Last night I was invited to a preview of the new Papalinos Pizza in Springhurst, located where Homemade Ice Cream and Pie Kitchen used to be. I was thinking two things before I got there: first, how will they fit an entire full-service restaurant into that small space, and second, I hope this isn’t just another pizza joint. I’m happy to report I was completely blown away on both fronts.
For starters, the restaurant has an open-concept kitchen, so the place feels enormous. It is beautifully decorated, and they have plans to put gas heaters on the patio when the weather gets warmer for cozy al fresco dining. But the thing that really got my attention was the Charcuterie at the back of the dining room-they cure and age their own meats on the premises.
But wait, there’s more.
After skimming the menu for a few minutes seeing things like white truffle oil drizzle, a marinated mixed olives appetizer, and house-made pesto, I noticed they use bread from Blue Dog Bakery. So I asked the Sommelier (did I mention their bar manager is a level 2 Sommelier?) about other things that might be locally sourced on the menu. It turns out they use at least six different local farms for their food. Their fresh wild mushrooms change based on availability because they come from Sheltowee Farm in Salt Lick. The goat cheese comes from the award-winning Capriole Farm in Indiana. Produce, heirloom tomatoes, and pork products all come from local farms in Kentucky and Indiana.
But wait, there’s more.
Even though they haven’t even opened yet, their bar has 45 bottled craft beers, 6 craft beers on tap, 26 expertly chosen bottles of wine, and a full complement of liquor. Once they get started they will be adding more of each according to demand.
The food is what really makes this place special. Like I said, it’s not just another pizza joint. They have specialty pizzas, build-your-own pizzas, appetizers, salads, and calzones. There are 12 sauce add-ons for pizzas, including Sriracha, olive tapenade, and balsamic reduction, as well as nine difference cheeses. Since I attended the preview night the full menu was not available, but I got to try several appetizers and pizzas and they were all amazing. My favorite appetizer of all was a beautiful creation consisting of Blue Dog bread, eggplant, and goat cheese. I can’t wait to get back there to try it again.
Papalinos in Springhurst opens tonight. I’m excited to have a great new farm-to-table option with such an amazing menu in this area.
Photo Courtesy of Maggie Kimberl. Cover courtest if Papalinos facebook page.