Bites Nearby: Crust Handcrafted Pizza & Wine Bar

Try the white pizza topped with garlic or the classic red pizza with sausage and peppers.

, 2595 Rochester Rd., Rochester Hills, (248) 844-8899

The high ceilings and rows of tables and sturdy wooden chairs is clean and crisp, and just the right setting for the menu of pizzas and flatbreads produced in the open kitchen's massive Wood Stone oven. 

Best seats in the house at  are at high-topped tables that offer a good view of the flames that quickly sear the house specials at a temperature of 850 degrees. 

Thin-crusted pizzas come in three styles. Neapolitan white is served without red sauce. Neapolitan red includes the classic margherita topped with San Marzano tomatoes, olive oil, fresh mozzarella and handfuls of basil. "Crust original" includes a roasted red sauce made with more of the Italian tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, sea salt, pepper and assorted herbs and spices in such varieties as mushroom, vegetarian and, of course, pepperoni. 

Some diners create their own combinations from a long list of toppings from arugula and capers to anchovies and fennel sausage. Wine is served in small tumblers, and so are the pudding-like desserts. 

Crust is a winning concept that spawned a second outpost on Telegraph Road at Maple.

Recommended dishes: Naples-style white pizza topped with roasted garlic, four cheeses and Italian parsley; classic red pizza with sausage and peppers; Sonoma salad with greens, roasted red peppers, toasted almonds and goat cheese; dark chocolate mousse.

Prices: Individual pizzas $8.50-$12, salads $4.50-$10, desserts $2.50

Hours: 11:30 a.m.- 8 p.m. Monday-Tuesday ,11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday, 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday, noon-8 p.m. Sunday (Hours will expand in spring.)

Credit cards: All major


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