pizzeria oceanoI went to brunch today with my husband and a good friend of ours. We never go out for brunch. You can make that kind of food at home, right? Some eggs, some toast, coffee.

Wrong.

We went to brunch in a town about 30 minutes to the south of us. To a restaurant that we had been to before. One that calls itself a “pizzeria” but that’s like calling me a housewife. It is so much more than that.

Pizzeria Oceano is small, operating out of a little bungalow, with most of the seating on a deck in the front of the restaurant. There’s a counter inside that has six spots, where you can watch the owner and his staff cook up heaven.

Really.

Today, they were open for brunch. They called it Sloppy Sunday. They’re not normally open for brunch. I think this may have only been the second time. And who knows if they’ll ever do it again. It’s that kind of place. We only found out about it because we were there a few weeks ago and our waiter mentioned it.

You order from the small menu that’s printed daily. You don’t ask for any substitutions. And you don’t call in for takeout. It’s cash only, the wine is poured in to small plain glasses and the water is served in plastic cups. And if any of this is upsetting to you, then you’re in the wrong restaurant.

Usually, the origin of the main ingredients, like Swank Specialty Produce in Loxahatchee or Edwards Ham and Bacon in Virginia, are listed at the bottom of the menu. And the ingredients are either locally sourced or purchased from artisan producers. And they’re always unusually paired. Successfully. I’ve never had anything there that hasn’t made me stop and go hmm, and then yum.

Here’s what was on the menu this morning:

po menu

And we said we’ll take the first two items, the fourth one and the Cured Foie Gras pizza. Oh, and a carafe of Mimosas.

Now, I love my food. One of the reason’s that I married my husband, other than I think he’s sexy and has a big, um, heart, is that he owns a restaurant. And cooks for me and our mixed bag of kids. So I get fed well all of the time. Some might call me spoiled.

But I sat at that counter today, taking it all in, seated between the two men I was with, and I was blissful.But I also was distracted, and hungry, and so I didn’t take as many pictures as I wanted to.

Here’s the pizza topped with thin slices of foie gras and, in case you can’t read the small print on the above menu, Soba Ale cheddar, bacon, black pepper Bechamel, roasted onions, honey glaze and purple scallion. A brilliant mind came up with that combination. And luckily the pizza was cut in to six pretty evenly sized slices or else we would have fought over it.

po pizza

And the last little bit of omelet with gingered onions, chick peas, potatos and a few other ingredients, topped with a curried heirloom tomato gravy. Say what? I love curried chick peas. It’s one of the few dishes that I actually make. But my dish can’t compare to this.

po omelet

The third dish was baby escarole served with a soft-fried egg and a bacon vinaigrette. It was sublime. The escarole was so fresh tasting, like it had just been picked. I’ve never had escarole that wasn’t cooked to a pulp and served with white beans. And the pickled onions? Perfect.

Our fourth dish, the mozzarella, which they make in-house, was served with some of the freshest strawberries I’ve had in a long time. And thin strips of orange zest. It tasted bright. And there were some leaves on the plate that looked a little like oregano. I couldn’t place the taste but when I looked back at the menu I figured it must be the nepitella, which I had to Google. An Italian herb from the mint family. (I love learning new food facts.)

At some point, we had to order a second carafe of Mimosas. The first one came and went. It didn’t last long. None of the food did either. Part way through the meal, I leaned over to my husband and said, “I think I just came in my pants.” Crude? Yes. But I wasn’t kidding.

And I said to our waitress, “I’m going to cry because I’m so happy. And so upset that my stomach isn’t bigger.”

Well, it’s going to be if I keep eating like this.

Happy Sloppy Sunday.