Best Restaurants 2017: Get Down with B.A.P.

Crown Brings Behemoth New York-Style Party Pies to Downtown’s Pizza Desert

And there was much rejoicing.

By Kelly Clarke October 12, 2017 Published in the November 2017 issue of Portland Monthly

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The mammoth Al Metro can host up to three of the pizzeria‘s signature pies. (Vinny Manna prefers just half white sauce, half red sauce margherita.)

The New York–inspired slices at The Crown, Imperial’s chic sister cocktail and pizza bar, are a draw from lunch to late night. But nothing turns a quick bite into a party faster than the Al Metro, a.k.a. “Big Ass Pizza.” Mere sight of this three-foot leviathan—it nearly covers two tables, a bubbling eclipse—reduces adults to applauding grade-schoolers. The kitchen lets you load it with up to three different pizzas’ worth of toppings—say, Italian sausage with capers, Niçoise and Castelvetrano olives, or vivid arugula pesto with soft Italian stracciatella cheese.

Third-generation pizzaiolo Vinny Manna, who learned pie craft in a small town outside of Naples, has a knack for classic flavors punched up with quality ingredients. He fusses over the provenance of his Parmigiano-Reggiano and hides pounds of crimini mushrooms in his garlicky white sauce. Everything lays atop chewy-crisp crust made with his grandmother’s century-old sourdough starter. “My style of pie has not changed much since pizza was invented,” Manna says. “You put the best ingredients on there, and you cook it right.” Order Moscow Mules on draft and let greasy fingers fly.

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