Leah Suzor shows one of the restaurants creations.
SUN PHOTO/LIZA MORROW
By Liza Morrow
sun staff writer
Its getting chilly out. Makes me want to eat something
uncomplicated, but with just enough interesting choices
involved to be distracting. Pizza. Thats what I want
for dinner. There is warm comfort in the stringy cheese
and crisp, yet floppy pizza crust. Off to A Moveable Feast
where garlics reassuring scent wafts past me even
as I park in the Whitney Plaza lot.
A Moveable Feast, with its modest low-ceilinged dining room
and Longboat Key location, has built a following by sticking
to some very simple premises. Keep the food uncomplicated,
rustic and Italian. Serve plentiful portions. Be really
nice. The formula works. The owners, Leah and Jason Suzor,
who also own The Waterfront, a Gulf-side American cafe on
Anna Maria, always manage to come up with fine ingredients,
and the toppings for their pizzas are no exception. I am
partial to the Ranchers Pie. Love at first bite with
two of my favorite ingredients pizza and barbequed
chicken laden with caramelized onions. Perhaps the seafood
pizza with sweet shrimp and scallops on an Alfredo sauce
base or the robust pizza bianco? Bianco means white which
means without sauce. It is a 14 or 18 inch beauty spread
with a mixture of mozzarella, feta, ricotta and topped with
garlic and a scattering of fresh basil. Burning wood adds
a sublime crunch and smokiness to the excellent crust.
Pizza started out as a snack for Italian women waiting for
their bread to bake in the communal ovens in each town.
A signora would pull off a bit of dough, flatten it out
and top it with whatever seasonings were available. A simple
way to satisfy hunger pangs! Tonight I devour the Pizza
Margherita, showered with basil, shredded and fresh mozzarella,
fresh plum tomatoes, Parmigiano and extra virgin olive oil.
Created in honor of Italys 19th Century Queen Margherita,
who adored the peasant pizza, this combination has become
one of the worlds most popular presentations. Made
with vine ripened tomatoes, very fresh cheese and the finest
olive oil, it has no rivals.
Salads are also a strong suit ,and each one can be a meal
by itself with the addition of chicken, shrimp, scallops,
tuna or grouper for a few dollars more. Tropicale Salad,
a mountainous serving of baby arugula, sliced avocado, heart
of palm and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese is accented with
balsamic vinaigrette. Greek salad is a plateful of mixed
organic baby greens, green and black calamata olives, cucumber,
tomato, fresh feta cheese and homemade creamy dressing.
The Caesar salad is another huge plate of crispy romaine
lettuce with the classic garlicky vinaigrette.
Pizza has become more American than moms apple pie.
Americans eat approximately 100 acres of pizza each day
or about 350 slices per second. Approximately 3 billion
pizzas are sold in the U.S. each year and 93 percent of
Americans eat at least one pizza per month. Each man, woman
and child in America eats an average of 46 slices, or 23
pounds, of pizza per year. According to a recent Gallop
Poll, children between the ages of 3 and 11 prefer pizza
over all other food groups for lunch and dinner.
Contrary to the popular belief that it is fattening, pizza,
minus sausage and other high calorie toppings, has a nutrition
profile that shows it can be a near perfect food. In fact,
it supplies basic nutrients in almost the exact amounts
recommended in the Dietary Goals for the United States outlined
by the Senate Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs:
15 percent protein, 27 percent fat and 58 percent carbohydrate.
With this good news in mind, coupled with the accompanying
recipes for pizza, enjoy this American favorite frequently.