Whether it’s tradition, a celebration, or a family meal, food always brings people together.
And if your last name’s Lombardo, it’s a business that has bound a family together for generations.
“It’s just a magical thing to be able to create something with your family and share it with them.”
And the fourth generation is keeping the family’s place in the hospitality business going at Bardo’s.
Located inside Castle Island brewery in South Boston, Bardo’s is a casual south shore bar pizza spot founded by the family who brought us the famed Lombardo’s in Randolph.
“Bardo’s Bar Pizza is a fourth generation South Shore bar pizza restaurant that lives inside of Castle Island Brewery. We started in 1927, with a small meat market in East Boston. We grew to supermarkets and then an event venue.”
But it wasn’t until the pandemic, that the next generation, including siblings David Lombardo and Jessica Lombardo Bigge, and their cousin, Francesca Lombardo got the opportunity to put their stamp on the family legacy by pivoting to pizzas.
“Bardo’s Bar Pizza was born out of the pandemic. Basically, what happened was, Castle Island brewery wasn’t able to open without having food service. So they reached out to us and said, Can you guys open a kitchen at our brewery so we can get back open? So our team went out and started researching and created Bardo’s bar pizza.”
And when they wanted to create the perfect pie, they brought on Executive Chef, Eric Caron.
“It’s a 10 inch thin crust pizza. Buttery biscuit style. When they cut it, it has to be very crispy and and hold it shape. And with fine tuning and including Castle Island breweries beers into our crust. I think we not only created an amazing pizza, but we nailed it.”
And in return for pizza perfection, Castle Island Brewery provided the backdrop for a great dining experience, with an open airy space sporting high ceilings and brewing equipment throughout.
“It’s an open seating concept. We’ve got great bar seats and then we have a big event venue in the back and we also have an amazing outdoor patio in the summertime where people can enjoy being outdoors in the city of Boston.”
The pizza at Bardo’s rivals all of the South Shore institutions you know and love. But it’s the toppings that make these pies so unique especially when it comes to the Pickle Pizza.
“People when they see pickle as an option, they say why would you ever put pickle on a pizza, but when they eat it, they’re surprised at how amazing it is. It’s a perfect balance of dill and just that pickle taste on a pizza. It cooks in. It caramelizes a little bit. It’s delicious.”
The Biggies Shrimps is big on flavor, topped with Garlicky Shrimp and arugula with a basil aioli. And then there’s the so called ‘Social Climber’.
“That’s using our homemade Italian sausage, hot peppers, and red onion. And it’s a tribute to my grandfather who was the Sicilian. And he always used to think that anyone who hung out with a Sicilian was a social climber. So we named the pie after him.”
Meatlovers mouths will water for Bardo’s crispy Pepperoni and vegetarians will be more than happy when they order the “Happy Camper”, topped with pesto, kale, roasted red peppers, and fresh mozzarella.
“You have the beautiful garlic floral of the pesto with the charred bitter of the kale and then the creaminess of the fresh mozzarella. It just comes out to being a very balanced pizza.”
Beyond pizza, Bardo’s offers a variety of sandwiches and the homestyle chicken cutlets are made using a tried and true Lombardo family recipe.
“Our entire childhood was learning how to cook from my grandmother…So she taught all of us kids how to make those chicken cutlets. The recipe is nothing out of this world. It’s nothing proprietary. Our cutlets are amazing, because they’re just made with love.”
There’s the ‘Cutlet Out’ topped with Provolone, Roasted Peppers, Arugula, Onions and a Basil Aioli. And in honor of their grandmother, the Nana’s Classic topped with pickles and sriracha aioli.
“When you bite it what when you bite into Nana’s chicken cutlet sandwich. You just have the sweetness from the chicken call it itself, the acidity of the pickles and then the spiciness of the aioli. It just cuts every flavor profile that you can imagine.”
Other options at Bardo’s include the Tailgate Sausage, loaded up with housemade sweet Italian sausage, peppers and onions, Fresh Baked Pretzel Bites with Spicy Mustard and ultra addictive wings.
“We spice the wings. We roast them in the oven. We use our smokin hot sauce. We also have a Thai chili sauce which is really popular. And then our roasted wings and we serve it with a pickle ranch. So a little twist on your classic ranch. We ground up some pickles. It’s a little tangy. It’s got a little ranch kick to it.
Just a delicious bite.”
And if you’re looking for something sweet before you go, Bardo’s offers piping hot churros with chocolate sauce and a unique frozen tiramisu, utilizing Castle Island’s Vietnamese Coffee Stout.
“We have a marscapone ice cream layered with cake and a coffee stout ice cream. You won’t find it anywhere else other than Bardot’s pizza.”
And when it comes to food, fun, and feeling like family, you really won’t find it anywhere quite like Bardo’s.
“It’s great food and it’s a great family, and your families welcome our families welcome. We’ll hang out together, have a beer, have some pizza.”