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Restaurant Tour Guide of Ann Arbor: Bigalora

From midday feasts to nights out, here are four spots in Ann Arbor that you don’t want to miss on your next din- ing adventure.
Restaurant Tour Guide of Ann Arbor: Bigalora
Emmy Chung

Bigalora is located right off Washtenaw avenue, in the Arbor Hills shopping mall. Open for lunch and dinner, it’s a lively location for casual dining indoors or outdoors.

They offer an array of appetizers, pizzas, salads, pastas and entrees. For an appetizer, I ordered the Prosciutto E Grana. For $13, you get quite the assortment. This small plate includes many pieces of thinly sliced prosciutto di parma. To pair with the classic Italian ham, there’s Grana Padano cheese and arugula. The star of this plate may be Bigalora’s signature focaccia bread, flavored with hints of garlic oil, rosemary, and sea salt.

For my main meal, I chose the Vegetali Pizza. It’s a white pizza— consisting of house blend mozzarella but no tomato sauce. This dish is the best of both worlds: hearty vegetables and soft dough. Embedded in the melted cheese, there are slices of roasted yellow tomatoes and red drop peppers, providing little bursts of fresh flavor. Sitting on top of the pizza is arugula salad, which happens to also be an entree item on the menu. The leafy greens are dressed in fresh lemon oil and accompanied by thick slices of sharp Grana Padano cheese. The total price of this two-for-one pizza is $16.5.

The Crispy Brussels Sprouts are absolutely a must-try starter. If you’re not typically fond of this cruciferous vegetable, this item on the menu will be sure to change your mind. They are cooked to a crunch with a tangy red wine vinegar and topped with crumbly Grana Padano. The Manila Clams Guazzetto are more of a summery dish, but nonetheless delicious. Manila clams are known for their meaty and firm texture, which blends well with the sweeter tomato sauce and chili. They also come with focaccia bread for dipping.

You can’t go wrong with their classic red pizzas such as the Margherita Buffalo or Bacco Sausage. However, Bigalora’s selection of white pizzas are unique, customizable and adventurous. Starting with the Crispy Brussels Sprouts pizza.

This unusual pizza consists of two types of cheese, Grana Padano and house blend mozzarella; topped with the same brussels from the appetizer, with the addition of pancetta. This is a great choice if you’re looking for a warm garlic-cheese taste with intense salty flavors in each bite.

The Funghi pizza is one of the most unexpectedly delectable pizzas on the menu. Not being a mushroom person, I was skeptical of the combination at first; mozzarella, mushroom ragù, goat cheese and thyme. However, the rich taste of the mushroom ragù and creamy goat cheese makes this pizza have a mature and hearty taste.

Next up, one of the most popular items on the menu — the Spicy Agrodolce pizza. From the sweet caramelized onion to the house made sausage and garlic oil, this dish screams flavor. Agrodolce is a classic Italian sauce, ‘agro’ meaning sour and ‘dolce’ meaning sweet. The recipe for this typically contains some type of sugar, such as honey, vinegar, pine nuts and a mixture of dried fruits and vegetables

It comes out to be a rather sticky consistency with hints of sweetness and acidity. Agrodolce is often added to charred flavors as a complement to bring out a fresh taste. Besides their amazing pizzas, Bigalora has substantial entrees: Chicken Parmigiana, Wood Roasted Salmon and Eggplant Parmesan. You can also find a wide variety of pasta dishes like Rigatoni Bolognese and Fettuccine Alfredo. The Strozzapreti Norcina is a delightful option if you’re looking to indulge in more than the classics. Both the truffle oil and cream especially give the dish quite the smooth and luscious flavor.

As for dessert, you should stick around for the Frittelle, which are warm, fried strips of Bigalora dough completely covered in sugar. This sweet is served with a freshly-made smooth chocolate hazelnut spread and strawberry compote to dip.

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About the Contributor
Emmy Chung, Journalist
Emmy is going into her fifth semester on the Communicator staff. She is excited for what the year will bring and finally being a senior! She spends most of her time playing soccer, which she has played since the age of six. Emmy enjoys being outside as the weather gets colder, going on long runs, and discovering new coffee shops.

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