We don’t often eat pizza in a restaurant. We prefer to get take out, to make our own, or to get the occasional delivery. Sure, pizza is best piping hot, but sometimes there are other reasons for not dining in. Maximillian’s Pizza Kitchen provides a perfect example of this. To be blunt, the space is very dark and a bit dingy. The cavernous ceilings and marble table tops offer no comfort. Worse, the weathered dark wood paneled walls and especially the tables didn’t seem entirely clean. The restaurant looks like it has seen better days. Service was not really inviting either, and my wife’s order of hot tea was essentially forgotten. Well, to clarify, a cup and teabag came to the table, but no hot water (until we reminded the waitress much later).
But on to the pies. We ordered two individual pies, a “Bianca” (fontina, asiago, mozzarella, ricotta, $10.95) and a “Maximo” (sausage, pepperoni, peppers, mushrooms, olives, $11.95). Each was just about big enough to split between two adults. A note on the menu: many of the pies listed on the website (including some of the most tempting) were not on the menu. In fact, while there are a handful of entrees to choose from, I felt that the array of menu choices was rather limited.
The Bianca was surprisingly delicate in flavor. The ricotta was nice, but there was too much cheese, and not enough “sun-dried tomato/pesto drizzle”. The latter was more like a few drops here and there. The result was somewhat bland. Moreover, the pie left an uncomfortably big puddle of oil on the serving platter. The hand-tossed crust was pillowy and soft, but otherwise unremarkable. The Maximo had a distinct sweet taste, which must have come from the sauce. It was strewn with giant chunks of sausage, but the pepperoni and the mushrooms were quite flavorless. I did like that the peppers were roasted. I much preferred the thick crust on the Bianca to the thin crust that we opted for on this pie. It was cracker-like on the edges but far too thin to support the toppings in the middle. In the end, neither pie was bad, but the Bianca was the better choice.
The dessert list is extensive, and includes a $9 (!) tiramisu. We had a coupon that obliged us to spend a minimum of $30, so we opted for a slice of key lime pie ($5.95) to go. It had an almond laced crust and was pretty good, but you can make a better version at home.
I had been to Maximillian’s once before, a couple of years ago, and recalled their distinctively flaky, pastry-like crust then. Apparently the dough recipe has changed since then. I got take-out that time, and, if I ever go back, I’ll get take-out again.