Seth Gross, owner of Bull City Burger & Brewery, has fired up the wood-burning ovens at his much-anticipated second restaurant just around the corner from his first in downtown Durham. Located in the historic Fire Station Number One building, Pompieri Pizza’s name (Italian for “firefighters”) is a tribute to the building’s original occupants.
The pizzeria’s clever motto is “Burning with Passion,” and its aim is high: “To create a destination Neapolitan-style pizza restaurant which is considered one of the great pizza establishments in the US.” Like its sister restaurant, Pompieri’s kitchen will make everything possible from scratch, with a focus on local ingredients.
On the menu, that translates to a seasonally changing selection of “hand-stretched 12”-ish pizzas” that currently ranges from roasted market vegetables with house-made mozzarella to pork belly cracklings with roasted garlic and “porky red sauce” to the Drunken Horse (house-made spicy Italian sausage, red sauce, mozzarella and olive oil on a beer dough crust - and, as the menu reassures you, “no horse meat!”). You can also create your own combination from a list of mix-and-match toppings.
The menu offers a handful of starters and desserts, including house-made gelato and Our Signature Dalmatian: fried dough filled with local honey-sweetened ricotta, chocolate “spots” and white ganache. And naturally, it wouldn’t be a Seth Gross establishment without a thoughtfully chosen selection of draft beers, wines and craft cocktails.
Greg Cox, the N&O’s restaurant critic, also reports restaurant news. Reach him at email@example.com. Tune in to his radio show at 11 a.m. Saturdays on WPTF.