The Food Biz: The bean and the slice

Coffee and pizza lovers rejoice with four new spots

Most people don’t drink coffee with their pizza, but most everybody loves coffee and/or pizza — with passionate devotion in many cases. And some of us are obsessed with both. I’ve come across four nuggets of restaurant news this week, and it turns out half involve a cuppa joe and half involve the circular dough. So here we go:

• Neapolitan-style pizza, made with fresh, hand-tossed dough and baked in a wood-fired oven, is a delicacy that folks seem to go crazy for, and that’s the raison d’etre of DeSano Pizza Bakery, which opened a couple weeks ago just off the Music Row roundabout. The DeSano folks say they are an offshoot of the hugely popular Antico Pizza in Atlanta.

The expansive space houses three pizza ovens, imported from Italy, along with rows of community tables for family-style seating. You can watch the bakers place your pizza in the oven, where it’s briefly kissed by the intense fire, then served to you just slightly charred.

The pizza menu includes the obvious varieties — margherita and bianca — and some less familiar ones like the verdura, a veggie pizza with broccoli rabe and mushrooms. DeSano also serves calzones and Italian desserts (cannoli and biscotti) made daily in house. There’s a small selection of beer and wine, but they also allow BYOB if you want to bring in a bottle of your favorite red.

DeSano Pizza Bakery is at 155 16th Ave. S. Hours are 11 a.m.-10 p.m. (or, as they caution, until the dough runs out). The phone number is 953-1168.

• Another promising pizza destination is in the works in Sylvan Park. The owners of the cozy long-running Italian spot Caffe Nonna (pictured) on Murphy Road are opening a new place next door, called Nonna’s Pizzeria and Wine Bar.

Daniel Maggipinto, who owns both places with his business partner Bob Sillers, told me they figured the neighborhood needed a nice little place to drink wine, and pizzas baked in a wood-fired oven seemed like an excellent complement to that.

Caffe Nonna veteran John Michael Thurman is crafting the wine list, which Maggipinto said will draw from vineyards around the world, focusing on small family-owned wineries.

If Caffe Nonna is cozy, the new place will be ultra-cozy: just 40 seats in 600 square feet. A garage door in front will roll up for dining in the fresh air when the weather is nice.

Located at 4427 Murphy Road, Nonna’s Pizzeria and Wine Bar is expected to open sometime in October.

• Meanwhile, some hot coffee news has been brewing around town. If you miss the coffeehouse vibe of Roast Inc. — which shut down its cafe on Trousdale Drive in May to concentrate on roasting and serving wholesale customers — here’s a happy development.

Owner Lesa Wood told me she found herself so charmed by a 100-year-old storefront on Eighth Avenue near Douglas Corner that she’s leasing it not only for roasting operations, but to house a retail cafe as well. “It’s just the perfect fit for that,” she said.

The new Roast Inc. will serve espresso and pour-over brews by the cup, just as the original did, but Wood said she’s also working on ideas for how to offer “a premium coffee experience for folks with limited time.”

Wood hopes to open by Nov. 1. She said they’re looking for ideas and input from the community, and she’s encouraging people to stop by the Roast Inc. booth at the 12South Farmers’ Market, which takes place every Tuesday from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. You can also pick up a bag of locally roasted beans while you’re there.

• Back over near Sylvan Park, neighbors are looking forward to a new coffeehouse of their own. The cafe’s name is Headquarters, and it’s headed to 4902 Charlotte Pike, across from Richland Park and near Rhino Books.

I don’t yet have a lot of details, but you can check out construction photos on their Facebook page or follow @HQsNashville on Twitter.