Pizzeria Delfina offers up the taste of Italy by the slice. The bustling, casual eatery opened in October right in the heart of Downtown on Dauphin Street. (Delfina is Italian for Dauphin, hence the name.) Rich Gambino is at the helm, and he is no newcomer to the restaurant business. He is one of the five sons of Rick and Gari Gambino, who operated Gambino’s in Fairhope for decades. Two of Rich’s brothers reopened that original location a couple of years ago.
Rich co-owns the new pizzeria with local attorney Ray Bell. Rich describes the fare as “authentic, rustic, New-York-style, Italian cuisine.” He says, “By that, I mean our pizza is about as New York as you can get, from the dough we make to the 1972 Blodgett deck ovens that were a familiar sight back in the heydey of Little Italy.” The menu boasts 10 specialty pizzas, and they serve their cheese pizza, featuring a blend of four cheeses and up to three toppings, by the slice from lunch until 4 p.m. and then again late night. While pizza is the main game, the nearly dozen pleasing pasta dishes are just as popular. Salads and some sandwiches, including the delicious meatball, round out the expanding menu. The salad dressings are all exceptionally good and made in house. Rich says that they plan to add dessert and introduce several traditional Italian classics that are hard to find elsewhere, including soups like stracciatella and dinner staples, such as osso buco.
There is seating at the long counter that runs almost the length of the building (perfect for munching solo at lunch), table seating and bistro seating for alfresco dining. They also have a selection of beer and wine.
On the Menu
A well-done, tasty version of the standard salad. The simple, fresh-flavored and perfectly dressed salad has just a hint of anchovy essence.
Served as a sub-style sandwich or by the scoop, the chicken salad is ultra creamy, loaded with Parmesan cheese and laced lavishly with ribbons of fresh basil.
Linguine con Vongole
Go ahead and splurge on this one: a bed of linguine is bathed in a lush sauce with garlic, basil and clams.
Le Cadillac Pizza
This flagship supreme pie, right, is loaded with a smorgasbord of toppings, including pepperoni, sausage, ham, beef, mushrooms, olives, onion, red pepper and garlic.
Pizzeria Delfina • 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. M – Th • 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. F / Sa
107 Dauphin St. 375-1644
text by Sallye Irvine • photos by Blair Abraham