Pizza at Atria Cafe

Todays News

Pictured: The margherita pizza at Atria bursts with flavor starting from the sourdough crust, all the way to its house-made sauce and fresh ingredients.

It’s no secret that great pizza can be tough to find in Southwest Florida, but my family and I have finally found our local spot.

Atria, the celebrated Lakewood Ranch breakfast/lunch destination, stole our hearts with the new dinner concept it launched June 1. Every Tuesday through Saturday from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Atria serves a mix of innovative Neapolitan-style sourdough pizzas and summer-friendly salads, along with an ever-changing lineup of natural wines and familiar beers.

The night we visited saw a steady stream of eager Ranchers walking in hungry and heading home excited with stacks of piping hot 12-inch takeout pies. We chose to dine in at Florida-friendly 5:30 p.m. and watched as it filled with a multigenerational amalgamation of curious diners.

The crust blistered like a proper Neapolitan pizza should and burst with flavor. Its crispy outside gave way to a beautifully fluffy, delightfully light and undeniably fresh inside. The house-made sauce was a not-too-sweet complement. I opted for the margherita, my five-year-old daughter adored her cheese pizza (one of these days we’ll convince her of the virtues of toppings), and my wife tucked into the meat-za, which featured the tastiest sausage either of us have had ‘round these parts.

Atria owner Weyli Angus assured me that this is just the beginning of the Atria dinner concept. While they would love to expand, they’re focused on pizza for now and the result is phenomenal.

But why sourdough? It should seem obvious — I mean, who doesn’t love sourdough? — but I asked Angus anyway. She pointed to the rich history of the sourdough bread making method. “Our goal is to make our pizza as true to form as possible,” Angus said, “using high quality ingredients and ancient methods. Plus, there are great health benefits to sourdough because of the 24-hour slow and cold fermentation. It's easier to digest and contains nutrients and protein.”

Wait a minute … nutrients? Protein? See, Mom? Pizza IS healthy!

Atria, 4120 Lakewood Ranch Blvd., Lakewood Ranch, FL 34211, 941.751.1016.

Pictured: The margherita pizza at Atria bursts with flavor starting from the sourdough crust, all the way to its house-made sauce and fresh ingredients.

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