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Maybe you find Kerprich's no-nonsense take on pizza endearing; maybe you think it's arrogant. Either way, you can tell that he and his wife, Marsha, who sashays around the patio as a charming hostess, have put a lot of thought into what they do. The pair has assembled a beautiful list of boutique wines ranging from affordable ($30 a bottle) to less so ($75 and up). There's also a modest craft beer list that sports interesting finds you aren't likely to see outside of a specialty bar (Bison Organic IPA, for example, a steal at $4.50). But most interesting is the collection of ingredients Kerprich sources from local and artisanal purveyors. Each day, Pizzeria Oceano prints a new menu that lists its ingredients and from where they hail. One day, it could be wild boar cacciatorini from some obscure New York salumeria that finds its way on a pizza along with English cheddar and roasted onions. Another time, it's locally grown dandelion greens from Swank Farms or lobster hauled that day off a Lantana fisherman's boat. Some of the options can climb to the pricey side (one pie listed at $23, for example). But everything about it screams fresh, current, and seasonal. It's Slow Food-style eating adapted to a pizzeria, and the results are damned good.
You'll find four specialty pies listed per day, plus a basic tomato/mozzarella pizza that allows you more leeway in picking and choosing additional toppings. On that first visit, Eric and I caught glimpses of the "vitamin green" pie ($18) at nearby tables, so we ordered one too. It came to the table as thin as a sheet of poster board, its steaming hot top scattered with a thin layer of leafy local spinach cooked just to wilting. The white pie had no sauce either — just mozzarella, garlic, and the most powerful squirt of sunshine-bright lemon juice that tasted like it had been condensed by the oven's heat. We took a bite and nodded at each other in approval. It was pizza perfection.
"And the crust," Eric said as he took a bite. "Look at this." He grabbed a slice by the charred crust and held it aloft. The dough was so perfectly cooked, it held straight up like a flag in the wind.
6346 Lantana Road
Lake Worth, FL 33463
Category: Religion and Spirituality
Region: Lake Worth
Corelino's Coal-Fired Pizza & Cucina, 6346 Lantana Road, Ste. 74, Lake Worth. Open for lunch and dinner 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 4 to 9 p.m. Sunday. Call 561-968-8200, or click here.
Pizzeria Oceano, 201 E. Ocean Ave., Lantana. Open for dinner 5:30 p.m. to close Monday through Saturday. Call 561-429-5550, or click here.
I decided to grab a slice and give it the old "New York fold test." As I folded the crust over, it gave a plaintive "snap," and cheese oozed over the side. That's a pass.
We gobbled up that pie in record time. After the last slice was taken, we looked at each other knowingly. I was the first to say it. "You want to order another?" I asked.
"I was thinking that too," he said with a grin.
As we waited for our next pie, a "basic" ($13) with bright tomato sauce and house-made mozzarella, we saw Kerprich come out of the kitchen to pick fresh basil from the pot next to our bench. When the pizza arrived just moments later, it was that basil on top. "I think I've found my new pizza joint," Eric said, his mouth half full of pizza.
I think I have too.