A new restaurant based around a locally rare, but traditional, approach to pizza opened Uptown recently. Amici Ristorante & Bar (3218 Magazine St., 504-300-1250; www.amicinola.com) specializes in pizza from a coal-fired oven.
Coal-fired pizza ovens generate intense heat, producing pocks of char and mild smokiness in a properly cooked crust. The Amici menu has build-your-own pizza options and specialty pies topped with clams and clam sauce, broccoli rabe and sausage, cauliflower and olive oil and other combinations. The pizza oven is employed for "Italian-style chicken wings" and roasted veal and pork chops.
Amici is the latest concept from the local company that runs Jester Mardi Gras Daiquiris and Pizza, which has three daiquiri shops on Bourbon Street and a related beverage-mix supply company. Instead of daiquiris, the full bar at Amici boasts some 30 draft beers. The restaurant serves dinner daily.
A pizzeria using a coal oven is in the works in Metairie. RocketFire Pizza Co. (1950 N. Hwy. 190, Covington, 985-327-7600; www.rocketfirepizza.com) opened on the Northshore last year, and its owners are renovating the restaurant space at 612 Veterans Memorial Blvd. They expect to open this second RocketFire in late August.