2021 Best New Restaurants // No. 4 Pizzeria Da Gloria
It’s a sign of a great restaurant when everyone you know has a different favorite dish there. On a recent visit to Pizzeria Da Gloria, one person at my table sang the praises of the stracciatella pizza with house-made cheese, while another was obsessed with the Bonci, a cheeseless pie that features eggplant, garlic-chile oil and parsley; a third friend swears that the pepperoni with pickled jalapeños is the best. I’m always gripped by the margherita, which brings a wealth of magnificent flavor, from its velvety mozzarella to its slightly sour, perfectly crispy fermented dough. The thing is, in disagreements like this, everybody’s right.
To achieve such broad excellence in the not-so-simple art of pizza, pizzaiolo Joe Kurowski studied first in New York City, where he worked at popular pizzeria Fornino; then, he went to Italy, where he staged at Pizzeria dal Presidente in Naples. Upon returning, he went to work with some of the people behind Roberta’s, which is considered the creme de la creme of New York ’za. To anybody who knows pizza – and certainly anybody who’s eaten at Pizzeria Da Gloria – it’s clear that Kurowski knows his stuff.
While it started as a small, focused pizza and wine carryout spot in December 2020, Pizzeria Da Gloria has blossomed into something of a kaleidoscopic Italian food destination spot right in the middle of the Hill, a neighborhood where pizza can be found on almost every block. Now, the restaurant is open for indoor and outdoor dining, the latter of which includes a gorgeous patio with hanging lights, an old fountain and charming picnic table seating. While Kurowski was once hesitant to add a salad to the menu, Pizzeria Da Gloria now has two, as well as a meatball appetizer and rotating starters like a seasonal heirloom caprese salad and an eggplant dip with pizza-bread fougasse. Desserts like apple streusel with house whipped cream make you wish you’d eaten a slice or two less. Throughout it all, Kurowski has offered a smart, concise list of trendy and delicious low-intervention wines that complement his pizza like a *chef’s kiss.*
A big part of Pizzeria Da Gloria’s success lies in the restaurant’s wide appeal, that it can be different things to different people; and when you go there, you’ll see diners of all types. To the pizza connoisseur, it’s a new, local Neapolitan-ish spot in a neighborhood famed for authentic Italian cuisine; to natural wine-loving hipsters, it’s a classy but also slightly grungy watering hole that happens to have solid ’za. For families, it’s somewhere with great cheese pizza for the kids and craft beer for mom and dad, but for the couple enjoying a night out, it’s a romantic place to gaze into your partner’s eyes over pét-nat and a pie (a foolproof date-night combo). In the end, regardless of who you are, Da Gloria is a lighthearted, cool place with its own spirit and plenty of great ideas. And that should please anybody.
Pizzeria Da Gloria, 2024 Marconi Ave, St. Louis, MO 63110, pizzeriadagloria.com
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