The genius of Rally Pizza is that it is a five-star restaurant pretending to be just a neighborhood pizza joint. It is a family-friendly neighborhood pizza place, but one that offers up oven-roasted seasonal farm-to-table vegetable plates, seasonal craft cocktails and made-to-order frozen custard with housemade topping like devil’s food cake and cherry pie.
As tempting as it is to try to keep this restaurant a secret, I can’t do it.
After almost a year and a half in business, husband-and-wife team Alan Maniscalco and Shan Wickham of Rally Pizza added weekly specials.
Wickham explained: “Monday is all-day happy hour. Tuesday is all wine bottles are half off, because why not? Wednesday is family dinner, so kids get a free cheese pizza for each regular pizza you buy.
“We are having a good time on Tuesday nights,” she added. “It’s a party in here.”
Rally uses their specials menu (served along with the regular menu) to sneak in things you wouldn’t normally find at a pizza place. For the winter solstice they added handmade lasagna, salt cod fritters, and prosecco shakes (yay, boozy shakes!). For Persian New Year (March 18), they will add Persian dishes. The specials menu includes their mouthwatering seasonal farm-to-table oven-roasted vegetable plates. These artworks of earthly delights are crafted with farm-fresh local produce from Red Truck Farm and Wobbly Cart Farm and accentuated with house made sauces like smoky romesco, mint-almond pesto and tomato-fennel sour cream.
The best addition is Rally Pizza’s tantalizing quarterly Sunday dinners — a five-course prix fixe meal with optional wine pairings. The first Sunday dinner had a theme of volcanic wines of Italy. It featured food from Sardinia, Campania, and Sicily, such as burrata and citrus salad, saffron semolina pasta with choice of vegetarian or braised chicken sauce, and Sicilian-style roasted lamb.
The next quarterly dinner with a Roman theme will be April 29. On the quarterly Sunday dinner nights, the restaurant serves only the five-course dinner — the regular menu is not available.
In addition to scrumptious food, Rally serves incredible seasonal cocktails. Maniscalco explained their collaborative cocktail creating process: “We all like cocktails, it’s a lot of fun. I think with most of them they are seasonally driven. So, right now we have blood orange, cara cara oranges. When rhubarb hits, we’ll put rhubarb on. “Everything that comes in season will find its way into the kitchen and the drinks. If somebody goes out and has a good cocktail we play around with that idea. We haven’t had gin for awhile. So, we go to the internet and look into gin recipes.”
A meal at Rally isn’t complete without Wickham’s frozen treats. She made gelato at Ken’s Artisan and Staccato Gelato in Portland. Frozen custard is a return to her Midwestern roots (she’s from Iowa) and a way to create a perfect dessert every time. Wickham explained: “It is really just right when it is fresh, right out of the machine, so this is made to order so it’s always just right out of the machine. It is always that amazing texture.”