Luigi's Coal Oven Pizza Now Open in Delray Beach

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No additions, no substitutions -- that's what the menu at Luigi's Coal Oven Pizza says. It's a philosophy based on the rules of the Verace Pizza Napoletana, an internationally recognized group of authentic Neopolitan-style pizza makers. It may also be why business has been good enough to expand north from the restaurant's original location in Fort Lauderdale, and into Palm Beach County.

Hailing from Naples, Italy, co-owner Luigi DeMeo has brought his signature coal-fired pizzas and chicken wings to downtown Delray Beach, opening a second location this month off Atlantic Avenue, just east of the train tracks in the space previously occupied by Paddy McGee's.

The space is considerably larger than the original off Las Olas, with close to 3,000 square feet of space and bar seating. Here, coal-fired pizzas like the house favorite, the margherita Napoletana -- a simple combination of tomato sauce, organic basil, homemade mozzarella, and extra virgin olive oil -- are served for lunch and dinner seven days a week.

The menu offers several recipes, like the capricciosa with mushroom, salami, and olives, or the four cheese with imported goat cheese, parmigiano, ricotta, and Romano (no tomato sauce). For the vegetable lovers, the vegetariana offers mostly fresh, local and organic produce. Fancy your own creation? Choose from any of the specialty toppings like prosciutto, broccoli rabe, applewood-smoked bacon, and arugula. There are also two house specialty pies, and one worthy of a taste test is the truffle pizza, with fresh hand-pulled mozzarella, Romano, goat cheese, spinach, and sautéed mixed wild mushrooms finished with a drizzling of white truffle oil.

Starters feature a good selection of hot and cold antipasto, from fried calamari to tomato and mozzarella caprese salad. More substantial fare includes calzones, panini sandwiches and larger entree-style plates like spaghetti with Luigi's own homemade meatballs. Of course, wings are another menu highlight -- and house specialty -- while the expansive bar, retained from Paddy McGee's, offers a wide array of import and domestic brews (20 on tap) and a fairly sizable wine menu and small list of specialty cocktails to help wash it all down.

Luigi's Coal Oven Pizza is located at 307 E. Atlantic Ave. in Delray Beach. Call 561-274-1969, or visit luigiscoalovenpizza.com for more information.

Follow Nicole Danna on Twitter, @SoFloNicole.

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