As reported by Gut Check in August, Pizzeoli (1928 South 12th Street; 314-449-1111) would fill the space formerly housed by Arcelia's in Soulard, serving up Neapolitan-style pizza in a custom-built Naples oven. The concept comes from owner and chef Scott Sandler, who has studied breads and pizza for several years, including completing a training session with the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana -- the U.S. arm of Naples' pizza-governing body -- in Los Angeles. At Pizzeoli, Sandler strives to perfect the art of the authentic pie, with his own twist: All the options on the menu are vegetarian or vegan.
"I've been a vegetarian for twenty years," he says. "This is an extension of my home. I don't have any meat in my home, so I don't have any meat here."
Dough is made from scratch daily, then matures for a couple of days to achieve the desired flavor, and it's finally all cooked up in a brick, wood-burning oven fueled consistently by flames -- "It's sort of a like a living thing," says Sandler. A quick bake -- typically between 60 and 90 seconds -- at a temperature of 800 to 900 degrees gives the crust softness with some chew, as well as its signature "leopard" spotting.
Twelve-inch pizza options ($9.95-$13.95) -- nine altogether -- include classics such as "Marinara" and "Margherita." Additional options include a "the New York" with four cheeses; "Funghi" with sauteed crimini, shitake and trumpet mushrooms as well as artisan vegan ground beef; and the "Baba" with fresh tomato sauce, house cashew ricotta, vegan Parmesan and more.
The menu also features a mixed-greens salad ($5.95), pure cane-sugar sodas, a selection of Italian wines and craft beers on tap. For dessert, Pizzeoli offers gelato from Gelato Di Riso.
Pizzeoli's current hours are Tuesday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. and Saturday from 4 to 9:30 p.m. Sandler someday hopes to offer classes. For the full menu and more information, visit the Pizzeoli website and follow it on Facebook.
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