Border Cantos is a timely, new and free exhibit now on view at Crystal Bridges.
Out of all the pizza styles that exist, wood-fired Neapolitan might just be our favorite. Thin, crispy crust, fresh toppings, and just the right amount of char from the blazing oven makes for bite after delicious bite. This isn't pizza for folks who like their pies two inches thick and piled with ingredients, but it's a style that everyone should take a look at, especially when it's done as well as the Pizzeria at Terry's Finer Foods is doing.
This quaint, cozy little pizzeria started life as a mobile pizza wagon, Pizzeria Santa Lucia, and quickly became known for constantly selling out at food truck events all around the city. The new partnership with Terry's has given that delicious pizza a home — and replaced the fussy, dated French-style food that had been served from the fine food grocer for several years. The new dining room has been completely redone, and while it is small, it's well-decorated and has an effortless, comfortable charm.
Through two trips to the Pizzeria at Terry's, we were impressed with the service and speed with which our pizzas hit the table, and while our second trip didn't quite match the quality of the first, we still think that this is some of the best pizza in town.
On our first trip, we sampled the Margherita ($12), the Quattro Stagioni ($14) and a Pop Supreme calzone ($15), with the Margherita being declared the winner for best pizza due to its simplicity, the quality of the mozzarella and fresh basil, and the sheer airy delight of each bite of crust. The crust for the Quattro Stagioni was also very good, and the prosciutto and artichokes scattered on top made for a nice, salty punch that didn't overdo things. The Pop Supreme will please anyone who loves a classic sausage and peppers pizza, with homemade sausage adding a ton of flavor. We did order one appetizer, a wood-fired Camembert ($14), but given how it turned to pure soup from the heat of the oven, we can't really recommend it.
On our second trip, we ran into a few small hitches — one of our calzones was accidentally made as a pizza, which didn't bother us too badly when they let us have the pizza and remade the calzone anyway. Our mistaken pizza, the Italian Sausage ($14) was quite good, with a sweet, spicy sausage flavor that went well with the rich tomato sauce — and we actually wound up deciding that the style worked better as a pizza than as a calzone. Our second pizza, the Prosciutto Arugula ($12) was loaded with tasty prosciutto, but suffered from a large pile of arugula that could have been trimmed a little better before being added to the pizza. Our second trip saw a crust that was much thicker than our first trip, too, something that made for pizzas that were really chewy instead of light and crisp.
It's obvious that there are still some issues to be worked out at the Pizzeria at Terry's Finer Foods, but we think that they're an excellent addition to the Little Rock dining scene. Given the small space that the restaurant occupies, we predict that this will be a tough place to get into on the weekends, something that will surely be helped when they start taking call-in orders for pick-up. Crust consistency is the largest problem faced by the pizzeria right now, but that's something that comes with time and training — and with ingredients as fresh as these, we're willing to let them take all the time they need to get it right.