After nearly four years serving its gigantic New York-style pizza and other goodies to hungry hordes on the Baxter Avenue night-life strip, Papalino’s NY Pizzeria opened its second location in the somewhat less frenzied environs of the sprawling Springhurst center out in the East End.
Moving into storefront quarters vacated by a Homemade Ice Cream & Pie kitchen branch, Chef Allan Rosenberg’s operation brings a better kind of homemade pie: Pizza pie, and not just any pizza,
but the artisanal, chef-driven style that Rosenberg has made a local favorite. Rosenberg, a chef with serious chops and significant experience, brings not only top-chef skills to these pizzas, but a commitment to quality ingredients: local produce, Kentucky Proud meats and even hand-cured charcuterie made on the premises.
In contrast with the mostly take-out, quick-service ambience of the Baxter shop, Papalino’s Springhurst location is comfortable for leisurely, sit-down dining, with artful decor including old wood and stylish glass art. The bill of fare extends well beyond pizza to daily pasta specials, creamy burrata cheese ($10) and even a tempting artisan meat and cheese board. ($16).
My friend Anne and I dropped in for lunch the other day and were delighted with the food, mood and service. It’s can be hard to resist the pasta dishes and other specials or the nine, 14 and 18-inch specialty pizzas that range from $17 to $27.
For value and taste delight, though, a “slice” of the New York-style pie ($7.99) is hard to beat. I say “slice” in quotes because juse one of these things – fully one-fourth of an entire 18-inch pizza – is as big as a whole lunch pie at most local pizzerias. Slices with Sheltowee Farm wild mushrooms and tangy marinated artichoke hearts on my pie and silvery fresh anchovies on Anne’s made us happy, as did well-prepared house salad and mini-Caesar ($1.50 each).
A hearty lunch for two came to an economical $20.12, plus a $5 tip.
Papalino’s NY Pizzeria
3598 Springhurst Blvd.
Other location: 947 Baxter Ave., 749-8525
Robin Garr’s rating: 88 points