Bread and Butter
Toasted Bread – Burrata, Imported Salami, Roasted Peppers, Monti Iblei DOP Sicilian Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Meatball Sliders – Garlic Knots, Melted Provolone, Red Sauce and Garlic Romano Fries
90% Caputo Americana/10% Tipo Uno – Onion Cream Sauce, Pancetta, Toasted Pistachio, Fresh Mozzarella
“The 718” Calzone – Fried with Whipped Ricotta, Diced Ham, Fresh Mozzarella and Marinara
Grandma Pie per John Chez – Mozzarella, Tomatoes, Basil, Parmigiano-Reggiano
Nutella and Blueberry Crisp – Confectioner’s Sugar and Mint
Lulu’s Bread Pudding French Toast – Blueberries, Peaches, Maple Syrup, Whipped Cream
With at least two new Pizzerias of note opening in the last month it was shortly following The International Pizza Expo that five guests paid a visit to Metro Pizza on Sky Pointe Drive, John Arena and new World Pizza Champions Team Member Chris Decker continuing to produce a larger variety of Pies than anyone else in Las Vegas and doing it all by hand with a smile on their faces.
Not quite as banner a year for Las Vegas Pizzaiolos as 2017, though the continuously growing Expo once again set attendance records for a city that now enters the conversation of America’s Pizza destinations with regularity, it was just past noon that a table was set in front of ovens where John could tell of Metro’s history as well as stories of countless Pizzerias across the world, his praise of others constant and unyielding whether the person has been doing it for decades or if they are just beginning and willing to learn.
Planning the visit based on one travelers assertion that John Arena’s 718 Calzone is amongst the best things she has ever eaten, the fried pocket of Whipped Ricotta and fresh Mozzarella plus a bit of Ham almost impossibly light despite a quick bath in hot Oil, it was while John and Chris were working side-by-side that Beverages were served alongside Metro’s complimentary table Bread plus four Garlic Knots and Fries, the former sliced and centered by tender Meatballs plus Sauce and melted Cheese for about the same price as just the Knots at some Las Vegas Boulevard venues.
Going off-menu from here, a plate of housemade grilled Bread served with imported Salami, Burrata and top-shelf Olive Oil, it was straight from the hands of Chef Arena that a golden-brown Pie featuring blended Flour plus toppings of Cream, Pancetta and Pistachios impressed all by being light and crisp yet appropriately chewy, the supposed “second ever” Grandma Pie from Chris inspired by watching the team at King Umberto hot on its heels and nearly sheet-pan thin yet rigid with nothing but the basics allowing no room to hide any mistakes, though as expected there were none to find.
Whipping up one last novelty before popping next door to Lulu’s Bread & Breakfast for a special request, a bi-layer Pie stuffed with Nutella and reduced Blueberries eating not unlike a Galette and inspiring a story from John about the history of “Dessert Pizza” both at Metro and elsewhere, it was finally in a steamy slice of Bread Pudding French Toast riddled with Peaches that Lunch came to a conclusion, everything about the visit as educational as it was delicious and each guest exiting smiling as broadly as the two guys who really seem to live the quote “Find something you love to do, and you’ll never work a day in your life.”
FIVE STARS: Serving Las Vegas for 37+ years and continuously evolving the concept while slowly growing the brand it would be difficult to say anyone has contributed more to Sin City’s love of Pizza than John Arena, and although any brand featuring more than one space may suffer from inconsistency Metro sets a high standard by rewarding their old customer base with predictable greatness while Chris Decker’s creativity looks towards a new era and without ever neglecting the basics – the same synopsis as prior as it truly warrants repeating.
RECOMMENDED: Both the Garlic Knots and 718 Calzone can be found on the daily menu and warrant a taste, as does the 86th Street Sicilian or Bread Pudding French Toast from Lulu’s Bread & Breakfast.
AVOID: Missing out when Chris posts something delicious on Instagram (@everythingbutanchovies) as the item is usually only available that day in limited quantities.
TIP: Those interested in learning from one of the best should consider calling 702-256-3719 to schedule a seat at one of John’s monthly Pizza classes for just $25.
WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.