Hot out of the oven, La Pizzeria Metro is already earning high marks and repeat business from customers who say the new north Wilmington eatery is exactly what this neighborhood needed.
The team at Miller Road’s Wilmington Brew Works, which shares the property (and a wall) with its newest neighbor, says they’ve been looking forward to welcoming the modern craft pizza restaurant as a new tenant since they opened just one year ago. There is perhaps no more perfect pairing than pizza and beer – and both sets of owners are striving to get the mix just right.
La Pizzeria Metro, which quietly opened its doors in late June, features a warm exposed beam ceiling, half-moon windows and familiar touches like pizza cookbooks on the bar, red plastic Coca-Cola cups and Italian tomato cans to hold menus. The open-air kitchen shares the dining room and includes high-top seating for diners who want to watch their pizza as it is crafted.
Co-General Managers Alex Petrak and Dan Tumolo highlighted the clear difference in style from their sister eateries – Cafe Riviera and food truck Pizzeria Pronto. “It’s a completely different style of pizza using a wood-fired oven – much hotter. Cafe Riviera makes New York style pizza using a deck oven. We’re making smaller pizzas here, but more crispy and crunchy,” said Petrak.
“They just cook differently,” added Tumolo. “The wood that we use flavors the food. We use locust wood, which lends an aroma.” The pair have spent the last six weeks, along with owner Mike Tumolo, in the kitchen making pizzas themselves. The quality control – at least in this early stage – is unbelievably high.
The new pizzeria’s menu incorporates toppings not found anywhere else in the area. Chorizo chicken sausage, smoked pork belly and baby clams all make appearances on the pizzas. If you’re craving something other than pizza, salads, pastas, sandwiches, calzones and a variety of small plates – including a cheeseboard – are all great options.
The specialty pizzas are named after Wilmington neighborhoods, including the Triangle, Trolley Square and Market Street. “People come and say that they live in Trinity Vicinity and they will order that one. It creates a competition to see what neighborhood is better, but it’s all in good fun,” said Petrak.
The rotating menu will feature new neighborhoods (and new pie suggestions) every month. The Highlands and Browntown are slated to be added to the next menu change.
The “pie of the day” was dotted with roasted peaches, prosciutto, burrata, arugula and a balsamic glaze. Sweet in-season peaches surprised and delighted as they paired perfectly with the salty, fresh cheese and prosciutto. The crust is a fine balance of crunch and buttery smoothness accented by a savory marinara.
La Pizzeria Metro also makes their own fresh mozzarella daily in the kitchen. The team uses an organic curd, which they then cook the rest of the way and stretch, said Petrak. They also roast fresh vegetables every day for the house antipasto and pizza toppings.
Marisa Robison, a patron at Pizzeria Metro, has already been there four times. She says the casual restaurant is convenient, the pizza is ‘excellent,’ and the service is good. “It’s such a great addition to the neighborhood. There really wasn’t anything here where families could hang out and enjoy food. Wilmington Brew Works is amazing, but the food trucks were outside, and it’s much more convenient to be able to come in and order a meal. The full bar is a plus,” she said.
There are 10 ‘beers’ on tap, including – 2 Stones Brewing’s Delco Lager, Peroni, Sam Adams Summer Ale, Two Roads’ Road Jam (a raspberry wheat ale) and Anita Root Beer “a full-on cane sugar craft root beer from Louisiana.” Several other brands are available by the bottle, and wine and spirits are also available.
Curiously, what you won’t find at Metro are any of the Belgian Wits, IPAs and Stouts on tap right next door at Wilmington Brew Works. But you are welcome to bring pizzas from Metro to the taproom. “Eventually we will have them on tap,” says Petrak.
La Pizzeria Metro is as great for dining in with your family as it is for takeout or grabbing a drink and snack at the bar. It’s casual, homey and high quality. La Pizzeria Metro can be found at 3101 Miller Road, Wilmington, DE 19802.