Pizzeoli Neapolitan Pizza
I told you in my A Pizza Story post that I'd be getting to Pizzeoli next and here we are. Housed in a small Soulard space, Pizzeoli has 6 or 7 tables and a small bar, but turnover is quick thanks to the lightning speed at which pizzas cook.
Pizzeoli offers a simple menu: pizza. Yes, there's a simple side salad and gelato, but the rest of the menu is just the world's greatest food, pizza. Their oven is a Marra Forni beast that sits right in the dining room, letting you watch the whole pizza making process. The set up reminded me of The Good Pie's original space, just condensed.
This picture was taken from our table, so you can see just how close to the action you can get. Hypothetically, the pizza could have been taken out of the oven on that peel and throw directly into my mouth.
Owner Scott Sandler manned the oven while we ate, continuously turning and moving the pizzas around for the 60 seconds or so they were in there. In retrospect, I wish I had taken a video of the whole process. For an impatient millennial like me, it's a dream come true to order something and have it come to the table 5 minutes later.
Perhaps the most important difference between Pizzeoli and St. Louis' other Neapolitan pizza shop, The Good Pie, is that Pizzeoli is vegetarian. That's right, there is no meat here. There are even a few Vegan options, which I can't remember seeing at another pizza shop in town.
We started with the Funghi, topped with crimini, shiitake, and yellow trumpet mushrooms, plus fresh mozzarella, thyme, grated parmesan and...vegan sausage. I didn't love the vegan sausage, which tasted vaguely mushroomy itself, but I didn't hate it either.
They don't skimp on the mushrooms, so if you're into them, this is a solid choice. I would get it again (without the sausage).
Yeah, this next one tasted as good as it looks. I'm getting hungry just looking at it again. Their classic Margherita gets no complaints from me. The simple combination of fresh tomato sauce, fresh basil and fresh mozzarella is unbeatable.
This pizza let me get a good look at the crust and I must say, I was quite pleased. It's strong enough that you can hold it up, which may not be traditional for Neapolitan pizza (no goopy center), but that doesn't stop it from tasting good, which is what I really care about.
Our waitress emphatically recommended the Bianca, so we got that. I didn't like it.
I loved it (you got Gordon Ramsay'd!). The base is a light béchamel sauce topped with fresh mozzarella, garlic, and rosemary. When I was a youngster, I loved the more out there and creative pizzas. The kinds you see at California Pizza Kitchen. Now, as I've gotten older and wiser, I really prefer simple pizzas executed perfectly. This is one of those. I don't even normally go for white pizzas! I don't think I can resist getting this again when I go back.
Pizzeoli did not disappoint. Our waitress was super friendly and gave good recommendations, and the owner is clearly passionate about his pizza making. With a great crust and simple but high quality toppings, you're going to be getting a tasty pizza. I would add this to the upper echelon of pizza spots in this pizza-heavy town.
1928 South 12th Street
St. Louis, MO 63104