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Has Bucktown’s Pizza House Created the Perfect Crust?

This Cortland Street place makes a convincing case that a 12-inch pie is the ideal size, “crustwise.”

Kathryn Pierce Photography

Joining the charmers Jane’s and Cortland’s Garage on that little retail stretch of Cortland that makes you feel as if you emerged from the grungy underbelly of the Kennedy Expressway into an elfin hollow, Pizza House 1647 (1647 W. Cortland St., 773-252-3500) opens today.

The owner, Bobby Paladino, has 35 years of history in the restaurant business, beginning with O’Famé and its thin-crust, cornmeal-bottomed pizza and continuing through Club Lucky. Pizza House 1647 will serve a thin, whole-wheat, cornmeal-bottomed crust, with house-made pizza sauce and sausage, cooked in an old-school revolving oven. Pies at the fast-casual, takeout-focused spot will top out at 12 inches in diameter.

“When you order a 14- or 16-inch pizza, the centers are always very sloppy,” Paladino says. “By the time you get to the center, it’s stuck to the plate. I think 12-inch comes out, crustwise, the best.” That strategy sounds crustwise, indeed.

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