Powell pizzeria serves up classic New York-style pies
After Brooklyn Pizza opened on New Year's Day, the New Yorkers started filing in.
One guy was from Brooklyn, another from Staten Island. Long Island was represented, as was Albany.
Owner Anthony La Cerva didn't know there were so many Empire State transplants living in central Ohio.
"There's a lot of pressure on me," he said.
But it seems he has a hot, cheese-dripping commodity - a New York-style pizza, complete with a crispy, foldable crust, 100-percent mozzarella and a house-mixed sauce.
"The only thing that's missing is the water," he said.
La Cerva's goal was to create a true pizzeria, similar to the ones his father owned in the New York metropolitan area.
"When I was a kid, I was stuck at a table folding pizza boxes," he said.
Thin-crust pizzas, cut into triangles no less, appeared to be an anomaly in central Ohio. Rarer still were by-the-slice options.
"Maybe the pizza places (in town) don't think they make enough money on it," he said. "I'm stumped. In New York, they're all over the place."
Brooklyn Pizza, a carryout at 30 Grace Drive, has taken over the former Joshua's Pizza in a strip center just north of the restaurant-laden intersection at Liberty and Olentangy streets. La Cerva said he's somewhat concerned about the lack of foot traffic in his strip center but is confident his product is singular enough to draw people from all over the region.
"I want to be the exclusive," he said. "Everybody's going to have to come over here."
Pies come in 14 and 16 inches, plus a 16-by-16 Sicilian alternative. Toppings include the traditional to more designer choices, such as roasted red peppers, sun-dried tomatoes. A 16-inch pepperoni, for example, is $15.50. A slice of pep is $2.
Other products, such as calzones, strombolis and Italian dinners, will be phased in over time. Delivery is not yet an option.
The place is open for lunch and dinner hours daily. For more information, call 614-436-8900.
In other news from Powell:
Count Jodi Starling as a proud purveyor of goetta.
Known as Cincinnati caviar, the German sausage fortified with steel-cut oats is being served at Starling's new breakfast-and-lunch spot, Jodi's Home Cooking, which recently took over the 29-seat Grace Diner space at 240 N. Liberty St.
She admits that most customers haven't even heard of it.
"But once they taste it, they love it," said Starling, who ran the Sunbury Grill for three years.
It has myriad uses for example, complementing omelets or is enjoyable as a side, she said. Starling's customers can get a GLT a goetta, lettuce and tomato sandwich.
She also has a parade of homemade dishes, including buttermilk biscuits and gravy, soups, chili, pancakes and such. Her potatoes are fresh-cut and her burgers are hand-patted.
Prices range from $3 for a la carte items to $7.99 for meals.
"I love to cook. I like to cook anything," she said. "I'm not much of a baker. I love to cook comfort food that fills people up."
Jodi's Home Cooking is open for breakfast and lunch Tuesday through Sunday, closed Monday. For more information, call 614-785-0474.
Blue Agave, a new restaurant from the founders of El Vaquero, has opened in the Polaris area.
The Mexican restaurant has taken over the former Barnum & Tibbetts site, 496 Polaris Parkway.
The menu is essentially the same as the other El Vaqueros but there are a few additions, general manager Eduardo Pedroza said. One is the tableside preparation of guacamole, using fresh ingredients, he said. An order for $5.99 serves more than two people. Other variations include more seafood dishes, vegetarian options and the choice of spinach and wheat tortillas.
The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner daily. For more information, call 614-891-6011.