America owes much to its pioneers: Columbus gambled that the Earth was round to find it, the West was shaped by men who braved its uncharted territories, and monkeys proudly sacrificed their lives as we tried to beat the commies to the moon. Pioneering the downtown food scene, with pizza: Ecco.
From club owners who helped pioneer Design District and downtown nightlife, Ecco's a gourmet pizza boutique trailblazing reasons to hang around after 5pm in sparsely-fed downtown, with colorful industrial loft-like interiors divided into a plush lounge up front and resto seating in back, serving gourmet pizza from an Italian chef who won so many local accolades, his competitors were happy to give him the boot. Mostly organic brick-oven-fired pizzas range from a classic Margherita, to the Four Formaggi (Swiss, edam, mozz, and gorg), to Genovesse with pesto chicken, to a pie with imported spicy salami, broccoli, spinach, parmesan, and gorg called the Shock -- eaten according to the classic semi-rhyme "two in the spinach, one in the broc". Beyond 'za there's antipasti like fresh tuna, avocado, and tomato, with aioli dressing over house-baked bread; portabella stuffed with vegetable ragout and feta; heavier fare like skirt steak with roasted potatoes; and desserts like vanilla ice cream smothered in berries that've been flambéed in brandy -- the booze, not the pop star, because nobody knows where she is.
More Ecco-provided reasons to not flee downtown right after work: a roster of live music, free wi-fi, a full bar w/ daily happy hours, and an upstairs loft for private to-dos -- book it now, as there's sure to be a furious event-space race.