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Dec 12, 2017
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Intelligent Content For The Food Fascinated
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SERVING SAINT LOUIS SINCE 1999
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Posts Tagged ‘Joe Valenza’

Best New Restaurants: No. 10 – Melo’s Pizzeria

Thursday, December 1st, 2016

To be the best, everything matters – atmosphere, service and food. Here, the places that dazzled us from the moment they opened: St. Louis’ 10 best new restaurants of 2016.

 

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{ dom pizza }

 

Five seats, five menu items and a fire crackling merrily in the oven: This is Melo’s. The small but mighty Italian-American pizza shop is run by the Valenza family – brothers Joey, Johnny and Vinny, and their dad Vince Sr., the owner of Blues City Deli, whom you could call their consigliere.

When Vince finally bought the Blues City building in 2013, it came with a teeny garage, big enough to fit a couple cars, or to give life to Joey’s bread-making hobby turned pizza-making obsession.

Happily, Dad went with the latter, and now we’re obsessed, too. The Dom is our favorite, a simple pizza topped with Grana Padano, sliced garlic, fresh basil, oregano and a glug of extra-virgin olive oil. It’s Neapolitan-style, with a thin, wood-fired crust and a perfectly pure crushed tomato sauce, but has an American twist, mixing fresh mozzarella with drier, shredded mozzarella. This transgression makes for a lower moisture content that keeps the dough from getting too wet.

“It’s more of a familiar flavor for people,” Joey said. “I don’t know if it’s our American taste buds, but we think it tastes better.”

Melo’s formula for an Italian-American pie combines the best of both worlds. We appreciate an edited menu, pared down to the bare, most delicious bones.

 

More about Melo’s Pizzeria

• Hit List: 6 new restaurants you must try this month

• Sneak Peek: Melo’s Pizzeria in Benton Park

The Scoop: Blues City Deli owner to open Melo’s Pizza

Photo by Dave Moore

Extra Sauce: In case you missed it…

Sunday, December 13th, 2015

From a fried chicken frenzy in Maplewood to the final pitstop for a 4-year-old food truck, here’s everything that went down in the St. Louis food scene last week, in case you missed it…

 

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1. Fried chicken fervor has yet to cool after the first St. Louis-area Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken opened to the public in Maplewood.

2.  The Dark Room has tapped chef Samantha Pretto to take the reins in Midtown after a menu revamp in November.

 

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3. St. Louisans can grabbed their last big fat sushi roll during Chop Shop STL’s final service on Dec. 10, but the truck will not side idle for long.

4. Chef-owner Anthony Ellerson Jr. has brought a taste of New Orleans to Washington Avenue. The Kitchen Sink’s second location opened at 626 N. Sixth St., around the corner from the Mercantile Exchange.

 

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5. Joe Valenza, the son of Blues City Deli owner Vince Valenza, is stoking the wood-fired pizza ovens of Melo’s Pizzeria.  Valenza plans to begin serving pizzas from the garage-turned-pizza shop Dec. 18.

6. From cocktails to sandwiches to egg rolls, we’ve got 10 delicious deals and sweet treats available now on Budget Crunch.

Sneak Peek: Melo’s Pizzeria in Benton Park

Wednesday, December 9th, 2015

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The son of Blues City Deli owner Vince Valenza is stoking the wood-fired pizza ovens of Melo’s Pizzeria. Joe Valenza, who co-owns the new Benton Park eatery with his father, plans to begin serving pizzas from the garage-turned-pizza shop at 2438 McNair Ave., on Friday, Dec. 18.

As The Scoop reported in February, Joe Valenza, a self-taught pizzaiolo, named the store for his paternal grandfather, Melo. The small, standing room-only pizzeria will offer five Americanized Neapolitan-style pizzas, and customers can also customize their own 12-inch pizzas. Like Blues City, Melo’s is counter-service; customers order their pizzas, then take them to-go or enjoy them at the standing bar, inside Blues City or (when warmer weather arrives) at one of 30 patio seats outside.

In the future, Valenza said he’d like to supply his father’s deli with bread while he bakes his house-made pizza dough. Melo’s regular hours in the new year will be 4:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Here’s a sneak peek at what’s to come when doors open at Melo’s next week.

 

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-photos by Michelle Volansky 

 

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