After reading a lot about Baldies Craft Pizzeria in Lakeville, MA (http://www.baldiescraftpizzeria.com/), we decided to take a trip… It’s about 35 minutes south of us on Route 495 in my old stompin’ grounds… And it is never too far to travel for the promise of great food!
Arrived at 6:30 pm on a Thursday… crowded… we called ahead and even though they only accept reservations for parties of eight or more, they took our name, so the wait was manageable – 15 minutes, tops.
Overall, first impression… clean, open, inviting but not overly cozy… exactly what I expected for a pizzeria. Less noisy, given the crowd, which was a pleasant surprise.
Our waitress was friendly and engaging, and she took great care of us. One complaint – she was very slow… In fairness, not sure if it was her, the crowd or the kitchen. Or possibly a combination. In any event, I did think that two hours for a straightforward dinner for three was a bit much, but again, it could have been a combination of factors.
Ordered cocktails… Negroni and a Margarita. Nixed the Negroni – no Campari… actually, the bar staff never heard of the drink… A bit of a concern, especially given the fact that the Negroni is no longer an obscure cocktail… Margarita was fine. No salt on the rim, but the cocktail was well-balanced.
Ordered wine… 2014 Capostrano Montepulciano – excellent and at about twice retail, the price was very reasonable. Perfect with the cuisine.
The food, which was ostensibly the reason for the visit… generally very good to excellent.
The Burrata was exceptional, rich and complex.
The Calamari was okay – breading was a bit heavy and there were no tentacles and the rings were extremely small. Main dishes were all very tasty.
The Pappardelle Carbonara was incredibly creamy without being overly eggy.
The Steak Tips were cooked to order, which included NOT having the Chimichurri Sauce on the tips by request. Mistake. The marinade is a sweet, smoky marinade, which needs the acid of the Chimichurri to balance the dish. Do not forgo the sauce.
The Pilgrim pizza was very good, but a bit unbalanced… Ricotta with Mascarpone, caramelized onions and a drizzle of cranberry aioli. Everything was great, except the aioli was a bit too sweet, which, when combined with the sweetness of the onions and Mascarpone, unbalanced an otherwise great pie. Perfectly thin crust, by the way.
We finished with a few desserts, which ranged from excellent to mediocre. The Apple Cobbler with vanilla ice cream was terrific. Served warm, the abundance of fruit without much pastry was a welcomed finish to a filling meal. The Chocolate Lava Cake was mediocre at best. The cake itself, which was supposed to be molten, was served warm but it was bone dry and over-cooked. We did try to order the Pistachio Gelato but they were out.
So, overall, we found Baldies Pizzeria to be very good. The interesting specials (Duck Breast, Seared Scallops), which drew us here, seem to be a weekend feature, so we may brave the crowds and try a Friday/Saturday evening. Judging by the quality of the main dishes, the specials promise to be terrific.
Value-wise, we felt it was okay. All-in, including tip, the bill was $152. For three that averages a bit more than $50 per person. Adding in the drive, the brief wait and the slowness of the service and the value decreases. You can get away more cheaply and we left with three doggy bags, so there is another meal from the trip.