By Cynthia V. Campbell
June 13, 2013
Stopping by LPK Bar & Grill for a quick Italian meal, we ended by lingering over dinner as we discussed the pros and cons of marinara sauce.
The updated version of Louisiana Pizza Kitchen on Corporate Boulevard welcomes patrons with an amusing décor including a large wall mural with imaginative images of St. Mark’s Square in Venice and an Italian village.
We were pleased to see the restaurant still serves its artisanal pizzas baked in a wood-burning oven.
Once you’ve tasted hand-made pizzas baked in this manner, it’s hard to return to the offerings of chain eateries. The LPK menu also includes po-boys, wraps, pasta dishes and grilled meats.
As an appetizer, the eggplant fries ($6.95) were exceptional. The hot crispy exterior contrasted with the soft, creamy interior of the sticks that were finished off with a dusting of freshly grated parmesan cheese.
The sticks were accompanied with the restaurant’s marinara sauce, a thick, slightly sweet tomato sauce.
While we enjoy many styles of lasagna, the classic lasagna ($11.50) at LPK was a delicious layering of well-seasoned ground meat, a small amount of Italian sausage, marinara sauce, fresh ricotta and mozzarella cheeses and tender pasta strips.
Baked in the wood-burning oven, the dish is creamy and memorable with no one flavor overpowering the other.
The chicken parmesan ($14.95) featured a moist, skinless chicken breast, breaded and sautéed; topped with fresh, delicate mozzarella cheese, then baked in the wood-burning oven.
The chicken was topped with coarsely grated parmesan cheese and served over a generous amount of penne pasta tossed in a tomato basil cream sauce.
This was an excellent sauce, with a creamy texture and a light flavor of basil.
Grilled meats add a new dimension to the LPK menu. The 12-ounce rib-eye ($18.95) was lightly grilled, then finished to the requested medium temperature in the wood-burning oven.
The tender steak was served with lightly sautéed asparagus (vegetable of the day) and a large amount of roasted garlic mashed potatoes.
With a nod to tradition, another guest tried the Roman pizza ($11.95), a delightful combination of Italian sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms, banana peppers, pizza sauce and mozzarella cheese.
The very thin whole wheat pizza dough was outstanding. Just a bit of the edges was singed from being baked in the wood-burning oven. The hint of anise flavoring in the sausage added an extra touch of flavor to the pizza.
The sandwich lover in the crowd tried a muffaletta wrap ($8.25), a contemporary version of the New Orleans sandwich.
It was packed with slices of Genoa salami, mortadella, ham and provolone cheese; then enhanced with an Italian olive salad mix, wrapped tightly in pita bread and slightly grilled. While not the same as a muffaletta made on toasted Italian bread, this version was declared well worth the indulgence.
LPK doesn’t have a dessert listing on the menu, but ask.
We shared a brownie sundae ($5.50), a warm, cake-like chocolate brownie topped with three scoops of vanilla ice cream drizzled with chocolate sauce.
If you have a sweet tooth, then choose a light item off the menu and go for the finish big time.
The bistro offers wine and alcoholic drinks from the bar. The staff is exceptionally helpful and willing to accommodate guests’ requests.
The setting is perfect for families.