At the start of the weekend, I got this text from a friend: “I’m getting some serious grilled carrot cravings! Are you open on Saturday for Vesta?”
Carrot cravings? You might be thinking: “Who has carrot cravings?!” And if you knew what a serious meat-eater my friend is, you might be even more surprised, but Vesta’s grilled carrots have put a spell on him. I, on the other hand, tend to be more of a veggie fan, and yet I was already thinking about Vesta’s signature Sausage and Honey Pizza. (If you know me, sausage is not usually part of my repetoire, but the pizza is that good.)
That’s the kind of restaurant Vesta is: the food is so tasty that maybe you’ll just try a bite of this or that, and you end up eating the whole dish. Not that that’s happened. Much. Anyway… I digress. I think it took me all of three seconds to reply with a “Yes!!”
Vesta, open since summer 2012, stands out among Redwood City’s newer restaurants. Owners Peter and Courtney have created a neighborhood place that is family-friendly, but also good for date night, with a can’t-go-wrong menu of salads, small plates, and — of course — handmade pizzas. In addition to the regular menu, Vesta usually has at least one seasonal salad, small plate, and pizza that showcases the season’s best produce.
My friend’s craving for grilled carrots was waylaid by a seasonal special of grilled pears. Imagine, if you will: grilled pears (yep, flip ’em over to see the grill marks!), halved, basted with a balsamic reduction and served with a generous portion of burrata. Perhaps a bit rich, but at the same time, tangy, tart, sweet, and creamy. The dish is perfect for fall; it’s upscale comfort food.
Next up was the dish I’d been craving since it returned to Vesta’s menu several weeks ago: Roasted Brussels Sprouts with pancetta, onions, and garlic. The sprouts were slightly sweet and tender-crisp, and the pancetta was an added bonus.
The planned highlight of the meal — as if our two small plates weren’t enough! — was the signature Sausage and Honey pizza. And then our server enticed us with a well-played description of the seasonal pie: butternut squash, sausage, pickled red onions, crispy sage, mozzarella, and ricotta. He had me at crispy sage, or was it the sausage? Either way, we were sold!
As with the appetizers, the pizza hit the spot with complementary textures and flavors. The sweet softness of the butternut squash, the slightly spicy sausage, the tart and crunchy pickled red onions, and the accent of crispy sage. Delish!
I ate as much as I could for a small person (who had already shared two appetizers), but offered up the final piece to my friend suggesting, somewhat jokingingly, that he eat it for breakfast. Yeah, apparently it didn’t last that long. It was that good.
Have you tried Vesta yet? If not, you must go! If you have, share your favorite small plate, salad or pizza from their menu.
2022 Broadway, Redwood City, CA 94063
Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 11am-10pm (open all day)
Check the website for holiday closing dates.