By Lindsay Carey
From macaroni and cheese and taco pizza to classic cheese and pepperoni, there was a slice to please everyone’s taste buds at the Southington Chamber of Commerce’s annual Pizza Fest, hosted by the chamber’s Womens Group.
Around 450 residents gathered at the North Ridge Gulf Club to put the pies to the test and have a say for themselves on which restaurant had the best pizza in town.
With warm weather, a lot of people enjoyed their pizza on the outside patio. Others chomped away inside with fresh boxes of pizza in sight.
The restaurants that participated were Anthony’s Ristorante, Dominos, Tuscany Restaurant, Price Chopper, Napoli’s, Formaggio’s, Nicos, Paradise Pizza, Spartans II Pizza, People’s Choice, Luiza’s Diner and Machiavelli’s.
In just a four hour window of time, the businesses kept up with the crowds by having more pizzas dropped off from their restaurants.
Resident Bonita Day said she had such a great time at Pizza Fest last year that she had to come back again.
Although she wasn’t as adventurous as her friends, Day enjoyed slices from her tried and true favorite pizza spots, Anthony’s Ristorante and Bertucci’s.
For Day, Pizza Fest is not only a time to enjoy her favorite food, it’s a time to enjoy the company of friends.
“I think when the community all gets together its wonderful, we’ve seen quite a few people that we know,” said Day. “I had a good time last time, this time and hopefully again next year.”
Between the judges and residents, everybody had their own idea of which pizza was best.
The winners for the night were: Best Pie Crust, People’s Favorite: Tuscanny; Judges Choice: Luiza’s, Best Sauce, People’s Favorite: Machiavelli’s, Judges’ Choice: Anthony’s Ristorante, Most Original, People’s Favorite: Bertucci’s, Most Original Judges’ Choice: Napoli’s, Best Overall, People’s Favorite: People’s Choice, Best overall, Judges’ Choice: Formaggios
“It feels really good,” said Formaggio’s owner Norine DeRoccio about winning. “We’ve only been open three months, its good to get people to try our pizza.”
DeRiccio said that a lot of people at the event were hearing of the business for the first time. She also said she hopes the exposure of Pizza Fest and the title of “Best Overall” will bring in more customers.
Julie Chubet, chair of the Southington Women’s Chamber, considered the night a success and felt that although not every restaurant walked away with a win that they may have gained some new consumers.
“There are vendors that participate that you wouldn’t think to go get pizza there,” said Chubet. “Like I know Price Chopper and Domino’s didn’t win, but they got a good amount of votes and I think they’ll see patrons.”
Chubet also said that she was pleased with the venue, because it was their first time having the event at North Ridge.
The money from the tickets for Pizza Fest is used for the Chamber to “Adopt a Family” during the winter. According to Chubet, the Chamber adopts 3 to 4 families to help them out. The funds raised also helps to provide scholarships for Southington High School female graduates.
By Lindsay Carey