Hot Eats: Pizzeria Tivoli
A new small South City pizzeria serves up big flavors and savory creative selections.
I have a friend whose affinity for a good slice of pizza drives him to enjoy it at least five days a week. From pedestrian—albeit not commercial chains or provel-packed pies—to gourmet, he’ll take it. And while I don’t share such strong affection, I do appreciate his uncanny knack for identifying a darn good slice. And, because I always love the challenge of finding him a new interesting pizza joint, I was more than pleased when I introduced him to Pizzeria Tivoli, a new under-the radar restaurant that opened in late July.
Barely a blip on the restaurant radar, Pizzeria Tivoli came to my attention by way of a nearby café server. Located on a residential block at the corner of South Kingshighway and Holly Hills, the restaurant had just opened in an unassuming rehabbed building—I later learned that the owners live upstairs. The space is small, but understatedly charming, with a row of tables along one wall, bar seats and an Italian café-style patio.
What got our attention on the first visit was the warm, earthly aroma emanating from the large, wood-burning brick oven. All pizzas—about a dozen on the menu are handmade and baked in a 600-degree open flame, and the result is simply sublime: light, crisp, smoky-flavored crust topped with authentic ingredients like mozzarella, shaved Parmigiano and roasted garlic. We were eager to enjoy offerings like the simple but assertive Margherita, with tomato, mozzarella and fresh basil leaves, and the Bianca, with soft ricotta and Parmigiano. All pizzas are about 12 inches (enough for two people) and are reasonably priced, with the highest priced pizza, the pesto with sun dried tomatoes and mini shrimp, a mere $13.
Of the handful of pies I’ve tried since my first visit, I’ve been satisfied with all, with the exception of the Napoletana; topped with capers and anchovies, it was a little too salty for my taste. I also didn’t favor the Hadrian with Italian sausage; on more than one occasion the center was doughy and a little undercooked. But the Quattro Stagioni, which also includes anchovies, was a nice departure from the norm, with mushrooms, olives and spicy coppa (Italian ham), which added a lingering kick to each slice.
There’s also a nice red pepper and chicken pie and a cheese-laden Quattro Formaggi, topped with a blend of fontina, provolone, mozzarella and Parmigiano—I would have preferred pecorino instead of provolone, but the taste was still delicious. Starters and salad options are sparse, with an antipasto platter and bruschetta. Of the salads, I’d order the Tivoli, with an ample mix fresh greens, feta, artichokes and tomatoes and served with two small slices of pizza bread brushed with olive oil and basil Pizzeria Tivoli left us both satisfied; him for having found another pizza spot and me for having successfully helped feed his addiction, but hey, what are good friends for?
Editor’s Picks: Tips for a top-notch experience at Pizzeria Tivoli.
Buzzworthy Appetizer: Bruschetta topped with red onions, tomatoes and basil.
So Good, You Won’t Want to Share: The Mediterranean Pizza with capers, artichokes, feta and sundried tomatoes
Top Pie: Spinach with ricotta, mozzarella and Parmigiano
Where to go:
5861 S. Kingshighway Blvd.
Hours: Dinner Sun.-Thurs., 4pm-9pm; Fri., 4pm-10pm; Sat., 4pm-11pm
The spinach with ricotta, mozzarella and Parmigiano pizza
Photo credit: Photos by Jennifer Silverberg