DaVinci’s Pizza- The Little Pizzeria with Big Character

Sharing a small strip in Atlanitc Beach with a Metro PCS store and a Subway lies a little pizzeria with a lot of spunk. DaVinci’s Pizza has been serving up beer and pies for nearly nine years now, and their concept is solid. The space is tiny, but DaVinci’s following is not.

The first thing I was struck by when I walked in to DaVinci’s was the size. They have just a couple of tables and a bar. But the place didn’t feel claustrophobic or crammed. It was cozy and pleasant. The folks at DaVinci’s have thought out their space, with rustic wood features, a mosaic of the restaurant’s name on the wall, and some chalkboard walls with craft beers and specials listed. It feels modern and inviting; a place you would go back to.

DaVinci Salad

DaVinci’s is known for their gourmet pies and imaginative specialty pizzas. They serve salads, breads, pizzas, calzones, and craft beer. The menu isn’t expansive, but it was nice to see more than just the basics offered. The pizzas have names such as “Mona Lisa”, “Paid Vacation”, “Mr. Nice Guy”, and “The Gladiator” among others.

DaVinci Garlic Rolls

On our visit we tried garlic rolls ($3), a DaVinci’s House Salad, hold the onions (spring mix, Roma tomatoes, red onions, roasted sunflower seeds, and parmesan, with housemade lemon-pepper vinaigrette, $4.50), The Gladiator Pizza (All beef pepperoni, sausage, bacon, ham, and extra cheese, we added black olives, Large, 16”, $20), and the Slice O’ Heaven Pizza (a cheese pie topped with cool slices of Roma tomato, garlic-infused olive oil, cool ricotta swirl, fresh basil, salt and pepper, Small, 10”, $11). The garlic rolls were decent. They were fresh and warm with a strong garlic flavor from the garlic-infused olive oil. I wanted them to have a touch of salt with the garlic. The marinara sauce that was served with the garlic knots had a nice roasted/peppery mild intensity to it. The salad was fresh and huge for being a side salad. I think most of us that order a salad with pizza are just trying to get some nutrition in and I appreciated that they used real lettuces and didn’t call it a day with simply iceberg. In fact, there was no iceberg in the salad at all. The housemade lemon-pepper vinaigrette was fabulous. With each bite you got the lemon first, but it didn’t stay tart. It mellowed out to a vinegary flavor that was kept in check by the fat in the dressing. This is not a light dressing, but it is delicious. I would buy some to take home, were it offered. I might even ask next time. The Gladiator pie in all its meaty glory was a hit amongst the carnivores. Our group was solidly pro-black olive. We could have added those babies to any dish at DaVinci’s. The Slice O’ Heaven falls into the “beach lady yoga food” category for pizza, which I am famous for favoring. I was not sure what to expect with the “cool ricotta swirl” since ricotta tends to be very gloppy regardless of what you do with it. The fresh sliced tomatoes, basil, and ricotta swirl were quite the visual feast. The ricotta swirl was simply a sauce made with the ricotta that could be applied with a squeeze bottle or pastry bag instead of spooning glops of the ricotta on. This pizza was very well done. If it sounds like the kind of pizza you would enjoy then don’t hesitate to order it. Just like with the salad, DaVinci’s used quality ingredients and it tasted great.

The Gladiator with black olives

One of the things DaVinci’s is proud of and known for is their garlic-infused olive oil, which they use on a variety of dishes. It was on the garlic rolls and the Slice O’ Heaven that we ordered, and it is on a number of other pizzas and calzones as well. When you order something with the garlic-infused olive oil you have to know that you are committing to it. Garlic is a strong smell and flavor. DaVinci’s enhances their dishes with it, but the people there must smell like garlic all the time. I could smell it on my hands late at night still, after I had done a number of other things such as dishes and showering. It was on my hands from eating garlic rolls and pizza. Also, you probably won’t be making out with anyone after you have the garlic-infused olive oil. Just know that going into it. It is good, but you will be marked with the garlic for a time.

The Slice O’ Heaven Pie

Aside from their modern and cozy dining room, DaVinci’s delivers to the surrounding area and does a lot of take out orders. Not only have our foodie friends told us for some time to check out DaVinci’s, we could tell the DaVinci’s following is strong based on the orders that were picked up in the time we spent enjoying our meal. What can we say? If you’re in Atlantic Beach, go invest in your community by eating at locally owned places. DaVinci’s is a great place to start.

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