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12:06 PM Tue, Sept. 18th

The Bistro provides unique gourmet pizza experience

Matt Hinshaw/The Daily Courier<br>
Patrons begin to fill the Bistro Gourmet Pizzeria & Cafe for lunch Wednesday afternoon in Prescott. 
Below, Ariana, Lynette, Clyde, and Charis Woode display their pumpkin pie chai, bistro Caesar salad, Bocelli pizza, and multiple baked deserts.

Matt Hinshaw/The Daily Courier<br> Patrons begin to fill the Bistro Gourmet Pizzeria & Cafe for lunch Wednesday afternoon in Prescott. Below, Ariana, Lynette, Clyde, and Charis Woode display their pumpkin pie chai, bistro Caesar salad, Bocelli pizza, and multiple baked deserts.

When it comes to pizza in the quad-city area, The Bistro's selection of gourmet pies are quickly cooking their way up the list of top local choices.

Owner/operators Clyde and Lynette Woode opened The Bistro, and Veritas Wines next door, in May of 2007.

The Bistro and Veritas Wines operates under the Woode family's umbrella company, Royal Hawaiian Coffee and Wine Company. Veritas Wines offers a selection of about 250 handpicked wines and features new selections regularly. Wine prices can range from $3.99 to about $25 a bottle.

The Bistro, at 1957 Commerce Center Circle at the corner of Willow Lake Road and Prescott Lakes Parkway in Prescott, specializes in gourmet pizzas, sandwiches, burgers and more. Customer favorites include the restaurant's selection of thin crust pizzas, though thick crust is also available.

"We actually shrunk our pizza menu down to our eight best-selling pizzas," Lynette Woode said.

Clyde Woode said he hears compliments from patrons, locally and from abroad, who tell them their pizza reminds them of traditional Italian cuisine. Patrons also take the time to visit the wine store while out for their meal.

"People love to shop because they can come here and almost be guaranteed they're going to get a great bottle of wine," said Clyde Woode.

The Bistro first opened in 2007 as a coffee shop and much of their coffee menu remains. Their concept changed as the economy changed. The restaurant also adapted to its changing customer base. Now, the restaurant is becoming well known for their gourmet pizza selection, which includes a special cheese blend, homemade sauce and dough, with gluten-free crusts made from scratch. The restaurant has also changed its décor. Canopies can be seen inside The Bistro, creating a French ambience. Wine barrel tables, high chairs and low chairs, provide an appealing environment.

"We tried to create a café bistro feel," Woode said. "We had the walls done by Custom Surface Innovations. About three years ago we got hold of a commercial pizza oven and developed dough and sauces. The pizzas we do here are extremely unique, extremely thin crusts, almost Lavosh cracker thin - that's what it reminds me of. The pizzas are more topping than crust and packed with flavor."

The menu

The Bistro's pizza offerings include the Dells, with homemade white sauce, fresh basil, tomatoes, baked chicken and roasted garlic; the Smokey Bleu, with smoked ham, bleu cheese, fresh spinach and onions; the Mama Meatza, with homemade marinara sauce, pepperoni, smoked ham and Italian sausage; and the Boccelli, with marinara, Italian sausage, onions, fresh bell peppers, mushrooms and black olives.

"We named the Boccelli after our favorite opera singer, Andrea Boccelli," Woode said.

Design your own pizza options, and other specialty pizzas, are also available.

Gourmet pizza prices range from $16 for a 12-inch pizza, $6.50 for a 7-inch, to $24 for a 12-inch, and $9.50 for a 7-inch.

Besides pizza, The Bistro also offers sandwiches, including the Courthouse Grille; which features, ham, turkey, smoked gouda, roasted red peppers and sun-dried tomatoes; croissant sandwiches, angus burgers such the fire-breathing monster burger, made with jalapenos, pepper jack cheese, fire-roasted chilis, lettuce and tomato. All burgers are served well done.

A number of original salads, all made with organic greens, can also be found on the menu.