Life of Pie in Portland

Disclosure: This meal was complimentary, but I will always provide my honest opinion and assessment of all products and experiences I may be given. The views and opinions expressed in this blog are entirely my own

Earlier this week, I was invited to a Media Preview of the Life of Pie, a new restaurant at 3632 North Williams/NE Beecher Streets.
Life of Pie Pizza, Portland at 3632 North Williams and Northeast Beecher Streets Life of Pie Pizza, Portland at 3632 North Williams and Northeast Beecher Streets Life of Pie interior combines modernity with the warmth of lots of wood and various pizza making accouterments along the walls

Life of Pie specializes in wood-fired pizzas, using a special Stefano Ferrara oven which so excited to be here in Portland. I mean look at that 6,900 pound, 1000 degrees F, beaming immigrant from Naples, Italy! They have a whole page of their website devoted to this proud baby!
The pride of Life of Pie and the source of amazing pizzas is a 6,900 pound wood fired pizza oven, hand-made by the legendary Stefano Ferrara in Napoli, Italy The pride of Life of Pie and the source of amazing pizzas is a 6,900 pound wood fired pizza oven, hand-made by the legendary Stefano Ferrara in Napoli, Italy The pride of Life of Pie and the source of amazing pizzas is a 6,900 pound wood fired pizza oven, hand-made by the legendary Stefano Ferrara in Napoli, Italy The pride of Life of Pie and the source of amazing pizzas is a 6,900 pound wood fired pizza oven, hand-made by the legendary Stefano Ferrara in Napoli, Italy

That oven works hard with the Shepherds Grain flour dough that owner Jason Kallingal and Nick Burger have perfected after reportedly 30 batches. The oven adds a hint of char and some smoke to that dough, but not a lot of char so the base stays chewy while the crust is crispy.

The 11 inch pizza pies are topped with housemade and/or locally sourced seasonal ingredients, such as their homemade mozzarella which we saw being made right then and there at the event, or the mushrooms from the Farmers Market, Carlton Farms applewood smoked bacon, Chop salami and Mama Lil’s Peppers…

Life of Pie pizzas in progress Life of Pie's housemade mozzarella in progress

They have 8 pizzas on their menu ranging from $9-12. They also offer a menu of toppings, so those 16 ingredients can be used to mix it up to your liking, including any of the ingredients listed in the pre-tested recipes below to your own preferences, and a few extra ones such as mixed olives or anchovy.

  • Chop Spicy Salami, Mama Lil’s Pepers, Goat Cheese, Honey
  • Seasonal Mushrooms with Shaved Pecorino Romano and Truffle Oil
  • Bacon, Goat Cheese, and Oven Roasted Leeks
  • Meatball, Ricotta, and Red Onions
  • Caramelized Onions, Goat Cheese, and Garlic Confit
  • Marinara, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Sea Salt, Chili Flakes
  • Fennel Sausage and Mama Lil’s Peppers
  • Margherita with Mozzarella, Tomato and Basil

At the tasting I was able to test a slice of the Seasonal Mushroom pizza covered in chanterelles and shitake mushrooms and finished with shaved pecorino romano and truffle oil. This was my favorite, if I had to pick one of the pizzas of the night to rank #1.
Life of Pie Seasonal Mushroom pizza covered in chanterelles and shitake mushrooms and finished with shaved pecorino romano and truffle oil. This was my favorite.

Also sampled were the Carlton Farms applewood smoked bacon layered with oven-roasted leeks, goat cheese and caramelized onions. I loved those oven-roasted leeks. Meanwhile the Fennel Sausage kicked up your average sausage pizza with Mama Lil’s Peppers and offered a great pairing of spicy with a sauce so good I could imagine drinking it. Also check out that classic Margherita with Mozzarella, Tomato, and Fresh Basil whose leaf color slowly just darkening from the pizza heat testifies to its freshness.
Life of Pie Portland's Carlton Farms applewood smoked bacon layered with oven-roasted leeks, goat cheese and caramelized onions Life of Pie's Fennel Sausage pizza kicked up your average sausage pizza with Mama Lil's Peppers all over the sauce and in pieces here or there throughout "Life
I was also blown away by two appetizers they offered at this media event.
Appetizers at Life of Pie pizza in Portland, at North Wiliams and Northeast Beech Appetizers at Life of Pie pizza in Portland, at North Wiliams and Northeast Beech, plus a peek at the kitchen

The first appetizer was a perfect balance of oozy and crispy in their Aracini, risotto croquettes with ricotta and mozzarella. So often I break open an aracini to find out it was mostly an empty shell, without much substance inside. Not the case with the Life of Pie aracini, as you can see- there’s a molten cheese surprise inside.
Life of Pie restaurant Portland appetizer, a perfect balance of oozy and crispy in their Aracini, risotto croquettes with ricotta and mozzarella Life of Pie restaurant Portland appetizer, a perfect balance of oozy and crispy in their Aracini, risotto croquettes with ricotta and mozzarella Life of Pie restaurant Portland appetizer, a perfect balance of oozy and crispy in their Aracini, risotto croquettes with ricotta and mozzarella

Then there was Life of Pie’s surprise right hook: Kale & Arugula with parmesan and honey lemon vinaigrette packed an addictive punch with its light dressing that enhanced the kale and arugula and the parmesan to add texture like a breadcrumb topping of a mac and cheese- but all over your salad! I would **highly recommend** this salad. It is a very crave-able salad.
Life of Pie's surprise right hook: Kale & Arugula with parmesan and honey lemon vinaigrette packed an addictive punch with its light dressing that enhanced the kale and arugula and the parmesan to add texture like a breadcrumb topping of a mac and cheese- but all over your salad!  Life of Pie's surprise right hook: Kale & Arugula with parmesan and honey lemon vinaigrette packed an addictive punch with its light dressing that enhanced the kale and arugula and the parmesan to add texture like a breadcrumb topping of a mac and cheese- but all over your salad!

Besides the pizza pies, they also offer some simple spaghetti if you are especially craving their tangy marinara sauce, which you can dress up further with the fennel sausage or meatballs if you’d like. They also have a gluten free pasta available. As an alternative- but I recommend as an addition- to the aracini appetizer, they also have a oven roasted cauliflower gratin and meatballs that sound delightful. Dessert-wise the only option was a root beer float, but they are just a few doors down from What’s the Scoop? so I recommend finishing up with sweetness there.

Life of Pie interior combines modernity with the warmth of lots of wood and various pizza making accouterments along the walls, and seats probably about 40 something guests. When the weather warms they have a whole section that is all glass garage door walls that will open up to North Williams, which should be a great treat. Life of Pie is new and low key- I can’t describe the service since I did attend during a special event, but I hope this blog post is helpful to you anyway in seeing some of the offerings. As of now it appears there is no waiting in lines yet like some of other famous wood fired pizza places in town, so visit now!

In fact, they currently are offering an Extended Happy Hour daily 11 am-6 pm that includes a $5, 11 inch margherita pizza plus $3 beers and wines – a great deal! Now you just have to order that kale salad and invite me to join you in living a Life of Pie.
Life of Pie restaurant, Portland's Margherita with Mozzarella, Tomato and Basil Life of Pie restaurant, Portland- menu

Life of Pie is currently also doing a weekly FREE pizza giveaway for a free 11″ pizza every week on their Facebook site- check out the contest app!

Which of the pizza pies would you want to order?

Life of Pie on Urbanspoon

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Comments

  1. omg this looks sooo good. Wood fired pizza is the best. I wish they had gluten free! the aracini and cauliflower gratin sound good though :)
    I really want to build an oven like this in my backyard.

    • I have to confess my first love will always be Chicago deep dish pizza, but wood fired is next. I think about how fun it would be to not only be able to quickly throw together a pizza for dinner anytime with my own oven, but how fun would it be to have a make your own pizza party!

  2. Wow! My son’s two favorite foods are pizza & meatballs, so this place is a win-win place to take him. Those meatballs look AMAZING though. I have to try them!

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