Stowe pizza ranked for the best slice

When food lovers think of authentic, melt in your mouth pizza, they may recommended pizzerias in New York.

Images of classic Italian-style places and local hidden gems tucked under the Brooklyn Bridge.

New York canÕt have all of the glory for authentic pizzerias.

According to Travel and Leisure magazine, the restaurant Piecasso in Stowe, Vt. was ranked as one of the best places in the country to grab a slice.

Piecasso opened in December of 2000 by owner Eduardo Rovetto.

Rovetto brought his love of Sicilian cooking from his home in upstate New York to Vermont.

What makes Piecasso Pizzeria one of the greatest places to get a slice of pizza in New England?

According to George Sparker, PiecassoÕs general manager, the family-owned restaurant appeals to all ages and makes an extra effort to make the customers feel at home.

ÒWeÕre very much like a family,Ó Sparker said. ÒWe put time and energy into community projects and local organizations. Everything is on a first name basis.Ó

As soon as you walk into the restaurant, you can see workers hand shaping and artistically forming pizza crust, preparing fresh seafood and pouring local Vermont microbrews.

A few times a week, Piecasso also holds live music from local Vermont rock, blues, funk and jazz bands starting at 9 p.m.

The pizzeria is on Mountain Road in Stowe, a short drive from many Vermont ski resorts, making it a convenient stop for skiers and snowboarders.

ÒItÕs the one place I beg my family to take me when IÕm home,Ó junior Julianne Hachman said. ÒThereÕs no place in Burlington just as good!Ó

The restaurant features authentic Italian antipastis, fresh tossed salads, a variety of vegetarian and gluten free options, build your own pizzas, specialty pizzas, Sicilian style pastas and much more.

The custom pizza slices contain names such as ÒHeart Stopper,Ó which contains double the cheese, double the pepperoni and double the sausage.

The ÒTree HuggerÓ pizza, their most popular vegetarian item, which is topped with fresh spinach, basil, tomatoes, garlic, onions and local mozzarella.

At Piecasso, the workers place importance on buying fresh produce and ingredients from farmers and local New England businesses.

These local Vermont farms include Taylor Farm in Londonberry, Butter and Cheese farm in Websterville, Deer Run Farm in Manville and Vermont Smoke and Cure business in Barre.

ÒI think it goes without saying that a restaurant should buy locally and organically,Ó Sparker said. ÒItÕs the first part of showing that you care for your customers.Ó