Spartico succeeds where developers and architects have failed for two decades: The cozy, gourmet pizzeria makes the eccentrically extravagant Mayfair Hotel feel welcoming. A wood-burning oven beckons from behind glass doors flung open onto Virginia Street, across from CocoWalk. Inside, servers bustle among 10 tables, carrying bubbling, 12-inch pies with toppings like chorizo, speck, figs and shiitake mushrooms. A lively, well-run bar with on-tap craft beers like Orange Blossom Pilsner and Bell's Two Hearted Ale add to the ambience. Open since mid-December, Spartico is slowly attracting locals, who are joining conventioneers and tourists inside the Grove's landmark hotel.
Consulting here since closing Q and Fin in the Design District, chef Jonathan Eismann has crafted a one-page menu of a dozen salads and starters, 10 thin-crust pizzas and a half-dozen pastas plus a minuscule selection of meat and fish.
Eismann continues to tweak the menu while chef Walter Dilibero keeps it happening day to day. Prices are as accessible as the restaurant design, with most pies and entrees under $15.
Ambience: Instead of trying to mimic the Mayfair's blitzkrieg of colors, textures and patterns, it has carved its own homey niche. A second bar overlooking the pizza oven allows diners to enjoy the crackling fire a few feet from the parade of passersby.
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