Dining Out: 360° Pizzeria is an all-around pleasure
Friday, February 1, 2013
Why: The whole family can enjoy the upscale pizzeria experience at 360° Pizzeria. Pizzas and other menu items are handcrafted in-house daily using fresh quality ingredients. A fire deck oven, used for baking, adds fireside warmth to the restaurant. Gourmet pizza creations have Northwest personality; appetizers, pasta, salads, and desserts complete the menu.
Atmosphere: Warm-toned wood covers many surfaces; slate flooring and a partition wall of stacked stone impart a rugged sense of permanence. The dining room is sectioned into several separate areas, which helps to avoid the typical impersonal, dining experience, too often afforded by strip mall restaurants. Seating consists of tables and chairs in addition to chairs paired with upholstered benches. Large windows allow natural light into the space and straightforward fixtures keep with the modern décor.
What I Tried: My dining companions and I started our dinner with the Warm Smoked Artichoke Dip. From the salad selections we tried the Antipasti Salad and the Caesar Salad; we also sampled the Lamb Ragu. For our pizza choices, we settled on the Goat Cheese Pizza (a customer favorite) and the Roasted Chicken Pizza. We finished our meal with Stumptown coffee and a Fudge Brownie Sundae.
The artichoke dip brought chunky and creamy together without overblending, providing a hearty spread with a distinct smoky flavor that lingered. It was served with focaccia bread that had been heated on the grill enough to impart some char-grilled taste that paired well with the smoky dip.
Both the salads were satisfying. The Caesar was traditional -- Romaine lettuce tossed in an anchovy-rich dressing and sprinkled with parmesan cheese. The antipasti salad was a bit dryer than the usual salad of this variety with a generous amount of parmesan incorporated into the mix. Both were very manageable to eat, given the bite-size pieces of the ingredients. Although the salads were each $5, the antipasti was meal-size and the Caesar accompaniment-size.
The lamb ragout had a robust spicy character.
The pizzas were delicious. On the goat cheese pizzas a layer of fig jam is topped with goat cheese and crisp pancetta. A liberal portion of arugula is added after baking, and black pepper finishes it off. The result is a scrumptious combination of fresh and sweet with a hint of tart. The roasted chicken pizza doesn't spotlight the chicken as much as its name suggests; it rather showcases the ingredients by the bite.
The brownie was dry and crumbly, with flavor that reminded me of a chocolate biscotti -- I was glad the vanilla bean ice cream moistened it.
Menu Highlights Beyond What I Tried: From the Starters, Baked Meatballs with Sweet Pepper Tomato Sauce sounded like a tasty way to begin a meal. The Grilled Summer Sausage and the Green Chile pizzas intrigued me. On my next visit, I will likely try the Sugo of Wild Boar with Guajillo Chiles and Roasted Cipollini Onions Over Rigatoni.
Other Observations: The friendly, attentive waitstaff appear to genuinely enjoy what they are doing, contributing to the restaurant's overall stress-free vibe.
Patio dining is available, weather permitting -- though I believe that will be a while.
360° has take-out as well.
Cost: Starters are $2 to $10. Pizzas start at $16 and top out at $23 (additional meat or cheese is $2.50, vegetables $2). Salads are $7 and $8. Pasta ranges from $7 to $16. Grilled chicken or prawns may be added to salads and pasta dishes for $5 and $7. Happy Hour items start at $2 for focaccia and olive oil, and top out at $13 for 12-inch pizzas.
Hours: 4 to 9 p.m. on Monday. 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. 2 to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Happy Hour is 4 to 6 p.m. daily.
Where: 3425 S.E. 192nd Ave., Suite 110, Vancouver.
Online: 360° Pizzeria
Health Score: 360° Pizzeria received a score of 20 on Dec. 26. Zero is a perfect score, and Clark County Public Health closes restaurants that score 100 or higher. For information, call 360-397-8428.