Modern-day pizza, of course, encompasses quite the broad spectrum, from creatively modern haute cuisine inventions to convenience-store microwave options, and depending on your hankering just about any kind can hit the spot. If authentic Italian-style wood-fired pizza is what the doctor ordered, though, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better option in Pensacola than the Tuscan Oven Pizzeria.
Opened by red and Deanne Lamarche in 2004, this Emerald Coast pizzeria has a not-so-secret weapon in the form of a two-ton brick, pumice, and clay oven sourced straight from Italy and fired to 500 degrees with hardwood. That’s where the magic happens.
The magical output of that wood-fired oven includes a great diversity of pizzas, including the pepperoni-packed Pietro, the spinach-and-ricotta Sal Fiorentina (“Mama’s favorite”), and the vegetarian-friendly All Putana heaped with artichokes, olives, and capers. If you’re feeling inspired, you can also opt to design your own pie, choosing from six kinds of meat, more than a dozen fresh veggies, four kinds of cheese, and specialty add-ons such as pineapple and anchovies.
Pizza’s the star of the show at the Tuscan Oven, but there’s much else on the menu, including some delicious appetite-stoking starters such as steamed mussels, bruschetta, Tuscan meatballs, and Mozzarella en Corrozza, fried hand-crumbed mozzarella prepared with olive oil and garlic. There’s quite the array of salads, too, plus Veggie Zuppa and cream of artichoke soup.
There are also pizza alternatives for entrees, namely a variety of Italian sandwiches and pasta dishes, from linguini with clams and Pesto Chicken Pasta to a soul-nourishing pasta marinara topped with homemade ricotta-stuffed meatballs.
You can pair your Italian feast with various fine wines or beer on tap or in the bottle, and wrap up your Italian feast with gelato or other appropriate dessert and perhaps a coffee.
Let’s take a look at some specific menu highlights at the Tuscan Oven Pizzeria!
Portabella Mushroom Appetizer
This is a hearty masterpiece: veggie-stuffed Portabella generously slathered in cheese and then baked.
The Tuscan Oven Pizzeria’s Eggplant Parmesan pasta is founded on homemade marinara and accentuated with gently fried eggplant, with the whole shebang finished off with mozzarella and baked in the oven. Good stuff!
If there’s a single standout pizza on the Tuscan Oven menu, it may just be the Bianca: the restaurant’s white-sauce option, mouthwateringly made with mozzarella, Fontina, and garlic.
You are on the Emerald Coast, after all, so consider the Seafood Pizza: the Tuscan Oven’s Margherita pizza converted to marine mode with clams, calamari, and shrimp on top.
The house salad, with its onions, black olives, and artichokes, claims a wonderful dressing and is the perfect palate-cleanser for your pizza or pasta celebration.
Some days—most days, really—call for pizza, and in Pensacola, the Tuscan Oven Pizzeria is one of the standout options for answering that call.
There’s a lot of different seating options at the Tuscan Oven, including outdoor tables, but probably the best seats in the house are up at the pizza bar, where you can watch the hardwood-fed oven do its thing.