Taste Test: White Pizza at UpStairs on the Square

White Pizza

Duck fat potatoes? Check. (Photo by Fiona Coxe)

Upstairs on the Square is a long loved staple in the Harvard Square dining scene, known for its whimsical décor and seriously good food. Its famous pink-bedecked Monday Club Bar got a recent facelift, gaining a brand new bar, a sophisticated pizza oven, and a brand-new menu to match. Recently, I headed over to check it out.

I went straight for their interpretation of white pizza, which has a base of ricotta salata and roasted garlic and is then topped with neatly arranged duck fat-roasted potatoes, caramelized onions, pickled wine grapes, and a final flourish of grana padano cheese. While the combination certainly isn’t classic, it totally worked. The potatoes, rich and savory from their coating of the luxurious duck fat, were perfectly offset by the sweet onions. The wine grapes, meanwhile, provided additional contrast to the dense potatoes by providing a delicate burst of fresh juice with each bite. The small amount of cheese lent just a hint of tang, and it didn’t over power the other ingredients. While the toppings were great, the overall standout was the crust, which managed to be both pillowy and crisp.

Upstairs on the Square is a fixture in Harvard Square for good reason: their food is fresh and smart. The recent overhaul of the Monday Night Club, complete with some excellent pizas, further establishes Upstairs on the Square as a go-to spot for fabulous evening in Harvard Square.

(Upstairs on the Square; 91 Winthrop Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 http://www.upstairsonthesquare.com)

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