Thea Pizzeria has quietly been trying to get into the swing of things before going on a full-fledged frenzy to promote its new digs.
Owned by former partner of Joey's in Wynwood, Thea Goldman, the quaint space in Overtown offers a simple menu of affordable, Italian-inspired café cuisine. You can expect gourmet pizzas, salads, sandwiches, and lots of Italian vino and espresso.
Just how affordable? Two of us stopped by to check the place out, and with three options chosen to share, we paid no more than 37 bucks.
Great lunch for two under $40? That's crazy talk.
Thea is located in UM's Life Science and Technology Park. Inside, you'll find a stunning Murano glass mosaic, chic black tables and chairs, and a window peaking into the kitchen. The bar is sleekly designed, and the service is impeccable and friendly.
It's quite normal to find Goldman working the register, chatting with guests, making espresso, and running dishes. We're huge fans of owners getting down to our level, so when we noticed on our second visit that she was wearing all hats in a span of two hours, we were especially pleased.
On to our meal.
Our first visit was ill-planned because we'd arrived after the pizzeria and café closed.
But we returned the next day, eager and hungry.
The weekday lunch crowd kept the waitstaff on its toes. Patrons were a good mix of the building's employees and curious eaters who'd heard of the good food and prices.
A charcuterie plate (large enough for two, maybe even three) cost 15 bucks. The board comes with three meats, cornichons, and a solid amount of freshly baked grissini (crunchy bread sticks). Our meats included prosciutto, mortadella, and fennel salami. What struck us most about the charcuterie board was the generous amount of food for $15. Goldman brought on a former baker at New York's famous Eataly to man the bread division of the business.
We shared a beet salad ($7) while the oven fired up for our pizza. The salad -- composed of beet saucers, arugula, Gorgonzola, and walnuts -- was simple, but if you're looking for something light (and surprisingly filling), it's a good lunch option.
The pizza menu isn't exactly extensive, but it is a great mix of mostly typical Italian options. Ten pie varieties range from $11 to $14. All are baked fresh to order, and though the crust is thin, one pizza can feed two people.
We opted for the artichoke pizza. Instead of tomato sauce, artichoke purée serves as the base. Arugula, marinated and chopped artichokes, and grana padano shavings lend a light, salad-like feel. In fact, it almost gives you a huge reason to set aside your guilt for eating pizza, because it's practically a salad -- a delicious one, at that. The only thing we felt could've been done better was a splash of citrus for the arugula. Still, the pizza was delicious. Even between the two of us, there were three slices left over.
Goldman was kind enough to bring over an espresso granita ($3) and an order of cannoli ($4). The granita was fantastic -- just perfect on the sweet scale. The cannoli, which come two to an order, are as decadent as they are petite.
Sandwiches cost only $8 and are served with a salad. Heftier entrées, such as skirt steak with potatoes and caramelized onions, are $15, and chicken paillard with carrots and green beans is $14.
Thea is open for breakfast and lunch until 4:30 p.m., but Goldman assured us that she's looking forward to potentially opening for dinner as well.
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Even better, valet parking is free -- just don't forget to mention you're dining there.
Follow Alex on Twitter @ARodWrites.