Pizza Files: Episode 6 – The Joy of Pi

Since we’re through 3.14159265359 days out 7 for the week (though probably closer to 4 by the time I finish this post), it seemed like the perfect time to talk about Pi. Fortunately for you I’m not talking about the number (aka the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter) or else this would be a very short and convoluted post. Though I should note that there actually is a book out there entitled The Joy of Pi by David Blatner that really is all about Pi (3.14159265359) if you’re looking for a nice, match-centric beach read.  No, the Pi I’m talking about is that of the pizza variety from Pi Gallery Bar.


Pi Gallery Bar : River North

Before it was Pi Gallery Bar, it was simply Gallery Bar. I stopped in once before the remodel and remembered enjoying the art and drink selection, aside from that it wasn’t a particularly exceptional experience. But where the pizza is, you’ll also find me. So when I heard they were updating Gallery Bar’s look and menu to include a wood-fired oven and thin-crust pizza, I went to check it out. I don’t recall the previous layout, but aesthetically it is very pleasing, open and clean, with interesting art and lighting. The indoor patio recently installed seemed like a cool space to dine, but unfortunately we weren’t seated there. Instead, we were put in one of their tiny two-tops situated tightly against the wall, where it’s hard to see the art and there’s a strange contrast between feeling cramped by the wall side, while having too much space on the other side. Looking at their layout, I don’t think there’s anything that can be done, except for moving the tables away from the wall slightly. Really, why I’m being such a complainer is because we went at a very slow time, and we could’ve been seated almost anywhere else, but I’m typically not one to fuss. Seating complaints aside, everything was wonderful.

Ordered: Dr. Octo[Pi], The Square Root of Pi, and an alcoholic bevy.

Cost: Approx. $35/per person.

imageFlavor & Taste: While I love cheap greasy pizza as much as the next person, my body doesn’t seem to agree. With beach season fast approaching, finding a balance between my love of pizza and desire to get fit and frisky for summer is crucial. Pi Gallery Bar might be the solution with its thin-crust and fresh ingredients, served in normal portions. You don’t leave feeling overly stuffed or bloated after chowing down on their craft pizza. We  started with the Dr. Octo[Pi] for our appetizer, which consists of marinated and grilled octopus (heheh get it?) on a spinach salad with a soy-ginger dressing. While I love fried calamari, I was a bit apprehensive about strictly grilled octopus, but was pleasantly surprised. The octopi was cooked perfectly, great texture and flavor with the spinach and dressing. Plus, like, spinach = healthy, duh.

For the main course we went with the Square Root of Pi pizza, topped with roasted seasonal veggies and fresh mozzarella, on a pistachio and basil-based sauce. Another seemingly strange choice, but my approach to eating out is that most chefs know what they’re doing so I won’t question it. Crispy, cheesy, and mildly healthy with all those veggies, and just enough for 2 – it’s a winner in my book, 3.14159265359 out of 3.14159265359!

Vibe: Aside from the seating complaints above, it’s definitely a unique space, that would be fun to check out on a busier night. Since it’s essentially an art gallery where you can eat, the atmosphere is upscale and bougie as one might expect, but without the pretension. Servers were super attentive and knew the menu well, which is always ideal for first-timers. My next visit I’ll aim for the indoor patio!

Yelp: 4 out of 5 stars.

Alien Classification: Part of a Balanced Bougie Diet

Go ahead, treat yoself – but then get back on that treadmill.