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Pitfire Pizza reaches for fine dining

March 31, 2009 |  5:46 pm

PitfirePizza If you're a fan of Pitfire Pizza's BBQ chicken salad or their mac 'n cheese, you should hurry and place an order before April 2. The local mini-chain with outposts in North Hollywood, downtown L.A. and Westwood (which recently acquired a beer and wine license), is changing its menu this Thursday and will eliminate both of those popular dishes. Pitfire is also getting rid of the Baked Ziti, Fiery Chicken Soup, Dixie Chicken Penne, Papardelle Pasta, Pumpkin Pizza, Folded Sausage Pizza and Folded Chicken Pizza. (The folded pizza is their approximation of a calzone.)

They'll be replaced by approximately 15 new dishes created by chef/owners David Sanfield and Paul Hibler along with executive chef Mark Gold of Café Pinot and the Water Grill. (Gold earned three stars from Times Restaurant Critic S. Irene Virbila when he cooked at Leatherby's Café Rouge in Costa Mesa.) The new dishes include the signature chicken salad ($9.75) featuring sous vide chicken on a bed of baby arugula topped by toasted pine nuts, pickled currants, shaved scallions and hand-torn bread crumbs tossed in a champagne vinaigrette; clam and bacon linguine featuring littleneck clams and Zoe nitrate-free bacon in a tomato broth. And a new mushroom pizza ($9.95)-- with more whole mushrooms--will replace the old version, which had shaved mushrooms.

The menu changes, which will be implemented at all three locations simultaneously, are part of an overall rethinking of the Pitfire brand, which will now attempt to bring a touch of fine dining to the "convenient casual" price point. Prices on some dishes will be 25 to 50 cents higher than before.

--Elina Shatkin

Photo: Pitfire Pizza

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