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Wolfie's Pizzamia

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When White Wolf Cafe owner Michael Hennessey decided to repurpose an underutilized space a few doors down from the popular eatery, he chose to make it a pizza restaurant for a very specific reason. Parking spaces along that stretch of Orange Avenue in Ivanhoe Village have always been at a premium. People who populate the restaurants, bars and shops often find themselves cruising through the adjoining neighborhoods hunting for a spot. With pizza, Hennessey surmised, he could focus on the delivery aspect of the business, so he could take the food to the customers rather than having the customers come to the restaurant.

But he made one mistake: he made Wolfie’s Pizzamia such a charming and pleasant place to sit and dine that people are sure to want to eat in rather than have the pizza delivered.

Wolfies PizzaEither way, the pizza is worth having. It’s rustic, with a thin crust that blisters on the edges, just enough to provide the perfect handle. The one I sampled, the Diavolo, had a minimum amount of sauce but was covered with tomatoes, hot salami and spicy sausage and just the right amount of mozzarella -- enough to know it’s there but not too much that it becomes a stringy mess. Delicious pizza.

My companion had the lasagna, and that, too, was nicely done. It was more reminiscent of the type of lasagna found in Rome -- not a dense brick but rather delicate layers of freshly made sheets of pasta and pulpy tomatoes, baked in an individual dish with bechamel and ricotta. About as good a lasagna as I’ve had in some time.

We had started with an appetizer of malfatti, the misshapen ricotta dumplings. The name means badly made, but in appearance only. These were soft and mouth-melting, and served in a brown butter that had us begging our server for some bread to sop it up. (Our waiter happily complied, and service overall was first rate.)

Wolfies Chef JasonChef Jason Schofield. Photo:Wolfie's PizzamiaThe restaurant, which was previously Harrison Graham’s, an events space used for private parties and banquets, has a rustic urban appeal that immediately had me thinking of the eateries one would find on the streets in Manhattan’s West Village (though the width of Orange Avenue, visible through the window, is considerably wider than Bleecker or Grove Streets in New York). It’s small, with a few booths along the front and in the corner, and a small service bar at the back of the dining room, just in front of the window to the kitchen, past the hanging salume, where chef Jason Schofield works his magic. By the way, just as with much of the pasta, the chef makes the sausages and other charcuterie from scratch, even going so far as to break down a whole hog.

It’s an atmosphere you likely don’t have at home, unless you have an apartment nearby in Antiques Row, in which case you can walk to Wolfie’s. The rest of us will be circling the block looking for a place to park. Save us a seat.

Wolfie’s Pizzamia is at 1905 N Orange Ave., Orlando. It is open for dinner, from 3 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday and beginning at noon on Sunday. Prices are reasonable. The lasagna was $14 and my pizza, a 14-incher, was $15. Here’s a link to wolfiespizzamia.com. The phone number is 407-237-0921, just in case you want one delivered.

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Comments   

 
0 #7 Ing.W 2013-12-12 14:20
We tried it because we had a Travelzoo voucher. LOVED IT. It was just as Scott Joseph said. Food, service, and ambience were delightful. Will go back, as prices were reasonable.
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0 #6 maria 2013-04-18 18:23
Tough crowd!...lets see you make a pizza..
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0 #5 Chad Widcamp 2013-04-05 15:41
I tried Wolfies Pizza Mia last night for the first time. I live nearby so I was really wanting to like this place. Sadly, I did not. The pizza looked very different both from the photo in your review and the discription you gave in your review, so maybe they had an issue that night??! Our pizza crust was similar to the Digorno rising crust type. Not impressed. In addition when we asked about the beer selection, the server informed us they only had Peroni and only 4 left. So strange. Guess the are not allowed to use the bar next door! Doubt I will give them another try. Too bad!
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0 #4 Kim N. 2013-03-29 15:10
My husband and I tried to get a couple of sandwiches to pick up for lunch a couple Saturdays ago, but were told they didn't offer sandwiches until after 3 p.m. (just pizza). The menu and website didn't say anything about that, but it looks like the hours have been changed on the website now, so maybe they've worked out the kinks. We called back after 3, and the sandwiches were good, especially the meatball, but the meat on my half of the porchetta was literally all fat. I would expect a good bit of fat, but not all. My husband's half was better though. Next time, I'll try the pizza and stick to the prochetta at Prato, which is amazing.
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0 #3 Rina S 2013-03-27 07:53
I'm sure Wolfies is great but have been unable to talk to anyone there. I have called four times during the posted business hours and the phone has not been picked up.
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-1 #2 Phil Muse 2013-03-20 05:26
I ordered a pizza for pick up last Friday and was told 20-25 minutes. I arrived a little earlier than expected, found a spot to park a block away (it was early evening approx. 5:15) and went inside. Cute place, indeed, and I got to survey it for an additional 20+ minutes as my order must have had a problem. Discovered they were prepping for their first Speakeasy event later that evening and apparently the kitchen was struggling in preparation. I spent the time conversing with a most affable bartender who was on Day 2 of her employment. She had helped prepare a unique cocktail menu for the 1920's event and we had a lively exchange concerning the featured spirits. When my order was finally ready, the prices charged were a dollar more than their online menu showed, but the waiter quickly corrected them. The pie was the College Park and it was overcooked and too chewy. The Caesar salad was delicious but a meager amount for $10 $9. We will give them one more try, though.
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-1 #1 Christinis 2013-03-19 14:12
Sounds delicious!
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Wednesday, 23rd April 2014

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