I don’t even know if I should be sharing this with you. I’ve found the absolute best pizza I’ve had on this continent, and it’s just outside Boston. Many places will boast they have the best pizza – “authentic Italian”, they might say, or “artisan thin-crust,” if they’re hipsters. But often, their pizza dough is too dry and chewy, the whole pie is plain greasy on the bottom, or maybe the crust is so thin that each slice flops over under the weight of a few toppings. Then there are those pizza joints that skimp on the toppings and try to fill you up with a thick crust. Max and Leo’s pizza is none of those things.
The restaurant is tiny, with a few bar seats and table seating for only 6 people. The very first time I went there, we were lucky enough to get a table for the three of us. We ordered the L’Umina – a white olive oil pizza with prosciutto, sliced pears, caramelized onions, shreds of basil, dabs of ricotta cheese, and drizzled with a little honey. This creative pizza is absolutely delicious!
Max & Leo’s doesn’t deliver, and they are not open late – closing 9 pm, even on Saturday nights (and at 8 pm on Sundays). But when you make pizza this good, you don’t need long hours, and hungry diners will always come to you. Now, whenever I crave pizza, I stop by Max & Leo’s for takeout. The secret’s out – they are always packed. Each time I go, the seats are filled and there’s a line of patrons waiting to pick up their pizzas.
The Juliann pizza (above) is my boyfriend’s favorite, with sopressata, jalapeno peppers, and strips of roasted red pepper over tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese. (This time the crust was more burnt than usual.)
Usually, the crust is a perfect golden brown. It’s thin but stiff enough to hold the toppings, with a springy, poofy edge to hold on to as you eat. Normally, I don’t like eating pizza crusts, but I can’t get enough of Max and Leo’s chewy crust.
The L’Oscar pizza is another one of my favorites – it’s a white olive oil pizza with Italian sausage, caramelized onions, flavourful wild mushrooms, mascarpone and mozzarella cheese. Sometimes we get the Brooksy, which comes with grilled chicken instead of Italian sausage, and we ask them to add tomato sauce as well.
Well, there you have it. I’ve let you in on my favourite pizza joint! Of course, I’d love to hear about your favourites too!
Info: Max and Leo’s, 325 Washington Street, Newton, MA 02458 USA