4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Order pizza and pinsa from Civico by the Park

Revamped Italian spot dishes pasta and pies, from vegan to seafood

A vegan margherita pinsa
A vegan margherita pinsa

Eating more take-out this year has meant eating more pizza, and I have, frankly, been amazed how many good pizzas are available around town. Just a couple of weeks ago I wrote about a new pizza counter in Hillcrest, Massachusetts Mike’s, that proved pleasing to my whole household.

Place

Civico by the Park

2550 Fifth Avenue STE 120, San Diego

However, “good pizza” means different things to different people. For example, to the kids, a pizza place that doesn’t offer pepperoni as a topping doesn’t even warrant consideration.

Which is why I went for pizza at Civico by the Park without children. It’s not an American-style pizza joint, after all. Like its sister restaurant — Little Italy’s Civico 1845 — it’s an authentically Italian restaurant, all the way up to its Italian ownership.

An ocean of shellfish over house-made linguini

As such, it offers plenty of non-pizza dishes, from antipasti (appetizers) to insalate (salads), and pasta. The latter includes slow-cooked meats in tomato sauces, lobster ravioli, and the linguini ala pescatora ($22) ordered, and happily devoured, by my shellfish-loving wife. Along with cherry tomatoes, the toothsome house-made linguini is covered in clams, mussels, calamari, prawns. It’s as if they were determined to include the entire ocean in this dish.

I picked it up as take-out from the restaurant, which is in Bankers Hill, the namesake park being Balboa Park, two blocks away. I was already familiar with the location, which originally opened in spring 2019 as Il Dandy. The Civico restaurateurs were part owners of Il Dandy, which aimed for Michelin-star quality cuisine, which included an even higher-end, six-course, backroom tasting menu.

Civico by the Park, formerly known as Il Dandy

High ambitions under normal circumstances, darn near impossible under the shifting duress of a pandemic. The restaurant was apparently rebranded with the Civico name to signify a more casual shift.

Which isn’t to say that Civico by the Park is all that casual — it’s still fairly elevated dining, as evidenced by the presence of imported meats and 20-dollar entrees. But fair to say its menu is more approachable to the casual diner, with a few small plates and pastas in the $10-15 range.

Calabrian style pizza, topped with pistachios and pistachio emulsion

And, as with Il Dandy, there are pizza options under $20 to provide a budget-friendly, sharable dinner option. Of course, as I said, these aren’t your typical pepperoni pies. As evidenced by the mortazza pie: topped by mortadella and pistachios, sauced with pistachio emulsion ($16). Turns out, pistachio pizza is exactly what Americans have been missing out on our whole lives.

The brothers behind Civico are from Calabria, and this Calabrian-style pizza sticks to the style served at Il Dandy, with a slow rise wet dough that yields fantastically airy crust. But, it turns out this restaurant has returned with a second pizza option: pinsa. The oblong, Roman answer to pizza is sort of en vogue in San Diego right now, as several restaurants now serve it. But I’m not sure I’ve enjoyed a crust as much as the one I got from Civico. Which is all the more astounding because I ordered it off the restaurant’s vegan menu.

Like Civico 1845, this location offers a complete vegan menu, including house-made pastas. While some of these feature meat substitutes, I stuck with the vegan margherita pinsa ($14), featuring a simply delicious San Marzano tomato sauce, basil, and vegan mozzarella. The vegan cheese stuck to my teeth a bit, but otherwise I couldn’t believe this pie was vegan. It’s the best vegan pizza I’ve tried and doubles as the best vegan bread.

Credit the mix of flours behind it: wheat, soy, and rice flours allowed to rise for 72 hours give the thick crust pie an amazing chew. All of Civico’s pizzas are available either as the Calabrian pie, or in pinsa version, and if you have to start somewhere, I’d recommend the pinsa, but only barely. I might even need to bring the kids with me next time I try it.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

North Park Book Fair, Holiday Edition, Nutcracker Tea Party

Events December 11-December 15, 2021
Next Article

Wahoo send anglers to the ER

Their Hawaiian name, ‘ono’, means ‘delicious’
A vegan margherita pinsa
A vegan margherita pinsa

Eating more take-out this year has meant eating more pizza, and I have, frankly, been amazed how many good pizzas are available around town. Just a couple of weeks ago I wrote about a new pizza counter in Hillcrest, Massachusetts Mike’s, that proved pleasing to my whole household.

Place

Civico by the Park

2550 Fifth Avenue STE 120, San Diego

However, “good pizza” means different things to different people. For example, to the kids, a pizza place that doesn’t offer pepperoni as a topping doesn’t even warrant consideration.

Which is why I went for pizza at Civico by the Park without children. It’s not an American-style pizza joint, after all. Like its sister restaurant — Little Italy’s Civico 1845 — it’s an authentically Italian restaurant, all the way up to its Italian ownership.

An ocean of shellfish over house-made linguini

As such, it offers plenty of non-pizza dishes, from antipasti (appetizers) to insalate (salads), and pasta. The latter includes slow-cooked meats in tomato sauces, lobster ravioli, and the linguini ala pescatora ($22) ordered, and happily devoured, by my shellfish-loving wife. Along with cherry tomatoes, the toothsome house-made linguini is covered in clams, mussels, calamari, prawns. It’s as if they were determined to include the entire ocean in this dish.

I picked it up as take-out from the restaurant, which is in Bankers Hill, the namesake park being Balboa Park, two blocks away. I was already familiar with the location, which originally opened in spring 2019 as Il Dandy. The Civico restaurateurs were part owners of Il Dandy, which aimed for Michelin-star quality cuisine, which included an even higher-end, six-course, backroom tasting menu.

Civico by the Park, formerly known as Il Dandy

High ambitions under normal circumstances, darn near impossible under the shifting duress of a pandemic. The restaurant was apparently rebranded with the Civico name to signify a more casual shift.

Which isn’t to say that Civico by the Park is all that casual — it’s still fairly elevated dining, as evidenced by the presence of imported meats and 20-dollar entrees. But fair to say its menu is more approachable to the casual diner, with a few small plates and pastas in the $10-15 range.

Calabrian style pizza, topped with pistachios and pistachio emulsion

And, as with Il Dandy, there are pizza options under $20 to provide a budget-friendly, sharable dinner option. Of course, as I said, these aren’t your typical pepperoni pies. As evidenced by the mortazza pie: topped by mortadella and pistachios, sauced with pistachio emulsion ($16). Turns out, pistachio pizza is exactly what Americans have been missing out on our whole lives.

The brothers behind Civico are from Calabria, and this Calabrian-style pizza sticks to the style served at Il Dandy, with a slow rise wet dough that yields fantastically airy crust. But, it turns out this restaurant has returned with a second pizza option: pinsa. The oblong, Roman answer to pizza is sort of en vogue in San Diego right now, as several restaurants now serve it. But I’m not sure I’ve enjoyed a crust as much as the one I got from Civico. Which is all the more astounding because I ordered it off the restaurant’s vegan menu.

Like Civico 1845, this location offers a complete vegan menu, including house-made pastas. While some of these feature meat substitutes, I stuck with the vegan margherita pinsa ($14), featuring a simply delicious San Marzano tomato sauce, basil, and vegan mozzarella. The vegan cheese stuck to my teeth a bit, but otherwise I couldn’t believe this pie was vegan. It’s the best vegan pizza I’ve tried and doubles as the best vegan bread.

Credit the mix of flours behind it: wheat, soy, and rice flours allowed to rise for 72 hours give the thick crust pie an amazing chew. All of Civico’s pizzas are available either as the Calabrian pie, or in pinsa version, and if you have to start somewhere, I’d recommend the pinsa, but only barely. I might even need to bring the kids with me next time I try it.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Will North Park Woolworth's ever be renovated?

2012 plan replaced by 2020 one
Next Article

Grammys issue statement defending nomination of local activist’s metal rant

“Wind” Storm
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories Fishing Report — What’s getting hooked from ship and shore From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close