When you want to throw some bocce balls while you throw back some meatballs, have a picnic indoors and get fired up over some wood fired pizza, there’s no place quite like Olo.
New to Worcester, Olo Pizza is a classic American spot with Neapolitan roots. Owners Richard Romain and Peter Rano have created a comfortable space where they brought the outdoors inside.
“We always felt that we needed to have more than just good food and good drink and good serviceSo we decided to offer the element of entertainment with our bocce courts with our backyard vibe, and just try to get off for a little bit more than your standard dining.
“We wanted to have a restaurant concept where you could bring your family and dine out, or you could come here on a date.And I think we nailed that with that laid back fun atmosphere.”
Being a Worcester native, Peter opened Olo as a true passion project.
“Being an Italian American from Worcester. I always wanted to bring a fun woodfired pizza restaurant to the city. And with Olo pizza, I think we’ve done that.”
The backbone of the menu is Neapolitan style pizza- charred at a high temperature in a wood fired oven.
“When the pizza comes out of the oven, it’s finished with a nice char a nice, crisp, instill a light crumb, giving you a good experience and balance up balance on both ends. When you bite into our pizza, you want to have the right amount of dough, the right amount of sauce in the right amount of cheese. It all starts with good ingredients.”
But it’s really all about that char.
“Our style of Neapolitan pizza is a little bit thinner than traditional Neapolitan. It’s cooked a little bit longer for a little extra crisp and a little extra char.And I think with the well done, char, it adds flavor to the pizza.”
There’s the chicken roni pizza with a vodka sauce base.
And the sweet and salty ricotta pie topped with prosciutto, ricotta, and hot honey.
“Ricotta pie is very very popular because it incorporates little salt a little sweet a little creaminess with the ricotta cheese gives it that creamy texture.”
But any first timer here needs to try the simple but satisfying Margherita pizza.
“The Margarita is the number one selling pizza. It’s very simple. It just has a good tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, basil, and a strong olive oil that we get from Sicily. And it really really really is our number one and my favorite pizza on the menu.”
If you happen to be at Olo on a Wednesday or Saturday, bring your appetite.
Because that’s when they offer their gutt-busting Detroit style pizza
“The difference between a Detroit style pizza and a regular pizza is the Detroit style pizza is pizza flavors on steroids. We bake the Detroit style pizza in the oven with the cheese until it’s nice and bubbly and brown. We hit it with a different tomato sauce than what goes on our normal pizza. It’s a little bit more fruity, a little bit sweeter. And we get that from cooking it a little bit longer in a not so hot oven with a special Wisconsin brick cheese that we have shipped from Wisconsin. So what is the real deal, and we’re not cutting any corners with it.”
Beyond pizza, Olo offers plenty of Italian favorites like this beautiful antipasto and meatballs that WILL rival your nonna’s.
“These will give any good grandmother’s meatballs or run for the money. They got to be fried and simmered in the sauce but not for too long. But just long enough it’s a key pocket for success.I put mine up against anyone’s.”
For something shareable, try the truffle parmesan fries.featuring three tastes that taste great together.
“It’s something about truffle parmesan and fries. They go together like peanut butter and jelly pretty much. We do hand cut French friesWe finish them off to order but we finish them up with truffle oil. Lots of Parmesan cheeseThere’s very few tables that do not get the parmesan fries for an appetizer.”
And there are even less tables that won’t order the signature Lemon Pepper Rub Chicken Wings.
“So our oven wings are cooked at a super high temperature 800 degrees. We marinate them overnight with rosemary lemon garlic, then we fire them in the oven to order. It gives it a nice crisp with a nice smoky oven flavor and a garlic parm dipping sauce on the side. People love them and they’re our best selling appetizer.
Olo has even perfected something you usually don’t spot at your typical pizza shop- a top-notch burger.
“Our parlor burger is a true statement of less is more when it comes to a burger. It’s very simple quality bun slice onion, an American cheese.To put a burger on my menu here. I knew it had to be killer, and I think it really hit home.”
Italian sweets line the dessert menu with options like tiramisu and hot, fresh zeppoli
“Zeppoli is almost like a beignet. it’s got some vanilla bean in it. And then we fry it into little dough balls and then we serve it with Nutella and sweetened marscapone dip.”
And whether you come for the zeppoli, bocce or meat-balsl, you’ll most definitely HAVE a ball at Olo Pizza.