5 reasons to try wood-fired fare at Pizza Brutta
Stunning wood-fired oven is centerpiece of...
6712 Frank Lloyd Wright Ave., Middleton, 841-2120
1805 Monroe St., 257-2120
The opening of Pizza Brutta’s second location in Middleton is a fresh start for owner Derek Lee and wife Darcy, who’ve been dishing out Neapolitan-style pizza at their still-open Monroe Street location for eight years. “I came to Wisconsin for the progressive tradition in agriculture,” says Lee, a North Dakota native.
Old meets new here, where industrial elements are softened by barnwood accents. “It’s all new construction, so I wanted a little bit of character.” The centerpiece of the space is a stunning wood-fired oven, made out of volcanic stone and covered in glass tile from Italy. From your seat, you’re able to watch the pizzaiolo pull pies directly from the flames.
Pizza Brutta’s menu is a study in restraint. “I’m a firm believer in one, two or three ingredients, and letting your palate find the rest,” he says. The crowd favorite unsurprisingly is the margherita pie. The caprese salad features hand-tossed mozzarella that’s made in house, twice daily. “It’s so fresh and so simple,” he says.
Lee lights up when he talks about the prosciutto arugula pie. Vitruvian Farms arugula good enough to stand alone tops heritage breed prosciutto on this artful pie. “This is my pizza,” says Lee, who adds a dash of rosemary in his version. “It all comes together beautifully.”
The Bottom Line
“I’m building on tradition,” Lee says. His simple pies are made remarkable by heirloom tomatoes, Sicilian oregano off the twig and other quality ingredients. “You can taste every ingredient. There’s nothing better than that,” he says.