We’re coming up on a year now since we first introduced you to the south Main St. pizzeria, Raduno Brick Oven & Barroom. Of course, at that time it went by the name of “Piro,” but that’s old news at this point. What’s more important is Raduno is unleashing some new menu items on this town and they’re worth your attention. We got in there recently to see what all the fuss was about and we were able to scope out a number of the new dishes decorating the menu, as well as a few drinks coming from the bar. And let me just say…we left impressed.
Co-owner Bart Barlogie Jr. says they’re “looking to introduce new items gradually, not completely overhaul the entire menu.” He emphasizes that several of the most popular items won’t be going away…he’d have too many unhappy customers, he says.
So what’s good to eat over there? Here’s a bit of what’s fresh at Raduno:
From the starters section, you’re definitely going to want to look into the “Mushroom Gratin.” It’s a baked dish of wild mushrooms, served in a small crock with roasted garlic cream sauce, topped with parmesan and foccacia crumbs. It’s warm and comforting, quite rich and creamy…and pretty darn tasty. Another new addition is the “Peperonata & Goat Cheese” with stewed peperonata peppers (a kind of small, sweet bell pepper), with onions and tomatoes served on a bed of creamy goat cheese with capers and chives. Spread all this goodness on top of sourdough and consume.
If salad is your thing (and you’re somehow able to resist the temptation of hot pizza), they’ve got a few new things to sample. The Cobb is fairly standard, with romaine and raddichio with pancetta, provolone, tomato, focaccia croutons, and boiled egg. But they’re very excited for their “Kale & Beets” salad…which is constructed from roasted beets, chopped kale, pecorino cheese, and a citrus vinaigrette.
And there’s new pizzas! Be sure to get on this “Tuscan Ragu” pie. It was splendid. They dress it up with a rich, red bolognese sauce made with red wine and beef, mozzarella, and chives. It’s probably the best pizza I’ve eaten there…but I’m always a sucker for bolognese. They’re also doing a new intriguing pie, the “Shrimp & Pine Nuts” with mozzarella and pesto cream sauce. This wasn’t at our table this go-round, but will be next time. Promise.
Sandwiches? There’s a few newbies here, too. A chicken pesto on focaccia and a hearty “Hero” with ham, pepperoni, sopressata, and provolone with pepperoncinis, red onions, and dijon sauce. But we went with the “Italian Beef” …which was a great choice. It consisted of slow braised beef roast with provolone, pepperoncini peppers and a side of au jus for dipping. Perfect sandwich.
Also new is a new winter cocktail menu which features a strong lineup of craft cocktails that are geared specifically to not keep you waiting too long on the bar. In our visit we tried the Rock Town Redemption and the Cardarum Sour. The Rock Town Redemption features Rock Town’s aged gin and Bonal Aperitif. The drink has a strong bitterness mixed with a touch of sweetness with a full flavor you expect from a craft cocktail. The Cardarum Sour is a take on a traditional whiskey sour, using aged rum and Cardamaro as a base spirit. The result is a lighter, more approachable drink while still full of flavor. Raduno is also introducing a stronger presence of local beers into their enormous craft beer lineup.
And don’t skip out on dessert…especially now that they are being supplied by the talented Zara Abbasi Wilkerson. Zara gained some well-deserved attention for her desserts at Natchez prior to its closing, and currently you’ll find her goods in a few new restaurants around town, namely Heights Taco & Tamale Co., and Raduno’s sister restaurant, The Fold. Zara’s whipping up about 2-4 desserts for Raduno at any one time; these desserts will change from time-to-time. On our visit, we were offered a nice, tangy lemon cake, a chocolate espresso cake, and a salted caramel cake. Don’t sleep on dessert, folks.
There hasn’t been a better time to visit Raduno. Personally, I’ve seen some big steps forward for this place since we first visited shortly after opening. The space is still as beautiful and welcoming as ever, and the food continues to impress. Get on in there.