Life of Pie
Summer-ripe tomatoes, fragrant herbs, snapping-fresh vegetables – Indy establishments offer a bounty of ways to enjoy pizza ingredients at their peak of flavor. Don't miss these locally made and topped pies from across the city.
Now with three Indianapolis locations, Martha Hoover's pizzerias dress up high-quality building blocks – like dough made with Italian 00 flour and house-made red sauce – with imported Italian cheese and produce from more than 20 Indiana growers. Locavore to the core, there are some weeks during the summer when every bit of produce Napolese serves is sourced from within an hour's drive of Indianapolis.
The menu changes with the seasons to showcase veggies at their very best – summer, for instance, might see pizzas adorned with locally grown arugula, peppers, onions and tomatoes. The Green Margherita arrives slathered with basil pesto and topped with Indiana heirloom tomatoes and fresh mozzarella. Year-round, the Neapolitan-style pies are quick-fired to bubbly perfection in an 800° wood-burning oven.
To wash it down, try a local beer, a cool glass of Italian Pinot Grigio or a handcrafted cocktail.
What to order: The Farmers' Market Delight pizza with tomatoes, summer squash and roasted corn, and a Negroni.
Details: 114 E. 49th St., Indianapolis, 317-925-0765 | 30 S. Meridian St., Indianapolis, 317-635-0765 | Fashion Mall, 8702 Keystone Crossing, 317-705-0765 | NapolesePizzeria.com
Locavore chef and restaurateur Neal Brown believes keeping things simple is the best approach, and the reason why deliciously basic Italian pizzas often outshine their much heavier American counterparts. Although Brown does rely on some real-deal Italian ingredients like San Marzano tomatoes, he turns to local sources for the bulk of his food supplies.
"Italian cooking is rooted in market-fresh quality, and we honor that tradition by keeping our menu very flexible to take advantage what is available in the local marketplace," Brown says. "Food grown locally and with integrity is not only better for our land and for our guests, it just tastes better."
Brown and his staff also go the extra mile to create many of their own toppings onsite, from sausages – cured, blended and ground by hand – to house-made fresh mozzarella. Suppliers like Gunthorp Farms and Smoking Goose round out the inventory with top-notch meats.
A second Pizzology post will open later this year in Nora.
What to order: The summer pizza with local mint, Capriole Farms goat cheese, fresh jalapeño and house-cured pancetta, with a fried green tomato Caprese salad.
Details: 13190 Hazel Dell Pkwy., Carmel, 317-844-2550 | PizzologyIndy.com
Outdoor dining on Bazbeaux' Broad Ripple deck is a longstanding Indianapolis summer tradition, but the delicious pizzas keep customers coming back all year long. Owner Jeff Berman uses a Wisconsin cheese blend, premium olive oil, fresh vegetables and local meats. The one ingredient he doesn't go too heavy on is salt.
"We really try to keep it light, with skim-milk mozzarella and whole-milk provolone that add a lot of flavor without adding a lot of salt," Berman says. "We put salt shakers on the table so people can add more to their taste if they like. We don't over-sugar things, either, and there are no additives in our crust."
Bazbeaux' many veggie-themed pizzas lend themselves nicely to light summer meals, and the variety of moderately priced sipping wines are a nice way to cool off on a hot day. Locally prepared vegan cakes and gluten-free cookies from Broad Ripple–based H20 Sushi serve up a healthy sweet finale.
What to order: The Get Fresh pizza with fresh mozzarella, roasted tomatoes and arugula drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and a glass of dry rosé.
Details: 118 E. Westfield Blvd., Indianapolis, 317-255-5711 | 111 W. Main St., Carmel, 317-848-4488 | 333 Massachusetts Ave., Indianapolis, 317-636-7662 | Bazbeaux.com
JOCKAMO UPPER CRUST
From its Irvington- and Greenwood-based pizzerias, Jockamo has made a name for itself with distinctive garlic basil crust dough made fresh daily and an unusual array of topping possibilities that includes salsa, black bean dip, Thai peanut sauce and hummus. Smoked Cajun sausage shipped from New Orleans, chorizo from Smoking Goose and etouffee sauce from Papa Roux all provide authenticity to the Creole pizza and other pies.
Jockamo changes up its menu four times a year. During the summer months, customers can always find fresh gazpacho (made using co-owner Mick McGrath's family recipe), light salads along the lines of watermelon and goat cheese with balsamic and fresh basil, and seasonal pizzas. The tried-and-true favorites are hard to beat, though.
"It doesn't seem to matter what the season – our top two pizzas are the Slaughterhouse Five with five different meats, and the Cheese Louise with five different cheeses, red onion and bacon," McGrath says.
What to order: The So-Cal pizza loaded with fresh veggies and goat cheese, with a frosty local craft beer.
Details: 5646 E. Washington St., Indianapolis, 317-356-6612 | 401 Market Plaza, Greenwood, 317-883-8993 | JockamoPizza.com