Palio Pizzeria calls its product "Cape Cod thin crust pizza" made with "homemade Neapolitan style dough" and for that, it wins points for truth in advertising: The restaurant doesn't make true Neapolitan pizzas. Their crusts are not chewy enough and they don't have those isolated bubbles of char that are symptomatic of the fiery 905° F heat of a regulation Neapolitan pizza oven. But if Palio's pizzas are not truly Neapolitan in style, they are pretty darned delicious, nonetheless.
The crust was indeed thin, as advertised, with a little bit of chew. Any thinner and it would have buckled under the strain of fresh tomato, mozzarella, basil, and a light schmear of tomato sauce topping the Margherita Pizza (pictured at the top of this post). As it was, the combination was gorgeous, a perfect ratio of crust to topping. (5/5)
My gluten free Pollo Pesto Pizza with pesto, chicken, fresh garlic and caramelized onions was nearly as good. It's not possible, really, to make a Neapolitan-style gluten free pizza, since you need that gluten to impart the characteristic chew to the crust. But this was actually a fair example of a New York style pizza with its crisp, very thin crust. The pesto and caramelized (actually just browned) onions on the pizza were good; the chicken was bland. (3.5/5)
|Pollo Pesto Gluten Free Pizza|
The only non-excellent component of the meal was the Greek salad, made with romaine lettuce, tomatoes, red onions, cucumbers, pepperoncini, feta cheese, kalamata olives, parsley, Greek dressing and in my case, added chicken. The salad wasn't terrible, just humdrum. The meat came as two large pieces of very bland chicken tenders, undersalted and seasoned with dried oregano, but fairly moist. (I think they'd been boiled, first, sprinkled with a tiny bit of salt and oregeno, then grilled.) Romaine was fresh, but cut into overly large pieces. There were only two bits of hard tomato and two slices of cucumber. (2/5)
|Greek Salad with Chicken|
Other than the excellent pizza and gluten-free options, Palio's other major draws include their dog friendly outdoor seating (a wide space on the side, well shielded from the sun by umbrellas) and wonderful, upbeat servers. Even though you place the order at the counter and seat yourself, wait staff bring out your beverages and food. Our very nice waitress brought Julius water without our even asking.
This is a place we'll seek out, again.
435 Main Street
Barnstable Town, MA 02601