Fine dining, some of the best burgers on the Island and now PIZZA. Atria does it again. Once reserved for private parties, the outside dining area is now a beautiful, more casual outside dining space with its own bar.
Here you’ll find chef/owner Christian Thornton tossing pies. He had always loved making pizzas as a kid, and now he’s having fun creating delicious gourmet pizzas at the outside bar with a captive audience.
We sat at the Pizza Bar to watch the magic, watch him work, and it was the spot to be. Our bartender Cami, was one of the loveliest bartenders I have ever encountered on Martha’s Vineyard. She’s from Italy, has the most beautiful accent, and knows her wine. A bartender and sommelier, wine is her passion, and she will help you find the perfect wine for your meal.
Here we were at the bar, on a Sunday night, with the lights shining, candles flickering, watching Chef Christian create pizzas one at a time with the smallest, mightiest pizza oven/machine I have ever seen. To make this dreamy pizza bar possible, he purchased a Turbo Chef pizza oven.
This little red beauty (which I think needs a name), cooks a pizza in as little as 90 seconds. Each pie goes in, one at a time, in this oven that can reach 1,000 degrees, and is cooked to perfection with the help of little fans that move the heat around so it cooks evenly.
Can a tiny thing like this be produce a product as good as a sweltering brick oven pizza? The answer is YES. Christian has created a Neapolitan inspired crust with the addition of dark beer that is some of the best, if not the best pizza dough, I have ever had.
The pizzas come out with a perfectly cooked crust and bottom. The dough is soft yet firm and almost melts in your mouth. There are several house pizzas that are offered. How about Duck, Prosciutto, Fig and Arugula? Not a meat fan….Wild Mushroom, Goat Cheese, Roasted Garlic, and Truffle might be right up your alley.
We asked Christian to surprise us, and bring us his favorite. It was a pizza unlike any other my friend Catherine and I have ever had – Prawns, Leeks, Peppers, Goat, Cheese, and Basil. What a crazy sounding combination right? It was incredible. Prawns on a pizza? Yes please, and with that beautiful crust, I felt as though I could have 5 pieces. It was pizza magic.
You can’t have just one of Atria’s pizza. I wanted to order one of each, all the ingredient combinations sounded delicious. For the second pie, we had the Smoked Salmon, Ossetra Caviar and Dill Creme Fraiche. Such an interesting pizza, and perfect if you’re a bagel and lox fan.
It was really good, so different. The little bursts of flavor from the caviar were fun. I have to admit that I decided to save some for breakfast for the following morning. Best decision ever – two consecutive meals with pizza – which everyone loves.
Atria’s pizza is gourmet in every way, and will delight any pizza fan. The crust, the topping combinations — perfection. As Christian said, “It’s a knife and fork pizza, not a typical stiff crust pizza.” The prices are in line with their burgers and may seem a bit pricey, but the ingredients produce a truly special pie. It’s pizza to be savored, to enjoy with a carefully chosen pinot noir.
Dining al fresco at Atria is magical (there are even lap blankets for chilly nights). I love that outside dining space, but I am a little biased. I had my 40th birthday party there, so it holds a special place in my heart. It’s beachy, yet elegant with a relaxed vibe, and you feel like you’re eating someplace special. I think you’d even feel comfortable bringing the kids with you.
If pizza is not what your craving, you can also order off the regular menus. However, pizzas are only available outside. The outside pizza bar is open Wednesday through Sunday. However, if you plan to dine on the weekend, I would call or visit Atria’s Facebook page first. If there’s a wedding or private event, the outside space may be in use.
Atria’s Pizza Bar and outdoor dining is another reason to love Summer (and not having to cook) on Martha’s Vineyard.