Chorney-Booth: Calgary’s pizza culture grows with two new pizzerias

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Pizza Culture is located at 1114 Edmonton Trail N.E. in the former Open Range location. To see the menu, visit pizzacultureyyc.ca and place takeout orders at 403-277-4900.

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The other exciting new pizzeria is the Little Tavern Pizza Project, the newest restaurant from James Beard-award-winning chef Keith Luce, who acts as its general manager. When Luce’s last restaurant Tavernetta was unable to reopen earlier in the pandemic, he turned his attention to the pizza offshoot that was originally intended for Tavernetta’s basement. He started by selling some takeout from the Springbank Links golf course and in November he moved to a full-service restaurant in Strathcona Park before switching to takeout-only once the second round of dining restrictions took hold.

Little Tavern Pizza
Little Tavern Pizza jpg

Little Tavern draws on Luce’s nostalgia for his formative years in New York, where he developed a deep love for NYC-style pies. While the food is relatively simple, Luce had a few tricks up his sleeve, pulling the recipes for his pizza dough, sauce, and sides like meatballs from his finely-honed repertoire. New York pizza is a bit thicker than Napoletana, and Little Tavern’s big floppy slices are covered with plenty of sauce, a godsend for anyone who isn’t a fan of dryer styles of pizza.

“I wanted to do New York Style because it travels well and it brings up childhood memories,” Luce says. “My food has been getting more and more casual as I’ve been getting older and I’ve had a lot of fun revisiting my childhood memories. I miss my New York bagels, I miss my New York delis, and I miss my New York pizzas.”

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