It had been a while since I’d first visited Tartini, the very good “Pizzeria & Spaghetteria” on South Orange Avenue in Orlando, so I was happy to be invited back to see how things are going, and I’m happy to report they’re going quite nicely.
And I can reaffirm that the pizzas coming out of the unique oven here are still some of the best pies in town. Well, the oven isn’t unique anymore. And the town isn’t confined to Orlando. That’s because Tartini has opened a second location, at 625 Rock Ridge Blvd. in Apopka, and the new location has the same type of oven. What makes it unusual is that it has a turntable inside the brick oven. But the turntable doesn’t just rotate, it also rises and falls, lifting the dough through the hot air. A pizza can cook fully in about 25 seconds.
When I first reviewed the restaurant, a year and a half ago when it was still new, I had the Tartini, which was the equivalent of a meat-lover’s pizza, with Genoa salami, pepperoni, sopressata and Italian sausage. This time I had the rustichella, which had pancetta, roasted tomatoes and ham. And on top, after the pizza had been removed from the oven, was a stack of lightly dressed arugula. The crust of the pizza was perfectly crisped and the toppings were placed just right. But I really loved the way the spiciness of the fresh arugula perked up the whole pie.
My companion had the spaghetti bolognese, a rich tomatoey ragout of beef and pork with a touch of red wine. It had a delightful house-made quality.
There was also an item on the antipasti menu that I just had to try, it sounded so intriguing. It was called Italian eggs and was a take on Scotch eggs. But instead of a hardboiled egg encased in sausage, these were wrapped in a meatball. Well, actually they were served on the half ball, cut in two and coated with a thick marinara. Creative and fun.
As I said in my first review, Tartini is rather antithetical to other eateries within miles. It is an attractive restaurant, both inside and out, and offers a classy but casual atmosphere suitable for families or couples looking for a date-night spot. Service is authoritative and knowledgeable. And prompt.
I ended my February 2013 review by saying that Tartini deserves to do well. It still does, and I’m glad that it is doing so.
Tartini Pizzeria & Spaghetteria is at 6327 S. Orange Ave., Orlando. It is open for lunch and dinner daily. The phone number is 407-601-2400.
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