Photo courtesy of Neil Blazin

Driftwood Oven has been making waves lately – the pizza “truck” pops up at some of our favorite places and hands-down serves some of the best pizza in town. Legume alum Neil Blazin is the chef behind the oven and his baker roots clearly show in the pizza’s distinct and naturally leavened crust– it is so good, he often runs out of dough before service ends.

Catch Driftwood Oven at The Vandal from Sunday to Tuesday, at Grist House Brewing in Millvale on Wednesdays and at Staghorn Garden Café in Greenfield on Fridays.

His best meal last week? Same place twice—read on!

My best meal last week was at Aubergine Bistro at Smallman Galley—I actually ate there twice! Once by myself for lunch and with my wife for dinner.

For lunch, I had the egg salad on crostini which was served with two different kinds of anchovies and some pickled jalapeno. Perfect.

For dinner with my wife, we had the cassoulet, the best winter stew. Raf Vencio, the chef at Aubergine Bistro made it with some pork shoulder, pork sausage, carrots and root vegetables. Then he topped it with crisp, butter-fried bread crumbs.

It went perfectly with what might be unexpected—Raf’s house-made kimchi.

We also had the chicken pot pie which was spot on. He served it in individual ramekins — very traditional — but instead of the usual crust, he put a flaky biscuit on top.

We ate so much! We also had the bouillabaisse from Carota Café—mussels, clams, celery, carrots with fish. Chef Jessica Lewis pan fried the skin as a garnish and finished the dish with aioli, which made the fish broth perfectly rich.

Everyone should head to Smallman Galley—small menus, variety, really good price points, lots of room—it’s warm and comfortable. Definitely a fun place to be.

Leah Lizarondo

Leah Lizarondo is a food advocate, writer and speaker. She is also the co-founder of 412 Food Rescue, an organization that seeks to eliminate food waste to make an impact on hunger and the environment....