Image courtesy Delicio Coal Fired Pizza
Delicio stands out as Cincinnati’s only coal-fired pizzeria. The eatery was started up by local resident Randy Key, who also operates several Qdoba restaurants.
Stationed in the center of the restaurant, the coal-fired oven gives patrons a view of the complete cooking process. This type of oven reaches higher temperatures, allowing it to cook the pizza faster, and—inexplicably—offers a cleaner cooking environment than a traditional wood-fired oven.
The coal-fired oven infuses the crisp pizza crusts with a strong smoky flavor, but the slices remain untainted by a burned or bitter taste. Try the steak fajita pizza: The delicious monterey-jack and white cheddar cheese is speckled with green peppers, onions, and hearty chunks of perfectly seared steak. Top it with lettuce and sour cream, and you’ll begin to wonder whether you’re eating a pizza disguised as a fajita or a fajita shaped like a pizza. For a pie more faithful to its motherland, grab a slice of the Pulcinella and take in all the pesto, garlic, mushroom, and olive flavor you can handle.
As with most pizzerias, there is little on the menu to distract diners from the main event. The salads are basic (with the exception of the Southwest Green Chili: braised pork, green chilis, jalapeños, sweet red onions, a dollop of sour cream, and pepper-jack cheese to give it a kick), and the sandwich offerings are minimal (though their signature braised pork and tangy dijon creme fraiche on the Cubano sandwich is worth sampling).
If you’ve still got room, there’s always the s’mores gelato: rich chocolate gelato, gourmet graham crackers, and kitchen-torched mini marshmallows on top.
Delicio Coal Fired Pizza, 9321 Montgomery Road, Old Montgomery, (513) 984-4105, deliciocoalfiredpizza.com