As in any relationship, you get out of it what you put into it. This is especially true when it comes to thin-crust pizza. Local Pie’s chefs Lee Lucier and Jack McNulty and partner J.R. Richardson understand it’s all about the culinary team — and the “double 00” flour of course.
Translated from the Italian “dopio zero,” the “double 00” refers to the ultra-fine grind of the wheat flour, powdery and silky in texture, used to make the sourdough starter for the restaurant’s pizza dough. The custom pizza ovens, which reach temperatures of 900 degrees or more (affectionately called “the twins”), are designed to make pizzas with thin, crisp crusts.
“Clean, simple, food is what we’re looking to achieve. You can’t really pigeon-hole Neapolitan into a type of pizza; it’s more an art form of Italian passion for food and the process of how the ingredients evolve into an experience,” says McNulty. “We constantly challenge one another to be even better and more creative.”
With Local Pie’s open kitchen, diners can witness the art of hearth cooking from their seats. The ovens are fired with locally sourced, sustainable wood from cherry, apple, pecan and oak trees and, depending on the number of ingredients on the pizza, the cooking time be as quick as 1 to 3 minutes. Don’t blink, or you might miss it.
“While we’ll have some classics on the menu, we’ll be sourcing our ingredients from regional suppliers throughout the South. Blended with our culinary experiences over the last three decades means we’re sure to come up with something new and delicious, like our collard and quail pie,” says Lucier of the new restaurant. The Local Pie team makes its own house-cured meats like duck prosciutto, bacon and sausages, as well as fresh-water mozzarella and other ingredients, allowing the restaurant to eliminate the use of GMOs, MSG, high fructose and other ingredients they prefer to exclude.
Using recycled materials and reclaimed woods in the décor lessened the restaurant’s environmental footprint. “We designed a simple, efficient floor plan utilizing indoor and outdoor space, all to benefit our guests each time they visit,” says Lucier. “And serving wine and cocktails on draft and craft beers in kegs is our way of reducing the volume of glass bottles and aluminum cans. Even the pizza boxes are made of recycled materials.”
Other amenities include large-screen TVs, a sprawling 800-foot deck with a bar and generous bike parking.
A little bit of pizza history to whet the appetite: the port city of Naples — Napoli in Italian — in southern Italy is credited with being the home of pizza. Pizza Margherita, made with tomato, mozzarella, basil and extra-virgin olive oil, was created for Queen Margherita of Savoy in honor of her visit there. Local Pie pays homage to the spirit of Napoli’s pizza legacy and brings an Italian tradition to the Lowcountry with hand-crafted, creative influences of the Southeast. “All together we have an artfully achieved, casual atmosphere where the food is the star. Our goal is to have our guests experience that passion throughout their experience,” says McNulty. “Our goal is for people who know and appreciate food to want to come here.”
55 New Orleans Road, #106
Hilton Head Island, SC 29928
Hours: 11:30 am until whenever
Open 7 days a week
Reservations accepted, walk-ins welcome
Lunch, happy hour, dinner & late night
Online ordering & delivery available