I must confess: perhaps I just don't get deep dish pizza. I remember vaguely being thrilled with Uno's when I was ten, but I must concede the possibility that my tastes have evolved since then. Nonetheless, even if I am somewhat biased against pizza casseroles in general, I can't help but feel that my ambivalence towards District of Pi is justified.
First, the positives. The ambiance of the restaurant itself is great. Lots of brick walls, cozy tables, and comfortable seats...a wonderfully convivial atmosphere. The staff, generally, were friendly and welcoming. However, the food just was not up to snuff for me.
The appetizers we ordered were fine. The meatballs were solid, the genoa salami was nice enough, and the pickled thai cucumbers actually quite pleasant. But, the pizzas...
One side of our table ordered a Southside Classico (Sausage, Mushrooms, Green Peppers, Onions, Mozzarella) while my side ordered a Western Addition (Ricotta, Mozzarella, Spinach, Mushrooms, Onions, Garlic). I took a slice of what I thought was the Western Addition and tasted a pile of blandish, chunky tomato sauce on crust. No cheese, no spinach, no nothing. Then, we discovered, that the waitress had actually misidentified the pizzas, and I had been eating the Southside Classico. Well, I tasted no sausage, no green peppers, no onions, no mushrooms, and maybe the occasional wad of mozzarella. When I finally got to taste the Western Addition, it was an improvement. At least there was a discernible amount of cheese and spinach underneath the pile of sauce, but tasting any of the other "toppings"? Fuggedaboutit.
I don't know. Maybe it is just me, but I kind of like Italian food that isn't swimming in a pool of sauce, drowning all the other ingredients in a deluge of tinny tomato. Unfortunately, that is exactly what I got at District of Pi.