Since March, the Bronx food scene has welcomed a new staple to the borough, the Kingsbridge Social Club at 3625 Kingsbridge Avenue.
The wood-fired, brick oven pizza and craft beer mainstay takes a unique approach to combining a soft, Neapolitan-style dough with the crispy-style that New York pizza is best known for.
“It took us a few months to get down that perfect ‘neo-Neapolitan’ style down,” said executive chef Tom Guidice.
He’s responsible for everything that goes in and out of the 800-degree brick oven, while his business partner, Dave Lindsay is responsible for everything on tap behind the bar.
Dave’s background comes from working seven years at the nearby Bronx Ale House, learning just about everything there is to know about craft beer and other bar favorites.
Meanwhile Tom learned the secrets to his neo-Neapolitan pies from years of training, taught to him in Italy.
In about four minutes, Guidice can whip up one of his many specialty pies that range from a Wrecking Ball pie with pepperoni, onion, and garlic over the sauce and fresh mozzarella and provolone, all the way to a Funghi Pie with wild mushrooms and taleggio cheese.
In between those two extremes are other original pies such as the Calabrian Carmine that’s made with aged provolone beneath the sauce in addition to sweet soppressata dry salami; that pie was named for a favorite recipe of Guidice’s friend that passed some years ago.
Of course, there’s also the house pie that Guidice uses as a benchmark to see how his always-changing rotation specialty pies are doing.
In the meantime, Lindsay is always helping diners pair the perfect craft beer with their pizza or other entrée. He sometimes recommends an unusual alternative to complement Kingsbridge Social Club’s pie better than beer - Prosecco on tap.
“The bubbles from the Prosecco cut the taste-buds, which makes the next bite of the pizza even more flavorful,” Lindsay said.
His mantra is to never have a drink overpower a meal, but rather compliment it’s flavor.
That’s why northeast IPA’s are best poured as ‘standalone drinks,’ the beer aficionado admitted.
Of course, there’s plenty of craft beers that compliment the food as well, such as a Massachusetts brewed lager.
Lindsay finds it a little ironic that a Massachusetts beer is his best seller because he puts such focus on getting many local beers on tap.
“We want to be that staple of the community and keep it local,” Lindsay said. “There’s a reason we put Kingsbridge in the name,” he added.
Sunday brunch, homemade pastas and wings are other major components of the Kingsbridge Social Club’s “small but fresh menu and atmosphere.
That comes in addition to the half-off weekday happy hour from 4 to 7 p.m. and Bronx-themed wall murals done by Kingbridge artist, Tracy 168.
This reporter sampled the Wrecking Ball pie; it doesn’t have a kick of heat, but rather just a flare up of a quality spice and cheese blend.
The neo-Neapolitan styled dough is perfect for specialty pies as it can hold toppings without being awkwardly hard and snapping.
Yet when the pie is folded, it remains firm enough to handle the density of the pepperoni.
All in all, fantastic pizza, drinks and staff.