Iggie's: Neapolitan-style pizzeria

TABLE TALK

December 14, 2005|By SLOANE BROWN

The popular South Baltimore eatery Soigne may have closed down last spring, but one of its owners is bobbing back up to the surface of the city's restaurant scene.

Just this week, Lisa Heckman opened her newest gastronomic adventure, Iggie's, in the space that used to be the cheese shop Combalou. Lisa describes her place as a Neapolitan-style pizzeria.

"Having done the more upscale route [with Soigne], I wanted to do something more casual and relaxed," Heckman says.

As for the name ...

"Iggie is a nickname for Italian greyhounds. I've got two of them, so I decided to go with a name of something near and dear," Heckman says.

In fact, you'll see photos of Heckman's Italian canines - Milo and Mico - adorning the walls of the place that otherwise is decorated in warm reds and yellows.

While carryout is expected to make up a large part of the business, Heckman is proud of the centerpiece of the small dining area - a 16-foot-long community table that seats 16. There are also six additional tables with marble tops and surrounded by an eclectic collection of antique chairs, as well as a small retail space offering ready-to-eat foods, olive oils, cured olives, bread and Italian cheeses.

Speaking of those ready-to-eat foods, Heckman says Iggie's also offers a "take and bake" pizza, all prepared on a heavy-duty foil, that you slide out of the box into your own oven to bake, so that it's piping hot and freshly baked when you're ready to eat it.

As for that pizza, Heckman says there's a law in Italy setting down strict guidelines about what qualifies as Neapolitan pizza. She says she follows those guidelines, using the same Italian flour, which has a high protein level to it and results in a light, fluffy, yet thin crust "with a bit of crunch to it."

She also points out that while the toppings are plentiful, the pizzas aren't weighted down with them. There are almost a dozen pizzas to choose from, such as mushroom ragu, leeks and goat cheese; duck confit, blue cheese, caramelized red onions and asparagus; and pepperoni, tomato and smoked mozzarella ($10.95 to $14.50).

You also can choose your own toppings, which each range in price from 50 cents to $1.50. You also will find a few pastas, soups and salads ($3.95 to $7.95). While the restaurant has no liquor license, you are welcome to BYOB.

You'll find Iggie's, 410-528-0818, at 818 N. Calvert St. Its hours are 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Pei Wei in Columbia

Pei Wei Asian Diner just opened its doors in Columbia this week. From the P.F. Chang's China Bistro company, Pei Wei is one of those "casual, quick" eateries. You place your order at the counter, pick up your drinks and sit down. Your food is made to order and brought to the table. Or you can take it to go.

Appetizers include minced chicken with cool lettuce wraps ($6.50), spring rolls (two for $3.95) and crab won tons (four for $3.95). Noodle and rice bowl entrees include lo mein noodle bowl ($6.50), teriyaki bowl ($6.50) and shrimp with lobster sauce bowl ($7.50). There are about a dozen entree choices in which you choose your protein: chicken, pork, beef, shrimp or tofu ($6.75 to $9). Then you choose the preparation, i.e. spicy Korean, Asian coconut curry, honey-seared, sweet and sour.

Pei Wei Asian Diner, 410-423-2550, is located in Dobbin Square, at 6478 Dobbin Center Way. Its hours are 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.

If you have information regarding a local restaurant's opening, closing or major changes, please e-mail that information to sloane@sloanebrown.com or fax it to 410-675-3451.

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