Nothing’s more American than pizza, and nothing’s more comforting than a locally made, hot pizza pie.
At Brixx, the new pizzeria on Old Redwood Highway in Cotati, the menu offers 22 different kinds of pizza, ranging from classic pepperoni, to the "Nor Cal," with sundried tomatoes, pine nuts, mozzarella and goat cheese and the buffalo chicken pizza, topped with chicken breast tossed in wing sauce, caramelized onions, mozzarella and Point Reyes Blue cheeses.
One couple who sat at the bar on a recent day said their favorite was the "Speziato Gambero," served with spicy shrimp, pesto, roasted red peppers, smoked gouda and mozzarella cheeses. They've been to the Cotati spot twice in the last week, and they'll definitely be back for more, they said.
Sit at the bar at Brixx and drink beer – five are on tap – and eat a pizza. Or sit at the bar at the Tradewinds, drink beer and eat a Brixx pizza, delivered promptly through a slot in the wall.
The draft beer list features mostly local brews: Lagunitas IPA, Bear Republic Big Bear Stout, Scrimshaw Pilsner, Great White, Paulaner Hefeweizen and Negro Modelo.
An 8’’ pizza goes for $7.95 and the 12” for $12.95.
Beer and pizza have long gone together, and the partnership between Brixx and the Tradewinds seems like a natural for a beer and pizza kind of town like Cotati.
Brixx is in the same location once occupied by Nicolino’s and its owner Nicola Azzollini. The remodeled space has newly painted red walls, and the space inside feels open and warm. The walls are adorned art from local artists and there's also free WiFi.
The new owners, Noel and Jennifer Milo, also own the Brixx in Petaluma and already have loyal customers in both locations.
“This place is awesome,” a hungry, lunch-hour diner volunteered from his perch at the bar at the Cotati Brixx. “I know pizza and this is delicious."
On a recent afternoon, the cook, Augustin Ortiz, baked perfectly round 6’’ pizzas for the lunch special that come with a choice of a house or a Caesar salad and a beverage, all for $8.95. The veggie pizza is topped with mushrooms, tomatoes and mozzarella. The “Doloroso” has thin slices of pepperoni, red onion, garlic and jalapenos and provides a real kick. It’s not thin-crust pizza of the sort offered at restaurants with wood-fired ovens, but it’s tasty and certainly not greasy.
Neely Raven, a server at both the Cotati and Petaluma Brixx, knows all 22 varieties on the menu and she’s happy to offer advice. On Fridays and Saturdays, the place fills up, but the wait for a pizza isn’t long, she says.
Brixx Cotati has little touches that make a big difference: white linen napkins; grated Parmesan cheese, and dried chili peppers on each table and a decent wine list with reasonable prices. We suggest the Dry Creek Fume Blanc from Sonoma for a white and the Flora Springs Merlot from Napa for a red.
Sparking water comes with a slice of lime. Anchovies are added on request to the Caesar salad. Two TV screens are perched above the bar: one tuned to the Food Network, the other to ESPN.
There’s something here for almost everyone’s taste, whether it’s ham and pineapple on the “hot Hawaiian” pizza, or chipolte peppers and shrimp on the “Diablo Gamba.” Hey, pizza, beer, and the Giants on TV! What’s not to like? Brixx also offers fresh summer salads and sandwiches — definitely a spot not to be missed.
The service is friendly and quick. Come for a leisurely dinner or a quick lunch, it's a restaurant that marries both ambiance and comfort.
Brixx Pizzeria. 8204 Old Redwood Hwy., Cotati, CA. 94931. Open seven days a week, from 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Thursday through Saturday and 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. Visit Brixx online at brixxpetaluma.com or call 707-664-1418.