped salad, risotto balls, meatballs, and a whole grain salad crafted from lentils, quinoa, garbanzo beans, asparagus, tomato, lemon and oil. A favorite was a roasted beet salad tossed with arugula, candied walnuts, goat cheese and balsamic vinaigrette. All the dishes came bursting with zesty flavors and vibrant colors.
Our main course was a tantalizing array of pizzas. At Biga, pizzas cook in a wood-burning oven, with temperatures ranging from 900 and 1,000 degrees. Pizzas take just 90 seconds to bake- now that's biga-time fast food! A pizza order is typically presented in just three minutes- one and a half minutes to prepare the pie and another minute and a half to bake.
Customers can choose from 51 toppings on traditional Napolenta dough, whole wheat or gluten free dough.
The pizzas and appetizers were more than enough to fill my dining partners for the entire day, but chef wanted the group to taste his special, freshly made gelato desert. Every day gelato and sorbetto are created using Guernsey Farm milk, sans RBST or hormones. The mixture, softer than ice cream, is maintained at an optimal temperature of 17 degrees. I found perfection in the simple blend and, while I might have been delirious, Chef Del Signore's gelato has earned its place in my lexicon as the finest I have ever tasted.
Read this and other food blog articles posted on Wanderfood Wednesdays.
If you go:
29110 Franklin Road
Southfield, MI 48034-1105
Sunday-Thursday 11 am - 10 pm, Friday and Saturday 11 am - 11 pm