Pizzerias with coal-fired ovens are common in the pizza hubs of the Northeast, where the best examples produce distinctive pies with a light char and smokiness to the crust. The style is harder to find in the South, but the New Orleans area will have a couple of pizzerias using this approach soon.
The pizzeria Amici is expected to open next month at 3218 Magazine St. with a coal-fired oven. And the owners of the year-old Covington restaurant Rocket-Fire Pizza Co. (1950 N. Hwy. 190, Covington, 985-327-7600; www.rocketfirepizza.com) are working on a second location in Metairie.
This new RocketFire is expected to open in mid-August at 612 Veterans Memorial Blvd., an address previously occupied by the Persian restaurant Cyrus and briefly by Huey's 24/7 Diner.
RocketFire was developed by Lewis Kahn, Michael Swick and Charles Foti, who was Orleans Parish Criminal Sheriff for 30 years and held a term as Louisiana's attorney general. The three men are partners in the Covington law firm Kahn, Swick & Foti LLC. Kahn is a longtime resident of Old Metairie, but he grew up in Connecticut eating coal-fired pizza at New Haven standards such as Sally's Apizza and Pepe's Pizzeria.
"What you're looking for in the crust is like the eternal Holy Grail," Kahn says of his ideal pizza. "There should be a nice chew and a crunch at the same time."
The new RocketFire will offer the same menu as the Covington original, which includes pastas, sandwiches, salads and a few unique appetizers, including oysters RocketFire, a spin on oysters Rockefeller. The new restaurant will have a full bar.