Simplicity and tradition are certainly among the best traits when it comes to food. At Lampo they craft authentic Neapolitan pizza with delicious, simple ingredients and traditional wood-fire ovens. Opened in 2014 by talented owners, friends and chefs, Loren Mendosa, Ian Redshaw and Mitchell Beerens, whose creative and affordable menu of pizza, delicious salads, panuozzi, and Italian cheeses and charcuterie boards have made Lampo one of the busiest spots in town.
When making Neapolitan pizza some main rules to follow are: proper “00” flour for the dough, San Marzano tomatoes from Naples (imported plum tomatoes), and a classic Italian wood-fire dome pizza oven (so massive it had to be lowered through the restaurant’s roof). The pizza is baked at 1000 degrees Fahrenheit for no more than 90 seconds then finished off with a splash of olive oil.
Sitting at the bar is our favorite way to experience Lampo. From here you can see the whole process unfold while you dine. The rising dough, hand formed and covered in bright red tomato sauce, then diced fior di latte is added (fresh mozzarella prepared in-house every day from Wisconsin cured cow’s milk!) as well as a few other thoughtful toppings. The skilled pizzaiolo navigates the incredibly hot flames, rapidly cooking the pizzas to mouthwatering perfection.
You can’t go wrong at Lampo, but we recommend the classic Margherita (San Marzano, fior di latte and basil), the Abruzzo (Wolf Creek Farm beef and pork meatballs, fior di latte, San Marzano, pecorino and basil), and the Diavola (n’duja, San Marzano, fior di latte, wild oregano and Calabrian chili). We also suggest ordering some of the wonderful salads and starters to share. And nothing pairs with a meal at Lampo better than an Italian wine from their curated selection or a delicious hand-crafted cocktail.
The dining atmosphere is intimate, warm and fun. Newcomers may be surprised the pizzas don’t come sliced, so if you’re not sure how to handle it, just ask your server for a pair of their pizza-cutting scissors. Mitchel Beerens confesses that his favorite pizza is the Marinara, with just tomatoes, garlic, oregano, sea salt and olive oil. “That was the first pizza ever, the food of the Neapolitan sailors, so delicious and so simple.”
Phone: (434) 244-3226
Hours: Mon-Sat 11am-2:30pm and 5pm-12am.
Text and photo: Edu Bayer