Earlier this week Ms. Holy City Sinner and myself stopped into Monza on King Street. It was our first visit to the downtown pizza joint and I was excited to try what some folks call the best pizza in Charleston.
The restaurant is fairly typical-looking for a downtown establishment; it has a smaller dining area that thins out as you pass the kitchen, which is plain view. This isn’t meant as a knock. I actually liked being able to see the fire burning strong in the hearth as we waited for our pizzas the cook.
What sets it apart is the decor. The restaurant gets its name from the city of Monza, and they’ve decorated the joint with racing paraphernalia as a nod to the Autodromo Nazinonale Monza. In fact, most of the items on the menu are named after racing legends.
As for the food at Monza, it is Neapolitan-style with pizza, pasta, salads and wine as the highlights. We each opened for a pizza. There is only one size option for the pies and they feed one comfortably. Being Neapolitan-style, the pizzas look a little different then the ones you get elsewhere. Most notably, the cheese does not cover the entire pie and the entire thing is very thin.
These are small differences that don’t affect the pizza at all. Make makes Monza so good are the ingredients.
Everything was fresh and tasty. They also use some local produce, which is an added bonus.
I ordered the Fangio which was mozzarella, homemade sausage, onions and jalapeños. I really liked it. The tomato sauce had slight sweetness to it which I really enjoyed. The jalapeños were cut very think and most of the seeds taken out so the pizza wasn’t dominated by heat. Needless to say, I ate the whole thing quite quickly.
The lady made her own pizza with bacon and egg (a tribute to Mellow Mushroom’s eggy & leggy). I didn’t get a chance to try it, but it looked and smelled fantastic. Ms. HCS said she liked it, so that’s enough of an endorsement for me!
If you are downtown and in the mood for some pizza, give Monza a try. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. With fresh ingredients, a quiet atmosphere and everyone’s favorite food, you really can’t go wrong.
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