Greenville's new Luna Pizza Cafe, at 632 Pitt St., serves Neapolitan-style pizza, sophisticated appetizers and Italian desserts, all made on site, along with craft beer, draft wine and cocktails.
The restaurant opened Jan. 2 in the reinvigorated Dickinson Avenue corridor, beside Pitt Street Brewing Company. The space is on the bottom floor of the renovated former Coca-Cola Bottling Company.
Owner Richard Williams and general manager John Jefferson each studied at the Bivero Pizza Academy in Florence, Italy, and trained in the academy's kitchen at Pizzeria ZeroZero.
Don't expect the typical pizza joint when you visit Luna.
"We're a fine dining restaurant that happens to feature pizza," said owner Richard Williams.
The heart of the restaurant is a 4,500-pound helmet-shaped Marra Forni brick pizza oven that was handcrafted in Maryland. It heats to more than 800 degrees and can cook a pizza in 2 minutes.
Luna's 12-inch pizzas are hand-crafted and cooked to order, using dough that takes three days to create. The artisanal pizzas are made with crushed organic tomatoes and fresh mozzarella.
Pizza selections include Margherita with fresh basil; Shiitake Mushroom & Sausage; Mediterranean with basil, capers, Kalamata olives and white anchovies; Bacon & Jalapeno; and Proscuitto & Arugula. Prices range from $12-$16.
Or you can build your own pizza, beginning with a $10 base of tomato and cheese and adding toppings including red onions, fried local organic egg, meatballs, artichoke hearts, sweet or hot sopressata or ground beef.
Appetizers prepared in the brick oven include meatballs and pomodoro sauce; chicken drumsticks; and mushrooms with garlic and truffle oil. There's also a cheese plate with a variety of craft cheeses and house-made sesame and black pepper crackers.
For the salad course, there are two options: mixed local organic greens tossed with house vinaigrette; and Panzanella, a mixture of tomatoes, cucumbers, green onions, house croutons, mozzarella, salami, white balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
Luna is sourcing much of its ingredients locally.
Desserts include Tiramisu featuring cookies, mascarpone, whipped cream, Lavazza espresso, chocolate, Marsala wine and rum served in a Mason jar; and a scoop of local Simply Natural vanilla ice cream with a Nutella shell.
In a nod to the space's former use, Luna Pizza serves bottled Coca-Cola products.
The renovated space retains the brick and green tile from the Coca-Cola plant, with butcher block tables and seating for 44 guests. Silver pendant lights hang over the tables.
The bar, which seats a dozen people, was handcrafted by local woodworker.
Luna Pizza Cafe is open from 5-10 p.m. daily. Visit www.lunapizza.co or call 252-751-0900.
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