Bigalora’s founder and chef, Chef Luciano del Signore, grew up in the kitchen. His parents, who emigrated from Abruzzo, had a restaurant in Italy and continued their passion for cooking in the United States. Through observation and experience with his family, Chef Luciano del Signore developed an interest for the restaurant industry at a young age. In 2002, he opened his first restaurant, Bacco Ristorante. Bacco Ristorante is described by Ann Arbor Bigalora’s general manager, Jason Krause, as “Fine dining with white table clothes”. Although very successful, Chef Luciano del Signore wanted to create another Italian restaurant concept that was more family friendly while still preserving his reputable flavors. This was the intention behind Bigalora, which is described for its casual atmosphere and delicious food.

Bigalora is especially known for its distinct pizza dough which is made from an ancient Italian starter known as “biga”. This recipe ferments for three days before being used and gives the pizza a subtly sweet flavor. One of my favorite parts of Bigalora is their menu’s customization to certain allergies. Gluten free and vegan options are available upon request and the removal of gluten or dairy from these dishes does not remove any quality from the food. There are currently four different Bigalora locations and according to Jason Krause, “Each location has its own theme and style”. Spoon is looking forward to trying the other three in the future!

Jordan Dohrman

Sample Tasting

After speaking with Jason Krause, his team brought out a spread of the restaurant’s most frequently ordered pizzas and salads. This was a great opportunity to sample the popular dishes that Bigalora has to offer.

Chef’s Garden Salad

The tasting opened with Bigalora’s garden salad which is similar to a classic house salad. This simple romaine dish is topped with tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, red onions, house blend mozzarella, and herb vinaigrette. This balanced and colorful salad was a perfect way to start the tasting.

Shannon Moss

The Bigalora Chop Salad

The chop salad is the most popular salad on Bigalora’s menu with more than 50% of all salad sales. This salad is comprised of romaine lettuce, radicchio, egg, tomato, cucumber, ceci, gorgonzola, and finished with a Dijon red wine vinaigrette. After trying this salad, I understand why it is the most popular on the menu. I appreciate that this salad is finely chopped and that the dressing is evenly distributed throughout the dish. Many Spoon members took some extras to go!

Jordan Dohrman

Margherita Buffala Pizza

The margherita pizza is the first pizza listed on Bigalora’s menu, and for good reasons. A margherita pizza is simple with only a few ingredients, but Bigalora’s imported buffalo mozzarella and generous distribution of cheese and basil makes this dish more sophisticated.

Ella DeGraw

Pepperoni and Coco Classic Pizzas

These two classic pizzas provide a sense of nostalgia with each bite. I am reminded of childhood birthday parties and movie nights; however, my childhood memories of these pizzas did not taste nearly as good as the pizzas do at Bigalora. My favorite part of these pizzas is the thick crust at the end of the slice. Chef Luciano del Signore’s special recipe for pizza dough produces a sweet flavor that is unique to Bigalora’s crust.

Jordan Dohrman

Wood Roasted Vegetables Pizza

The Wood Roasted Vegetables Pizza gives a unique spin on a typical vegetable pizza. While most vegetable pizzas are topped with olives or artichoke hearts, this veggie pizza has roasted onions, zucchini, and tomatoes. I enjoyed this distinctive interpretation. The of roasted vegetables added a smokey taste that added to the delicious flavor of the pizza.

Thank you Bigalora!

Michigan's Spoon team greatly enjoyed all of the pizzas and salads we were able to sample! We can't wait to be back to try more of their classics and highly recommended this spot to other students!