Pizza pie, natch, of which I partook while pondering the apparent penchant among southside pizzerias for names that point toward tumult: first The Rebellion, now Kaos. What do they know that we don’t? If the next new parlor’s called The Apocalpyse, I’m heading for the bomb shelter. That’d be one delivery guy I wouldn’t want to come face to face with. Especially if he shows up on a horse.
Anyway, if it didn’t quite amount to chaos, the seasonal pizza with pumpkin butter, figs, mascarpone, sage, toasted pumpkin seeds &, supposedly, walnuts—although mine yielded none, unless it was those 2 tan little tidbits at 6 o’clock—was certainly a conundrum. And not just thanks to the missing nuts. You can probably already begin to guess why.
Because if the pizza had arrived hot, those delightful mini–ice cream scoops of mascarpone would have melted in transit, & I’d have been left with a drippy mess. What I don’t know is whether it’s deliberately served at room temperature, even to customers eating in; if so, I wish I’d been notified when I ordered it, because it came as a less-than-pleasant surprise, especially insofar as it highlighted the dryness of the uncharred thin crust (which doesn’t, thankfully, appear to be the norm at Kaos; see Lori Midson of Cafe Society’s black-bubbled looker here). Besides, though the mascarpone—an ultrasoft cheese that tastes of all the fresh cream from which it’s made—looks lovely intact, the fact that you have to smear it in yourself so that it mingles & melds with the other ingredients means it’s a messy affair after all.
BUT. To suggest—& I guess I would—that this pie wasn’t quite a success isn’t to say that I didn’t really dig the gist of it, especially when I stopped thinking of it as pizza & pretended it was a giant hors d’oeuvre on a cracker. Then I could appreciate the earthy-sweet, spiced, autumnally indulgent combination; in & of themselves, the premium ingredients are a treat, not only the mascarpone but also the pumpkin butter sourced from Denver’s own, aptly named PRiMO.
There’s obviously no question that the owners of Kaos know what they’re doing & why they’re doing it, just as they do at Gaia Bistro down the street (Old South Pearl, that is). For all its problems—which, again, may or may not have been a function of the delivery process—this pizza only proves it, charmingly inventive & delicately handled. I’ll look forward to seeing what they come up with for spring—& to giving the ever-changing Chef’s Whim a whirl in the meantime, not to mention good old pizze alla margherita e bianco.