Katie's Pizza & Pasta
As 2014 came to a close, I took some time and reflected on old posts I'd written and the photos that accompanied them. One that stood out as deserving of a revisit was Katie's Pizza & Pasta (KPP) in Rock Hill. I still remember that day vividly: it was my first time at the new Katie's and mere minutes after making my first major camera purchase (a Nikon 7100). I've been back numerous times since last February, but I'd yet to write another post, so this one actually consists of two different meals there within a span of a week.
KPP has gained a lot of popularity for their weekend brunch options, and from I've heard, that is well justified. When we ate there for our Saturday lunch, they served their warm bread with a housemade strawberry balsamic jelly. Really good stuff.
Their charcuterie board is a fun mix of local, imported and homemade ingredients. Both times I've had it, all the meats had come from Salume Beddu. Brilliant choice.
I like that they took a St. Louis staple and made it into something that fits their style with the Artichoke Toasted Ravioli. The ravioli have a nice creamy artichoke filling, but that pine nut pesto is what really sets the dish off. I straight up spooned that into my mouth after we finished with the ravioli.
Tart and bitter are two flavors I am not wild about, so the Radicchio Agrodolce Crostini wasn't really my thing. Other people I ate with enjoyed it, but the bitter flavor of raddichio and tartness of the agrodolce didn't do it for me.
The fried artichoke salad has become a staple for me since that first visit and my thoughts on it haven't changed: The mix of pistachio, goat cheese, spring greens and balsamic vinaigrette worked together brilliantly, but the best part of it were the little fried artichoke bombs. It's still true. Those artichokes are perfect.
*Your eyes are not deceiving you: there are anchovies (by request) on the salad below.
Before I talk about the pizza, I have to go back to my first post on KPP. I praised their dough, but as I ate there more, I realized I wasn't a huge fan. It was too bready for me. Fast forward a few months and their dough has become totally different. It's more Pastaria than A Pizza Story, which is absolutely a good thing. Look at the difference between this pizza and the two below.
After seeing KPP's Corn Pizza mentioned a number of times online, I decided I had to weigh in. I was worried about the amount of toppings listed, as well as the topping choices themselves. See for yourself: roasted corn, zucchini carpaccio, goat cheese, pecorino, honey, mint, balsamic, and serrano peppers. The mint and honey threw me off, but they were barely noticeable in the finished pizza.
I can see why people like it. It's very summery and, even with the cheese, has a light taste. And you're getting all your veggies in for the day! I would recommend asking for more serranos - the heat really helps it.
At the chef's recommendation, we also tried the wood roasted chicken pizza. They took all the best parts of a roast chicken dinner - sweet roasted garlic, caramelized shallots, flavorful roasted chicken - and toss it on a pizza with some goat cheese, gorgonzola and balsamic reduction. Pretty killer non-traditional pizza right here, folks.
It's called Katie's Pizza & Pasta, so I had to try that too. All pasta is handmade by the KPP team, which seems pretty impressive considering all of the different types available. I am admittedly not a big pasta eater, but the black spaghetti stood out immediately. Squid ink spaghetti - which has a slightly fishy, slightly salty taste - is tossed with butter and garlic, then topped with prawns, scallops, clams, ikura (salmon roe) and chili flakes.
The prawns and scallops could stand on their own as delicious entrees, something many restaurants don't care about. To make sure every aspect of the dish can stand on its own is a testament to the dedication the KPP team has to turning out high quality osteria cuisine.
Katie's Pizza & Pasta is a good example of a modern-day neighborhood restaurant. I don't get the feeling it's trying to be something it's not. The restaurant's fun decor and constantly changing artwork (made by Katie's husband, Ted Collier) give it a personality that make it memorable. Every time I've gone, regardless of the food's quality, the staff has been helpful and, beyond that, unwaveringly outgoing and friendly (especially Grace!). It's the kind of place that would feel comfortable for a romantic date, a friend's night out or just a place to grab a bite when you don't feel like cooking.
9568 Manchester Road
Rock Hill, MO 63119