Bellini's Coal Fired Pizza in Fort Lauderdale Still Needs Work | New Times Broward-Palm Beach

Restaurant Reviews

Bellini's Coal Fired Pizza in Fort Lauderdale Still Needs Work

There's so much coal being fired across South Florida these days in the name of pizza that you'd think it was turn-of-the-century New York City. Even so, Fort Lauderdale had only one coal-fired pie maker with Anthony's. But no longer, thanks to Bellini's Coal Fired Pizza, now open in the former Offerdahl's location on Federal Highway. The spacious digs have been redesigned, outfitted with a dazzling central bar top, cream-colored banquettes surrounded by coffee-brown tables, and two stone hearths burning anthracite day and night. In typical coal-fired fashion, pizzas are cooked fast at 800 degrees, the idea being a healthy amount of char and a crisp, thin crust. But Bellini's needs to refine its process: The crusts are too thick in some spots and soggy in others. Of three pizzas ordered, not one exhibited that genuine coal-fired crackle we were after. Toppings — a wide range including prosciutto, fresh mozzarella, basil, and roasted peppers — taste so-so in quality as well. The menu also features appetizers including chicken wings and meatballs, simple salads, and housemade pasta. Plus the space is romantic, the wine list is fun, and the outdoor seating cozy. But the pizza needs work before we can call it "the one we crave."