White Wolf Café on Orlando's Antique Row has a sibling. Wolfies Pizzamia has taken over the space formerly called Harrison Graham's that served as White Wolf's event space.
With its architectural and eclectic trimmings, Wolfies' dining room is a chip off the old block. The menu is where the two Bohemian eateries show their personalities.
White Wolf is known for great breakfasts (fluffy pancakes and eggs), lunches (soups, salads and sandwiches) and dinner (steaks, chops and lobster mac and cheese).
Wolfies Pizzamia spotlights Italian fare with a from-scratch approach complete with house-cured meats.
Chef Jason Schofield is the mastermind. The menu channels White Wolf's transformation into a greener more sustainable entity and showcases local produce and proteins.
When diners enter Wolfies Pizzamia, they can see cured meats hanging just inside the kitchen, kitchen staffers tossing fresh dough for pizzas and herbs ready for their roles in prepared dishes.
Most meals start with a small bowl of giardiniera, a relish of house-pickled vegetables that's a tangy, tender mix of cauliflower florets, sweet peppers, carrots and sweet onions.
Other shareable apps include the meatballs ($8), a serving of two spheres of ground beef, pork and veal served with pomodoro sauce (a classic tomato concoction) and topped with shaved pecorino Romano cheese (a slightly salty sheep's milk cheese). The nicely compacted meatballs, the size of tennis balls, could have used a pop more seasoning but the sauce was spot-on.
We also noshed on the salumi platter ($10), an assortment of dry-cured meats served with giardiniera, olives and artisanal bread. It came with creamy pig butter, made from rendered pork fat. Thankfully, this place is within walking distance of Florida Hospital's cardio wing.
The thick Italian split pea ($3) soup was layered with earthy flavors from slow cooking and had a subtle sweet, herbal finish.
For pizzas, the College Park (14-inch $15, 18-inch $18) was a winner. The hand-tossed dough was covered with béchamel (a buttery and creamy white sauce), mozzarella, ricotta, spinach, cherry tomatoes and fresh mushrooms. Pizza aficionados will not liken these pies to Chicago- or New York-style creations. But in terms of well-crafted flatbreads, these pizzas rock.
The lasagna (cheese or meat, $14) is a deconstructed interpretation with tender house-made pasta, marinara, béchamel and ricotta. It was good, but easily upstaged by other menu items
From the panini section of the menu, don't miss the porchetta ($11). The roast pork is rough sliced and served with a velvety lemon caper aioli, peppery arugula and roasted red peppers on a soft Italian hero roll. A note for non-Southerners at the table: The larger crisp near the house-made chips is a crackling shard.
firstname.lastname@example.org or 407-420-5498
Where: 1905 N. Orange Ave, Orlando (a few doors down from White Wolf Café)
When: 3-10 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 3 p.m.-midnight Friday and Saturday, noon-10 p.m. Sunday
How much: $7-$18
Beverages: Soft drinks, beer and wine
Wines by the glass: From $8
Extras: Outdoor dining, takeout, catering, table service
Wheelchair access: Easy
Noise level: Table conversations are easy.
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Dining on a budget
With chips and a side of pickled vegetables, the $11 paninis are large enough to share, especially the meatball grinder served with the house tomato sauce and topped with shaved pecorino cheeseCopyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times