Biga is not in our neighborhood. To get there we have to drive pretty far east to Kirtland, and it’s not right off the freeway. It’s worth a special trip, though.
Biga–which refers to pre-fermented dough–is known for its wood-burning pizza oven, which produces flavors almost impossible to mimic using any other equipment. Dine-o-Mite, probably the most prolific pizza enthusiast in town, has raved about it, and we could see why after our visit.
The establishment feels somewhat out in the country. The rural setting and rustic but sophisticated décor reminded me of visiting places in Traverse City–I definitely felt like we’d left the Cleveland area.
We started with a seasonal salad ($9), which was huge. The local greens, freshly shucked sweet corn, tomatoes and other vegetables was very satisfying. The dressing was very light, allowing the ingredients to shine through.
Next up were breadsticks ($5), which were covered with garlic butter and served with a zippy, full-flavored tomato sauce.
The stars of the evening, of course, were the pizzas. We ordered a seasonal special featuring zucchini, tomato and bacon ($17). Jonathan wanted pepperoni pizza ($15), so we ordered that as well. The sauce and cheese were excellent, but the crust itself is unbelievable with a wood-caramelized sear found nowhere else in town. The dough itself seemed to be proofed for at least a few days: the plain crust in the end had a distinct but complex sourdough-ish element and tasted great even with nothing on it.
Biga is BYO with a $2 corkage fee, which ends up being a pretty good deal. I brought along a Lil Sumpin’ Sumpin’ (Pale Wheat Ale) and a Ommegang Rare Vos (dark Belgian) which went very well with our food. I probably saved almost $10 versus what I would pay for ordering these at most restaurants (if they were even available).
They are also very kid-friendly. They have Etch-a-Sketches instead of crayons, and Jonathan loved the food.
We’ll definitely be coming back to Biga, even with the drive.