Lombardi Pizza Co. Kitchen Introducing New Pizza DNA in Nexton

New Jersey Native Merging Neapolitan & New York-style Pizza, Along with Pasta & Sweet Treats

Jeff Walker,  Restaurant Review

For anyone who's read any of my food & beverage reviews over the past couple of decades you'll understand I am a 'comfort food foodie'. I wouldn't classify myself as foo-foo i.e an overly fancy food enthusiast. Although, I relish a good $75 steak with $10 sides, those outings are random. Like most people I enjoy everyday meat and potatoes dishes, pasta, and a juicy cheeseburger, even more so when they're affordable. Good food at fair prices always taste good.

While the food & beverage scene in greater Charleston has evolved over the same 20 year period, the low country has survived for decades on shrimp & grits and pulled pork BBQ. Growing up in suburban New Jersey during the 1960's and 70's I was subject to a variety of food ethnicities. Most neighborhoods had a Jewish deli, a German bakery, and an Italian pizzeria. They were age old family eateries embracing their nationalities through food.

In that same vein, New Jersey native Peter Lombardi and his Belgian born wife Pauline brought Lombardi Pizza Co. Kitchen (LPCK) to the newly developed Hub @ Nexton located at 1231 Nexton Parkway in Summerville. If awarding a star denotes excellence than LPCK is a five star destination, meaning they score high in five essential categories, good food, presentation, hospitality, and overall ambiance, while being wallet friendly. aaaaaaaalpclogo

From shareables to pizza and from pasta to something special LPCK's menu prices range from $14 to $30, with a majority $22 and under. Besides affordability the entrees come with eye appeal.

The Lombardi's do justice to Peter's Italian heritage. A culinary and restaurant management degree graduate Peter trained under master pizza chef Enzo Coccia in the old country before returning to NJ to open his first Lombardi Pizza Company in 2013. More than a decade later he and Pauline discovered Charleston, bringing traditional Neapolitan and NY style pizza to Summerville, with the low country LPCK opening in the fall of 2023.

Peter likes to say he's introducing a whole new 'DNA' (Doing Neapolitan Authentically) of the two popular pizza styles to Charleston, while insuring the integrity of the dough, which is the basis for every great pizza remains intact. All doughs are fermented at least 72 hours and yes they do offer a couple of gluten-free options. Early buzz has been overwhelming.

You can order a straight up a 12 or 18 inch cheese pizza or select any of their six signature pizzas including an extremely palatable Margherita topped with home-made tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, and parmesan adorned with colorful basil leaves, because presentation matter. aaaaaaaalpcmarg1

Enjoy a nice blend of sauce, garlic, oregano, red pepper flakes, parmesan, and basil than the appropriately named Razor thin pizza may be to your liking. This dine-in only palate pleasing pizza comes in an 18 inch option for just $22, and easily feeds two hearty appetites as do all their pizzas, or three light eaters. All their pizzas come with a crispy crust that is perfectly charred on bottom.

Of course you can customize your pizza with any of their dozen toppings including sweet sausage, roasted peppers, or soppressata (traditional Italian dry salami).

But don't think for a minute pizza is all they excel at. Lombardi's Pizza Co. Kitchen is not your typical pizza parlor, rather they are an upscale pizzeria wrapped inside a welcoming Italian ristorante. LPCK dish up a half dozen signature made in house hand-crafted pastas served with 24 month aged parmesan.

Simply stated LPCK is a pasta lovers dream location. Their Calabria is house made rigatoni (wide fluted tubes) in a swirl of sweet & spicy cream sauce. A rich and zesty pasta entree. Want to take creamy up a notch, sample the Creamy Pesto. Radiatori (shaped to resemble radiators) pasta in a unique blend of basil and garlic, topped with toasted Panko breadcrumbs for slightly crispy texture.

If you prefer a journey to the old school Italy than try Mom's Bolognese, a thicker beef & pork red sauce over rigatoni. A centuries old Italian standard aka 'ragù alla bolognese' is typically a slow cooked meat-based sauce, with the Lombardi family adding their a bit of panache to make their own.  aaaaaaaalpcpasta

The hardest decision you'll have at LPCK is deciding which sensational pasta entree to choose from. But if you love to share and you're coming in with family or friends, maybe order three or more pasta dishes with extra plates to enjoy your very own 'pasta flight'.

Keeping it even more real all their fresh mozzarella is sourced out from award winning cheese master Lioni Latticini. His traditional Ovoline won 1st place in the 2023 American Cheese Society Competition. Quality ingredients make for quality food. Plus Lombardi Pizza Co. make their own garlic bread and it's off the charts freakin' amazing! aaaaaaaalpcbread

Their 'Something Special' menu is a double dose consisting an Italian-American favorite and the latest handheld rage. Your taste buds will thank you when you bite into their Chicken Parm crafted from organic chicken, mozzarella, and drizzled pesto around rigatoni. Not in the mood for Italiano, than you won't be disappointed with their twin patty Smash Burger complete with bacon jam on a pretzel bun. Sometimes you have to think outside the norm.

Maybe you're in between meals or just in for a light bite with a glass of wine or a cocktail. I recommend their Truffle Fries, house cut fries lightly coated with truffle salt and parmesan presented with a seasoned truffle rosemary mayo for dipping. An ample and shareable pop in your mouth delight, priced favorably at $14.

All told, there are seven signature appetizers on the menu and I thoroughly recommend the two 100% all beef meatballs cloaked in red sauce and ricotta served with baked bread. Let's face it, everything taste better with ricotta! Looking for something a bit refined, perhaps off the wall, than their Brussels Salad is a luscious green spiral of roasted shaved Brussels sprouts, dried cranberries, candied walnuts, parmesan, bacon, and maple Dijon. Two words 'zesty & refreshing'!

As expected the specials aren't on the regular menu, but are equally alluring. Who doesn't love Sicilian Eggplant Parm, Antipasta, or Pasta Primavera with broccoli rabe, roasted tomatoes, and garlic. When in Rome or in this case Summerville, indulge in authentic Italian fare.

Throwing a curve ball into the mix, kids of all ages may choose to cap off a heavenly meal by ordering soft serve in a cup or as a shake. But wait a minute, there's more. The LPC Sweets come with two familiar mix-ins. aaaaaaaalpcsweets

Let me break it down. They use regular vanilla or chocolate ice cream, place it in a giant swirling machine with your choice of two familiar cereal or cookie flavors. Imagine mixing Cap'n Crunch Berries with Apple Jacks or Cocoa Pebbles with Reese's Puffs. One thing I know for certain, we never outgrow our love for ice cream treats and we never outgrown our love for our favorite childhood sweets.

Having operated a successful location in Martinsville, NJ for over 12 years Peter trusts his vendors. Aside from vegetables and a few small items he pretty much secures the same products he's been using all along. Again, quality ingredients make for quality food.

A variety of red, white, rose, and sparkling wines dot the adult menu. Most from Italy with a select few from France and California. By the glass or by the bottle. Another half dozen signature cocktails including a Chocolate Martini and a Berry Fizzaaaaaaaalpcmartini

Paying tribute to Pauline's homeland the Cherry Chouffe Ale is a popular Belgian brown ale with a hint of cherry. A smooth drinking beer that pairs well with most entrees and Sweet & Spicy Pizza. Being fair to the ever evolving local craft brewing community Lombardi Pizza Co. keep several beers in rotation. Ask your server when dining in. All meals come with complimentary sparkling water.

Dessert beverages range from cappuccino to Williamine Pear Brandy. Lombardi's quaint bar can easily concoct your favorite cocktail. I'll give you a heads up, two beverages that complement great tasting pizza are Italian Cream Soda, and ironically Mexican Coca-Cola. Sometimes you just need real sugar in your soft drink.

All this great food and drink surrounded by aesthetic character. The overall decor is extremely pleasing, as the table settings and background music set the tone especially during the dinner hour. Lombardi Pizza Co. Kitchen emanates a welcoming environment, and the moment you walk in the aroma immediately lets the senses know you're in an authentic Italian eatery.

While everyone is welcome they strongly suggest leaving smaller children home. Due to limited space, they do not have any highchairs or booster seats, nor do they allow strollers in the dining room. Heads up, you can order online for pickup and they offer gift cards if you need a present for that serious Italian food lover in your party.

Lombardi Pizza Co. Kitchen is open five days a week. They serve lunch 11:30 - 2:30pm Tuesday thru Saturday, dinner 5-9pm Tuesday thru Thursday, and open until 10pm Friday and Saturday night. If you live or work in Summerville, especially in the Nexton area or anywhere near Cane Bay than you're 10 to 15 minutes from some of the best Italian food you'll experience in greater Charleston. For more visit their website at https://www.lpckitchen.com/