Sisters go from backyard to business with Wood Oven Pizza in Palo Alto | News
Raised in Argentina, sisters Cecilia Lee and Elizabeth Wong grew up in a country filled with high quality pizza. Inspired by making wood-fired pizzas at home, Lee and Wong recently opened Wood Oven Pizza in downtown Palo Alto.
After attending the University of Pennsylvania, Lee and Wong eventually settled in the Bay Area. Lee has built a teaching career in the Fremont Union High School District, and Wong is a local developer.
Wong had a wood-fired oven built in her home, and her friends and family enjoyed her homemade pizza. Motivated by Argentinian and European chefs dedicated to perfecting a specific dish, Wong decided to turn her hobby into a business. She imported a wood-fired oven from Italy and installed it in one of her real estate properties on Ramona Street. Wong then enlisted retired Lee, who once operated a pizzeria in Sunnyvale, to run the business.
“It’s fun, we’re old but doing something we love,” Lee says.
Lee describes Wood Oven Pizza’s style as “a combination of American Neapolitan and Italian”. The menu has two sections: white pies offered with creamy white bechamel sauce and red pies topped with tomato sauce. All pizzas are formed on a base of sparkling dough. dough made with an Italian recipe. The restaurant prides itself on simplicity and high quality ingredients. Lee is excited about the two pesto options on the menu, one of which is topped with mushrooms, spinach, soft ricotta cheese and Parmesan cheese.
Customers can add red onions, olives, jalapenos or garlic to any pizza at no additional cost and receive a discount if they order additional pizzas to take home. Wine, beer and sodas accompany the pizzas.
Lee acknowledges that the pies, which almost all cost $29, are high-end items. She wants customers to feel they’ve paid an appropriate price for carefully selected ingredients and attentive service. “I just want my customers to feel what I wanted to feel after going to a restaurant,” Lee says.
Wood Oven Pizza, 532 Ramona St., Palo Alto, 650-494-4241. Open from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. (9:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.) Closed on Mondays.
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Anthony Shu writes for TheSixFifty.com, a sister publication to Palo Alto Online, covering what to eat, see, and do in Silicon Valley.