First Pizza Review of 2014: Bigalora

Happy New Year!  Time to start it off right with new pizza!  The other night we tried Bigalora wood-fired pizza.  Bigalora is the newly opened reincarnation of the existing Pizzeria Biga restaurant that I never had the opportunity to try.  Bigalora in Ann Arbor (there are a few others in Southeast Michigan) is situated at the far corner of the upscale Arbor Hills strip mall (apparently “upscale strip mall” is not an oxymoron), which includes some new-to-Ann-Arbor stores such as lululemon, Brooks Brothers, J. Jill, Paper Source, Sur la table, North Face and Blue Mercury.

The restaurant interior was wide-open with a lofted second floor towards the back creating a two-story ceiling over the main dining room.  Despite its exposed duct work and huge glass front wall, it was surprisingly cozy, anchored by a slate-colored wrap-around bar behind which was a towering wall of spirits.  There’s a sliding ladder for the bartenders to climb to reach the upper shelves – love that this is reminding me of an English manor’s mahogany library only done in metals and glass!  Those throw-back, exposed-bulb pendants generated an orangey glow over the bar and cream fabric-covered, doughnut chandeliers above the dining area created a soft, warm atmosphere.  The culminating touch was a lounge area in the front of the restaurant that was both rustic and modern: circular, hammered-copper coffee table, tree stump side tables, and then to throw some chic into the country-living vibe, lucite  (or just regular clear plastic?) high-backed arm chairs in the style that you might expect of a tufted leather reading chair (again perhaps in an English manor’s library), only much less comfortable.  And everything sitting atop (or in the case of the chairs, floating atop) a large calf-skin rug.  It was a welcoming arrangement that made me really want to take a seat and drink an Old Fashioned by candlelight.  I would definitely return to dine in.

As it stood, we had ordered carry-out, and probably just as well because the place was packed.  I got a simple margherita pizza; Mark got wood-fired chicken wings and a pepperoni pizza.  Everything smelled delicious in the car ride home, and I was childishly excited about the red plastic pizza cutter they included with our order (which turned out to be necessary since they don’t pre-slice the pizzas…it was incredibly effective…maybe more so than the metal cutter I have from Target).


My margherita was light with dollops of fresh mozzarella and whole basil leaves.  The sauce (maybe a bit oversauced in places?) was brightly acidic and slightly sweet but not overwhelmingly so.  Everything meshed very well.  The crust was super soft and chewy with a char around the edges.  I’m not usually over-enthusiastic about an extra chewy crust, however this time it worked as it was quite airy, not dense, and acted as a counterbalance to the super-thin crust sitting underneath the toppings.

pizza 1

The wings were also a hit: wood-roasted, non-breaded, served with sweet roasted onions – different and delicious!

I didn’t try Mark’s pepperoni pizza (each pizza is definitely one-person-sized), but it looked good and it’s gone so that must say something.

I’m excited to go back to dine in and explore the menu more fully.  Happy eating!


One thought on “First Pizza Review of 2014: Bigalora

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s