Quattro Stagione Pizza

The Minnesota winter is never longer than it is in February, when spring flowers are still months away and the only good reason any of us live here is stubbornness. So why not head to Italy? Or at least its Northeast Minneapolis outpost, Pizza Nea. Order a Quattro Stagione pizza, made with porcini mushrooms, prosciutto, artichokes, and salami. Add a value-priced Italian wine (from $5 a glass or $15 a bottle) and you’ve got the creamy, salty, zesty, spicy, every-day-is-wonderful spirit of Italy without the trouble of removing your snow boots. Mike Sherwood, who owns the friendly little spot with his wife, Bronwyn, credits his success to his own particular stubbornness: He’ll use only artisanal Calabro mozzarella, imported jarred Italian roasted artichokes, and true piquillo roasted peppers on his pizzas because, as he puts it, “Any other way is just wrong. It’s just the right way to do things.” Spoken like a true Minnesotan, albeit one who’s devised a remarkably tasty way to get through the winter.

Pizza Nea, 306 E. Hennepin Ave., Mpls., 612-331-9298, pizzanea.com