320 E. Main St., Montrose, 970/240-2790
On a recent Tuesday afternoon, two men working the pizza counter at the rear of the Colorado Boy Pizzeria’s dining room, in front of a hot open-hearth oven, were judging their pizza-making performance in terms of time.
“We are averaging just over four-and-a-half minutes,” said one, spinning dough into the air. “That's pretty good.”
The two were determined to keep up with the growing lunch crowd, and seemed well suited to the task.
The Colorado Boy Pizzeria is the latest establishment created by Tom and Sandy Hennessy, known for their wildly popular Colorado Boy Pub and Brewery in Ridgway. (The two are known for creating great beer, comfortable and relaxed atmospheres and dining destinations people are eager to return to.) And with this year’s opening of Colorado Boy Pizzeria, they’re on that same track.
Go once, you’ll go again.
To answer the first question that come to many people’s minds, no, the Montrose Colorado Boy Pizzeria is not a brewery unlike its sister pub in Ridgway (which serves up pizzas as well). But this news is hardly a disappointment, what with half pints ($2.25), pints ($4) and pitchers ($15) of Colorado Boy brew available on tap. And because Tom likes to spread the love of locally brewed beer, visitors can find other local brews on tap, as well. On my most recent visit, besides Colorado Boy’s blonde ale, Irish red and IPA, there was a 2 Rascals amber available, brewed just down the road, available as well.
Beer aside, the Colorado Boy Pizzeria really is all about pizza – artisan Neapolitan-style pizza, to be exact. Every day, the pizza dough is made from scratch, using 100 percent Italian Caputo pizza flour, water, yeast and sea salt. Following traditional Neapolitan techniques, the dough is aged overnight to allow a natural fermentation to enhance its taste.
Pizzas come in one size (11 inches) at the Colorado Boy, and are generally intended for one person. There are 11 different kinds of pizzas available, but for me, it’s hard to get away from a classic Margherita ($6.50) made with San Marzano tomato sauce, house-made mozzarella, extra virgin olive oil and fresh basil. The house-made mozzarella really stands out in this Colorado Boy pizza, and is truly fit for a queen.
Once a pizza is ordered, it is quickly made by hand by the staff near the open-hearth oven. All pizzas are baked at approximately 700 degrees to allow the dough to cook quickly, creating a crisp crust on the outside with a chewy dough on the inside. It’s a combination that many pizzerias struggle to find. Pizzas at the Colorado Boy contain the best of both worlds within their crust.
The pizza calda ($8.95) is for those who are looking for some spice, and made with hot oil, tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, mushrooms, olives, and roasted peppers. The rustica ($8.95) is made with a base of garlic oil and topped with mozzarella, artichoke hearts, roasted peppers, capicollo ham and gorgonzola cheese. If you like fennel, go with the Malto carne pizza ($8.95), topped with tomato sauce, mozzarella, pepperoni, fennel sausage, kalamata olives, and fresh oregano.
The menu also contains two calzones (or “folded pizzas,” as the menu states), one made with salami, roasted peppers, goat cheese, mozz and tomato sauce ($8.95), the other with artichoke hearts, spinach and gorgonzola cheese ($7.95).
Kids’ pizzas are available in cheese ($3.95) or pepperoni ($4.50), as well. Besides the fact that these pizzas taste addictively good, from crust to toppings, they’re served up fast. It generally takes about seven minutes from the time a pie is ordered until its ready to be served. Unless, of course, the pizza-makers are at the top of their game, whereupon you might get that pizza in four-and-a-half minutes.
SALADS AND DESSERTS: Don’t forget your greens. Salads are available, and they’re all good, especially the Caesar. Finish a meal off with a Nutella pizza – sin, on soft-baked pizza dough.
HOW TO ORDER: Order at the end of the bar, just inside the door, grab a number and then grab a table. Your pizza and beer will be right up. Having more than one beer? Make sure to tell the staff when ordering and your tab will be left open.
Open daily from 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m.