I was excited to get an email this week from a reader who keeps a keen eye on the downtown Roanoke restaurant scene. She let me know that a gourmet pizzeria called Cork & Crust is now open inside 16 West Marketplace on Church Avenue.
16 West Marketplace also houses the European-style grocery store S&W Market, as well as CORE Chiropractic and Wellness, the RAC Express, Cafe 16 and a few other businesses. Cork & Crust is owned by Amelia Glaser and Mark Linson, the same folks who co-own the grocery store.
I’m supposed to be eating soft, bland food after having a little bit of oral surgery yesterday, but I followed those instructions really well by marching down Church Avenue this afternoon and buying an 8-inch pizza for lunch. The thin, crisp and slightly chewy crust topped with gourmet ingredients was worth the deep ache in my jaw where the doctor jacked me full of novocaine yesterday.
Cork & Crust is having a soft opening right now, but I experienced no wrinkles after I ordered the Rustic pizza with roasted garlic, mushrooms, fresh thyme, caramelized onions and house mozzarella. The pizza, which also comes in 12-inch, did cost about $10 including tax and was only large enough for one meal, but I was willing to pay the price because the ingredients were very generous and fresh-tasting. I bought a small side salad at the S&W salad bar to stretch my meal to two days.
All pies range from $6 to $9 for 8-inch and from $10 to $14 for 12-inch. Other options include a Margharita, The “Big Apple” (applewood-smoked bacon, caramelized onion with apple, aged white cheddar), La Pina (grilled pineapple, charred red onion, black forest ham, pepper jack), Sriracha chicken (grilled chicken breast, charred red onions, baby spinach, oven-dried tomatoes), Toscana (sauteed kale, artichokes, oven-dried tomatoes, olive tapenade, roasted garlic) and the beet-n-goat (herb-infused olive oil, roasted beets, goat cheese, spring onions). You can also get “The Simple” with a three-cheese blend, garlic and herb-infused olive oil.
Cork & Crust also sells a variety of wines and bottled beer, and has three beers on tap. Glaser said they plan to add some appetizers, salads and a cheese plate to the menu. It will be open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.