WHY IT’S NOTEWORTHY
A local chain of clean, sharp, Americanized (maybe even Creolized) pizzerias, staffed by pleasant people. The selection of specialty pies is reasonably interesting, but you can build any way you want. The crust is a bit softer, breadier and fluffier than the ideal, but it tastes good and the ingredients are of good quality.
The pizza’s finest quality is consistency. Unless you overload it with ingredients, it holds up well and is deftly assembled. If you never ate anything here but pizza, you’d like it better than if you ordered something else. The sandwiches are offbeat and made with good deli meats, but I wouldn’t come here for those. The salads are just okay.
Darryl Reginelli began his restaurant career in 1993 with a gourmet Italian bistro on Magazine Street that almost became famous for its large selection of specialty polenta. He closed it after a couple of years, and reopened elsewhere in 1995 with this much simpler concept. It became popular and spread around and outside of New Orleans. Some of the locations are franchised.
Each location is different, but brightness and color–clearly aimed at a young clientele, which in fact the place does get–are a running theme. Service is basic but pleasant.
Avocado and asparagus salad with feta
Salad Number Three (mushrooms, bell peppers, tomatoes, fresh-milk mozzarella)
»Caesar salad and variations
»Baked brie calzone
Meatball or Italian sausage calzone
»Pizzas in general
»Chicken pesto pizza
»Parthenon pizza (garlic-herb sauce, with feta and artichokes)
Baked tortellini with pesto or marinara sauce
Downtowner (turkey, proscuitto, salami, mozzarella)
»Uptowner (turkey, provolone, avocado)
Meatball and mozzarella with red sauce on focaccia
FOR BEST RESULTS
Reginelli’s, like most pizzerias, does a large take-out and delivery business. Unless you don’t mind having the quality of the pizza reduced by half (pizza doesn’t really travel well), eat in.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT
The crust could be crisper on the bottom and thinner. And The calzones seem to be made by someone who doesn’t understand the concept.
FACTORS OTHER THAN FOOD
Up to three points, positive or negative, for these characteristics. Absence of points denotes average performance in the matter.
- Dining Environment
- Consistency +2
- Value +1
- Attitude +1
- Wine & Bar
- Hipness +1
- Local Color
- Sidewalk tables
- Good for business meetings
- Open Sunday lunch and dinner
- Open Monday lunch and dinner
- Open after 10 p.m.
- Open all afternoon
- Quick, good meal
- Good for children
- No reservations
ANECDOTES AND ANALYSIS
Darryl Reginelli has moved in and out of the restaurant business over the years. This is his simplest place yet: pizza and pasta is darn near about it. The toppings are much more interesting than average, however, and enough care is taken in the assembly of everything that it stands out. Service is less good.