You'll do well to lose any remnants of Real World-associations you have; the only thing you should think about here is good ol' New Haven-style pizza, paired with a hefty pint of homebrew. Slip into a comfy, pleather booth on the low balcony and pick out a tasty, award-winning beer ($4 for 16 ounces; IPA fans should grab the Dysfunctional).
Since 2001, Piece's brews have won medals at both the World Beer Cup and The Great American Beer Festival. If that doesn't impress you, the food will. Try the delicious mixed green salad with diced tomatoes, onions, candied pecans, gorgonzola and sliced pears ($5.75 for the small). The thin crust pizzas ($15.75 for large) come in generous portions, with rustic, Italian dough. We're not talking cardboard here, folks. Choose from a platform of three types of pizzas: plain (tomato sauce, garlic, and Parmesan), red (tomato sauce with mozzarella) and white (olive oil, garlic, and mozzarella). Then add your own ingredients. The white went well with tomato and spinach, the red with artichoke hearts.
In addition to the signature pizzas, there are a few appetizers, sandwiches and desserts to taste. The kitchen closes "around 11 p.m. to midnight," clearly dependent upon the manager's mood. Does anyone find it ironic that "Piece" doesn't sell pizza by the piece?
If you don't want to wade through the inevitable crowds, head next door to Piece Out, Piece's delivery and carryout spot that opened in mid-December 2007. Just look for the giant brewing tanks in the window.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Mara Sands