The smell of freshly baked bread and bubbling cheese is intoxicating. Stepping into V Pizza, next to Harris Teeter on St. Simons Island, diners are offered the rare opportunity to escape from the beachy shores of the Golden Isles and into a rustic Italian eatery, all without purchasing a plane ticket. V Pizza, which opened in 2019, is devoted to offering its diners an authentic culinary experience, which was cultivated after a trip to Italy.
Owner George Stewart says the founders of V Pizza traveled to the Old World to discover the best possible method for preparing classic dishes.
“Their search for the best of the best led to Stefano Ferrera in Naples, where he and his family have been making these ovens for hundreds of years,” Stewart said.
These incredible devices reach 900 ahrenheit and can bake a fresh pizza in mere minutes. V Pizza incorporated this traditional method into its restaurant design. Stewart and his wife, Michelle, also traveled to Italy themselves to draw inspiration for the space. When they returned, they enlisted the help of local artist Clint Hobby, who painted a large scale mural from a photograph the couple took during their trip on the restaurant’s back wall.
The open floor plan allows for patrons to watch as the skilled chefs the steps of freshly preparing each dish. And that, of course, includes creating the dough each morning.
“Our dough is made fresh every day exclusively from flour that’s imported directly from Italy,” Stewart says.
“The ingredients are simple: flour, sea salt, distilled water, fresh yeast, and nothing else.”
While the dough is key to any good Italian dish, the cheese is equally important. V Pizza utilizes Mozzarella Di Bufala, a drawn-curd cheese made exclusively from whole buffalo’s milk, has a springy texture and a faint mossy smell, reminiscent of the humid grazing fields of Campania in Southern Italy.
Stewart says that this authentic cheese takes a meal to the next level.
“If you’ve never had the real mozzarella before, it’s definitely time you tasted this delicacy,” he says.
As with the dough and cheese, the sauce is equally important. V Pizza’s sauce is made from San Marzano tomatoes, widely considered the world’s best and most flavorful tomatoes, which are shipped directly
“We then add our house made basil pesto (no nuts). That’s it,” Stewart says.
Authenticity plays into other key elements of the menu as well. Its prosciutto, for instance, is the gold standard. It is produced in the province of Parma, using only four ingredients: specially prepared Italian ham, sea salt, air, and the most important ingredient — time.
That’s another player in V Pizza’s prized bacon too. The restaurant serves traditional Pancetta, and is often called “Italian bacon.” Unlike its American cousin, which is most often smoked or chemically cured, pancetta is unsmoked pork belly that is cured in salt and spices which is then dried for several months.
While the Pancetta is divine, no Italian menu would be complete without meatballs. V Pizza utilizes 100 percent all natural meats to create this time honored favorite.
“Our meatballs are 100 percent natural without breading making them a celebrated appetizer without guilt or gluten. Whether they are listed here or not, all of our ingredients have this in common: No artificial preservatives, all natural ingredients, no GMOs,” Stewart says.
In addition to the world-class menu which also includes unique sandwiches, wood-fired wings, salads and desserts, V Pizza offers a complete wine list with a full service bar. There are also special events taking place weekly. For starters, the V Bar offers Happy Hour — all day, every day from 11 a.m. until close, with $3 well drinks and domestic beers.
From 7 to 9 p.m. every Tuesday, local star Jeff Lane hosts Trivia Night with prizes and specials. At 6 p.m. Thursday, there’s a Paint and Sip Party, hosted by Hobby. V also has live music on the porch including local favorites and rising stars. Sundays feature $12 bottomless mimosas and Bloody Marys from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
All of these elements — from the authentic, all-natural menu to the fabulous libations and exciting events — provide the perfect escape for locals and tourists alike.
“We hope that you enjoy your experience at V Pizza and appreciate the taste of old world Italy right here in the Golden Isles,” Stewart says.