Community Pie has fantastic pizza, both Neapolitan style and their new New York style pizza. Is it authentic? No clue. Do I care? Nope. It’s delicious!
I first wrote about the Monen’s pizza restaurant, Community Pie, in February. I’ve written about all of their other establishments-Taco Mamacita, Urban Stack Burger Lounge, and Milk & Honey-as well. In October I received an email letting me know that they were now serving New York style pizza at Community Pie, followed by a Facebook message offering me a gift certificate to come in and check it out (and as a thank you for all the free plugs for their many great restaurants). So there you go…now you all know that I ate (mostly) for free on this visit. However, if I didn’t like it….you know I wouldn’t write about it. That’s just my style.
We needed to head downtown to pick up some coffee at Velo anyway, so Philip and I decided to go to Community Pie for a late(ish) lunch. There weren’t a ton of people in the restaurant when we got there at about 1:30, but it definitely wasn’t dead for an after-lunch crowd on a cold, rainy, and dreary Saturday. We were quickly seated and our server took our drink orders and talked to us about the newly introduced New York style pies, which come in 14 and 19-inch whole pies as well as slices. You can order a specialty pie or top your own, and the slices come in cheese, pepperoni, supreme, and “home slice” which is the special of the day (the special when we visited was the aphro, short for Aphrodite, with lemon roasted chicken, tomato, feta, kalamata olives, roasted red peppers, red onion and pepperoncini peppers.
The last time that we were here we split an arugula salad, but I had really wanted to try the raw kale salad, of which I’d heard so many good things, so I ordered one. Philip ordered a Caesar salad, and we decided to get an order of garlic knots as well. The garlic knots came first, hot, crispy, and covered with parmesan cheese and julienned fresh basil. They were quite tasty, and the marinara was very interesting, with a smoky flavor that reminded me of chipotles (but it wasn’t really spicy). Our server told us that there was bacon in the sauce, which is probably where the smokiness came from. The sauce also contains San Marzano tomatoes and a little bit of chocolate. Amen and amen.
I loved the kale salad. Let me say that again: I loved the kale salad. I really, really enjoyed the arugula salad before, but the kale salad was over the top delicious. If you are someone who is convinced that kale is gross….well, stop it. Just stop. Kale is fantastic….you just have to know how to treat it. Massage (literally!) and a little acid will break down the fibers of the kale and make it yield to chewing much more easily. This kale was wonderfully tender, well-dressed with a tart-but-not-overly-so champagne vinaigrette, with dried cranberries, slivered almonds, and grated parmesan. It was amazing, and I want to eat it every day (I should really make this kale salad again soon!). Philip liked his Caesar as well. The romaine leaves were well-coated in a very lemony Caesar dressing (too little Caesar dressing is a travesty) and topped with grated parmesan and plenty of house made croutons. I hate getting a Caesar that has approximately 2.5 croutons and a sad little sprinkling of cheese. This was not that salad.
Now, before I start talking about the pizza, I need to say something. I have never been to New York and therefore I’ve never had “real” New York style pizza. I have heard from many that the pizza at New York Pizza Department is pretty authentic, but I have no experience to draw on there. I was scolded by a friend after that review for getting toppings that no New Yorker would ever order on their pizza (I got BLT and Philip got Buffalo chicken) but we ordered what sounded good to us because our reviews are based on what sounds and tastes good to us. So, I have no idea if Community Pie’s New York style pizza is “authentic” (by the way…this is why I’ve never written about sushi).
Philip thought the Demarco pizza, with fresh and shredded mozzarella, hand torn basil, extra virgin olive oil and pecorino romano, sounded good. And it did, but I kind of wanted to try a more signature Community Pie…pie. He was also into the Spicy Bianca, with olive oil, fresh mozzarella, ricotta, garlic, basil, pecorino romano and calabrian chiles (no tomato sauce), but I was scared that one might be a little spicy for my wimpy palate. The Drunk Pig sounded great, with vodka sauce, Community Pie ricotta, homemade fennel sausage, fresh mozzarella, parmesan cheese and crushed red pepper (you know my love for vodka sauce) but ultimately, we decided on the Bianca Supreme (olive oil, fresh mozzarella, spinach, mushrooms, bacon and gorgonzola-no tomato sauce). The 14-inch, which our server described to us as “good for two people” was pretty gigantic. It was cut into six slices, of which I ate one and Philip had two (we brought the other three home).
This pie was sturdier than the Neopolitan pies that we sampled on our first visit, which I preferred to eat with a fork. The crust was very thin until we got to the edge, when the border was wonderfully chewy and crunchy at the same time. The amount of cheese was perfect and the pizza was topped with just the right ratio of each ingredient, including a liberal amount of bacon. Philip did comment that he would have liked a little more gorgonzola, but overall, this pizza was perfect that way it was.
Now, I cannot leave an establishment serving gelato-especially Milk & Honey gelat0-without having some, so we ordered some salted caramel and pistachio (two separate flavors, but you can get up to three flavors in your cup) to split. Other flavors available were the signature flavor, Milk & Honey, chocolate Oreo, and vanilla latte. As always, the gelato was perfect. I was a little surprised to find that I preferred the salted caramel to the pistachio, but I would order either (or both) again.
Our total for this visit was $39 and some change pre-tip. As I’ve said before, it’s not a place to go for a cheap pizza dinner, but for a creative and delicious pizza I think it’s worth it as an occasional treat. Is it authentic? I have no clue. Do I care? Nope.
So, I think you should try New York style pizza at Community Pie.
For another review, check out my bloggie friend Emily’s recent review.
Community Pie is located at 850 Market Street, Chattanooga, TN 37402. They are open Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. You can call them at 423-486-1PIE. Check out their website, CommunityPie.com. You can also like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.