The Latest and Greatest in Local Pizza

 

By Cheryl Mandell

For many of us, summertime means a break from the normal – perhaps a trip or maybe a “staycation,” and hopefully, a chance to take life a bit slower for a while. What better time than the lazy days of summer to ditch dinner duty and grab a delicious slice of pizza?

There are many well-established pizza joints in Estero, as well as two new restaurants that deserve some attention. Check out our roundup of the newest hotspots and other great local pizzerias to take the heat out of your kitchen this summer.

 

OAK & STONE

The motto at Oak & Stone is, “Craft your own story,” and with the generous selections of artisan pizza, sandwiches, appetizers and so much more, you can visit all summer long and never tell the same tale twice.

Oak & Stone is “an inspired twist on the classic tavern,” an idea sparked by two longtime friends, Joe Seidensticker and Brett Decklever, and their desire for delicious, out-of-the-ordinary food and drinks with a welcoming neighborhood feel. The latest location in the new Estero Crossings plaza off Corkscrew Road achieves exactly that.

“The founders of Oak & Stone wanted a place they could go with their kids, enjoy a good beer and really good food,” said General Manager Dennis Owens. “Some restaurants have good food but aren’t family-friendly, or maybe have good beer but mediocre food. The goal in launching this restaurant was to be all-encompassing, to achieve all three things.”

Estero marks Oak & Stone’s seventh location in Florida. The restaurant, which is now part of Artistry brands, provides a jovial and inviting atmosphere, beckoning patrons with clever signs that say, “Beer is better in Estero” and “Whiskey may not be the answer, but it’s worth a shot.” The open-concept allows locals and vacationers alike to mingle, and there’s plenty of room for the whole neighborhood, with ample indoor and outdoor seating.

What sets the pizza at Oak & Stone apart is in the process. Their signature hand-crafted dough is made with triple-filtered water and involves a 36-hour fermentation process to give the thin crust its unique flavor and texture. The pizza is then stone-fired, which adds a distinct flavor and consistency.

While artisanal pizza may be the show-stopper, there are plenty of other reasons to dine and drink at Oak & Stone. Their famous self-serve brew wall features nearly 50 constantly rotating craft beers, arranged from light to dark. Each tap’s screen displays the beer’s alcohol by volume, price and tasting notes. For those who prefer spirits, the bourbon whiskey menu is extensive, with several private barrel selections exclusive to Oak & Stone.

Brunch is also served on weekends, featuring eclectic items such as Peach Old Fashioned French Toast, brioche French toast topped with warm bourbon-peach chutney, whipped cream and an amarena cherry.

Oak & Stone has a variety of happy hour specials, including a new “late-night happy hour” for summer with 50% off the beer wall and pizzas, and 25% off all wings, wine and whiskey. Stop in and discover your next favorite neighborhood hangout.

 

Our Favorites

Quattro Formaggi

Quattro Formaggi

 

Quattro Formaggi – Featuring Oak & Stone’s signature dough and stone-fired baking process, this pizza pie features four cheeses – smoked gouda, fresh mozzarella, crumbled bleu cheese, and parmesan – with herbed extra virgin olive oil and savory herbs for a unique and delicious experience.

 

 

 

Fun Guy

Fun Guy

 

Fun Guy – Who doesn’t enjoy a good pun? This pizza is loaded with roasted mushrooms, arugula, mozzarella, parmesan, herbs and truffle oil in a garlic parmesan sauce. Fungi lovers won’t want to pass up this pizza!

 

Oak & Stone

10191 Estero Town Commons Place, Estero, FL 33928

239.217.1820 | oakandstone.com

 

PEZZO PIZZA + BAR

That's Amore at Pezzo!

That’s Amore at Pezzo!

 

Pezzo Pizza + Bar has been an instant hotspot since local restaurateur and FGCU graduate Antonio Longobardo opened this trendy artisan pizzeria and authentic Italian restaurant in June 2023.

Building and expanding on his Luigi’s Pizza Ė Pasta place in Miromar Outlets, this newer Estero restaurant, located in Estero Ridge plaza next to Zino, possesses a more upscale atmosphere and menu than the delicious but casual Luigi’s.

Pezzo (pronounced PET-so) is Italian for “piece,” in this case, a piece of pizza. A party of four can order three of these small, gourmet pizzas and an appetizer to share. The concept behind the name is that everyone will want to share a piece.

The restaurant’s motto is, “Amplify your appetite,” and the call is loud and clear. To start, there are unforgettable appetizers like the burrata with prosciutto and fig, and baby calzone filled with creamy ricotta and cubes of ham, drizzled with spicy honey and powdered sugar. Entrees include the Rigatoni al Ragu (Sunday sauce), featuring meatball, sausage and beef tenderloin simmered for six hours, which is reason enough to return. The shareable pizzas speak volumes.

“I cook the Sunday sauce for seven hours a night,” said General Manager Leonardo Fiore. “My mother used to cook this Saturday night to be ready for Sunday lunch. So, that’s what I do.”

Craft cocktails such as the Margherita Arrebiata (Spicy Margarita), the Glitter Mafia featuring Ghost tequila, fresh blackberries and gold flakes, and the Tiramisu Old Fashioned are another reason people keep coming back for more.

The ambiance at Pezzo offers an enticing combination of dark and sultry, with bold red illuminated cursive signs on the wall and a translucent bar with LED lights beneath it that rotate in magnificent colors. The atmosphere boasts a variety of colors, but the hospitality shines brightest.

“We really want to put an emphasis on taking care of people,” said Longobardo. “To be a place of gathering for people to share not only food but memories and good times together.”

 

Our Favorites

 

La Parma

La Parma

 

La Parma — A beautiful and savory white pizza, consisting of a burrata centerpiece, surrounded by prosciutto di parma and arugula, and delicately drizzled with lemon-infused extra virgin olive oil.

 

 

Spicy Baby

Spicy Baby

 

Spicy Baby – Falling under the “red pizza” category, Spicy Baby is a crowd-pleaser. The ricotta is displayed in artful dollops alongside the pepperoni, all of which glistens with red-pepper-infused honey.

 

 

Pezzo Pizza + Bar

20041 S. Tamiami Trail #18, Estero, FL 33928

239.908.9197 | pezzopizzabar.com

 

More Great Pizza in Estero

 

ANY Pizzeria

It all started with a 15 year-old boy from central Pennsylvania and a dream. After working at his family’s pizza place and attending culinary school, young Jake Foltz made his way to Southwest Florida via a hospitality opportunity. Fast forward to August 2018, when Foltz’s dream came true with the opening of his first pizzeria, Anthony’s NY Pizza in The Brooks Town Center. Since then, the name has changed to ANY Pizzeria, but the New York-inspired pizza and Italian entrees have remained the same – delicious!

10020 Coconut Rd #130, Estero, FL 34135 239.301.4727 | anypizzeria.com

 

Luigi’s Pizza E Pasta

Father and son partners Antonio and Luigi Longobardo have owned and operated Italian restaurants in the area for over three decades, but Antonio is manning the helm of this busy Italian eatery next to the WINK Playland in Miromar Outlets. There are plenty of choices on the menu at Luigi’s, from traditional pizza, to stuffed pizza, salads, oven-baked subs and pasta. There’s even a pizza with sausage, ham, onions, peppers and mozzarella named after Sheriff Carmine Marceno.

10801 Corkscrew Rd #196, Estero, FL 33928 239.307.2684 | luigispizzaepasta.com

 

Mamma Anna Trattoria

Located in the heart of Coconut Point, this family-owned restaurant serves authentic Italian fare, made by Mamma Anna and her three sons from Naples, Italy. The restaurant specializes in pizzas such as the Mediterranean pizza with tomato sauce, mozzarella, eggplant, feta cheese,

mushroom, tomato and spinach. They have other great choices like the Queen Margherita, Bianca, Calabrese pie, and more. Mamma Anna’s also offers fresh salads, pastas, entrees and desserts.

23111 Fashion Dr, Estero, FL 33928 239.310.6002 | mammaannamenu.com

 

Marsala Italian Ristorante & Pizzeria

Marsala’s opened in 2003 in the Shoppes of Grande Oak, and offers classic Italian cuisine ranging from pizza to pasta, seafood, chicken and veal entrees. Until his passing in 2022, founder and patriarch Calogero Marsala would welcome guests with a smile and a story. Known as “Charlie,” Marsala began his culinary journey from Sicily to Staten Island, New York, before moving to Southwest Florida in the early 1990s. His loyal pizza chef from Staten Island followed to Florida and still works at Marsala Ristorante today.

20321 Grande Oak Shoppes Blvd #300, Estero, FL 33928 239.948.8443 | marsalas.net

 

Mellow Mushroom

Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, Mellow Mushroom was established in 1974 by three college friends near Georgia Tech’s campus in Atlanta. The friends shared a common passion: the art of pizza baking. The groovy ’70s aesthetic, paired with the savory flavors of handcrafted, stone-baked pizzas, local brews and munchies like wings, hoagies, and calzones quickly made Mellow Mushroom a favorite among locals when it opened in University Village in 2018.

10950 Eagle Village Drive, Fort Myers, FL, 33913 239.599.2616 | mellowmushroom.com

 

Romeo’s

In late 2023, Ohio natives Jennifer and Jimmy Page brought their newest franchising endeavor to Southwest Florida with the Ohio-based Romeo’s Pizza. Romeo’s, located in the University Highlands plaza, features a lengthy list of “feel-good” pizza and a wide array of comfort food options like wings, subs, salads and calzones.

19527 Highland Oaks Drive, Suite 205, Estero, FL 33928 239.421.1200 | locations.romeospizza.com

 

Rosati’s

Rosati’s began in Chicago in 1964, with its roots dating back to 1906, when Italian immigrant Ferdinand Rosati opened a pizzeria on Chicago’s famous Taylor Street. The chain is beloved by Illinois expats from all over Southwest Florida, who eagerly head to Corkscrew Village in Estero for their fix. People “in the know” who want authentic Chicago pizza go to Rosati’s.

21301 S. Tamiami Tr. STE #400, Estero, FL 33928 239.221.3706 | myrosatis.com/estero

 

San Matteo

This modern, yet inviting eatery in University Village offers a blend of contemporary and authentic southern Italian cuisine that remains faithful to the true Neapolitan pizza. Chef Giuseppe Manco began working in his family’s restaurant in Naples, Italy, 25 years ago and has received awards for his pizza, as well as rave reviews from New York Magazine, The New York Times and Forbes.

19810 Village Center Drive, Fort Myers, FL 33913 239.234.2536 | sanmatteorestaurant.com

 

Tony Sacco’s Coal Oven Kitchen

The idea for Tony Sacco’s Coal Oven Kitchen got its start right here in Estero. Three friends from Michigan were discussing the first authentic New York pizzerias from the early 1900’s and a spark of an idea was ignited. The restaurant opened in Coconut Point in 2003, and pizza remains the best seller here. It’s made, like many of the menu selections, in the 1,000-degree coal oven. Locals and vacationers love this spot!

8001 Plaza del Lago Dr, Estero, FL 33928 239.948.6697 | tonysaccos.com

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