Sometimes after a night of imbibing several adult beverages all you want to do is spend the afternoon at the nearest pizza joint relaxing and watching some other people watch sports. So on a recent Saturday, my dining partner and I hit up the Newport Pizza Company (601 Monmouth St., Newport, 859-261-4900) to do just that.
Newport Pizza Company is a step (or two) above your typical “Let’s get it to go instead” place. It manages to simultaneously offer a table-style, old-school arcade game (awesome), real cloth napkins and excellent service. While the sidewalk patio was tempting, we opted for a seat inside and were relieved to find that the one room wasn’t crammed full of tables. The two of us infiltrated a giant booth that could have fit six comfortably, located right by a large painting on the wall of the Delta Queen (RIP). Our server, the only one there that day, came right over with menus and a smile.
The menu items are mostly familiar sandwiches, salads and pizzas that feature fresh, high-quality ingredients.
I chose the Steak Hoagie ($5.75), which comes with mozzarella cheese and either pizza or mushroom sauce. To mix things up a bit, I went for the mushroom sauce.
The sandwich was sizable and completely covered in mozzarella and delicious sauce without being messy. A thick slab of chopped steak was complemented with a fluffy, buttery and slightly crispy hoagie roll. I enjoyed my half while my dining partner turned her nose up at it for being too rich for her taste.
Other sandwich options cost $6 or less and include the Meatball Mangia, the Veggie and the delicious-sounding Tall Stack Deli — you choose the bread, meat and cheese.
We also decided to share a pizza. Bypassing the typical options, we tried The Zeus ($12.75 for 12-inch). It came with fresh baby spinach, feta and Asiago cheeses, Roma tomatoes, roasted garlic and olive oil. It was hard not to pass up for one of the other specialty pizzas, like the Buffalo Chicken or the Pineapple Express, but my dining partner happens to be a huge fan of anything with Asiago and feta cheeses together (who isn’t?).
The Zeus had a soft crust and just the right amount of cheese. Small Roma tomatoes and baby spinach were also in perfect proportion, making for a great pie. Unfortunately, a lot of the garlic was over-roasted. It was likely a fluke, as the rest of the meal was quite enjoyable and we heard nothing but compliments flying from the surrounding tables.
Newport Pizza Company turned out to be a great place for a couple to spend an afternoon, a nearby family to discuss every detail of every sport, a pair of ladies to grab a drink at the bar and some twentysomethings to relive the glory days of Galaga.
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