ANDREW JANSEN/ JOURNAL The salami, front, and margherita pizzas along with salty caramel gelato at The Good Pie on Olive St.

Be it built on thick or thin crust, or topped with provel or mozzarella, St. Louis always has taken its pizza seriously. In recent years, the art of the pie has become elevated around town, with several high-quality pizzerias emerging on the culinary scene. One of these is The Good Pie in Midtown, which has earned a reputation as a must-visit establishment for pizza aficionados, and—as we recently discovered—for very good reason.

The restaurant featured Neapolitan pizza—a deliciously minimalist creation featuring tomatoes and mozzarella and an extremely selective use of other toppings— and little else. The Good Pie’s menu had a small selection of starters (Primi) and salads (Insalate) and about a dozen pizzas (Pizze). There also was a nice selection of beers and wines, all posted on chalkboards around the restaurant. Wines were offered by the glass and bottle, as usual, but half-bottle carafes also were available—a nice option for lessthirsty diners. We decided to quaff a couple of Scrimshaw Pilsners ($4), a crisp, refreshing brew from North Coast Brewing Company.

To start, we ordered the Roasted Olives ($5), a heaping variety of steaming hot olives swimming in fragrant oil, then split the Chopped Salad ($8). On the menu, this salad was described as ‘a taste of The Hill,’ but it beat any salad we’ve had in that venerable neighborhood in recent memory. The crisp greens were augmented by a plethora of peppers, olives, chick peas and chunks of salami and topped with a spicy dressing.

For the pizza course, the Salami ($12) pie caught our attention. This 12-inch creation had the required tomato and mozzarella paired with huge slices of genoa salami, each curled just so and with slightly crispy edges from the heat of the oven, plus a few basil leaves. The crust was light and perfectly baked, with just a bit of char around the perimeter. It was plenty big enough to share, but could definitely have served as a hearty meal for a single healthy appetite. The only possible pizza adds offered were buffalo mozzarella ($4), farm fresh egg ($2) and a side of marinara ($2). Those who want to pile their toppings high should definitely look elsewhere.

To finish, we ordered the salty caramel Gelato ($4), a simply delicious, creamy confection made in-house.

The interior of The Good Pie was as inviting as the food. It was a simple shotgun space, with exposed brick and ductwork, and a high ceiling that belied its industrial history. There was plenty of visual appeal, thanks to the selection of vintage bicycles on display and the exposed pizza oven, and the service was as warm and hospitable as the space. The Good Pie had all the attributes of a real neighborhood joint: perfect for grabbing a bite and a beer after work, or having a casual dinner before heading out for an evening at Grand Center.

The Good Pie, 3137 Olive St., 289-9391, thegoodpie.com

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