Good pizza, no matter how you slice it

When it comes to pizza, the possibilities are practically endless. We all have our standard go-to – mine is kale, mushrooms, and lots of garlic. But sometimes, it’s fun to experiment. Herb & Fire Pizzeria lets you do just that.

Another concept from Faro Uccello, president and founder of Uccello’s Hospitality Group, Herb & Fire offers an array of classic Italian ingredients not limited to fresh mozzarella, basil, and house-made Italian sausage. Their signature pizzas give you creative spins on traditional pies and their list of create-your-own toppings, cheeses, and sauces will make it hard to choose.

Want a BBQ chicken pizza topped with gorgonzola and banana peppers? You got it. How about a zucchini, broccoli, and spinach pizza topped with a balsamic reduction? Sounds tasty! What if you’re hankering for a BLT? Make it with Applewood smoked bacon, roasted tomatoes, and arugula. Want it for breakfast? Put a hard-boiled egg on it!

Their list of toppings will have you craving a slice every day of the week. Depending on which day, you might be able to take advantage of their fun events and community discounts: Kids Eat Free Mondays, Healthcare Wednesdays, daily lunch specials, and student, veteran, and public servant discounts.

What’s even better is that there are TWO locations. You could have lunch in Grandville and grab dinner (and a movie!) out by Celebration! North. Or vice versa! Any time is a good time for some ‘za.

See what kind of concoction you can come up with at herbandfirepizzeria.com

Farm fresh ingredients and a team-centered focus

Local First featured Uccello’s Hospitality Group back in October when we were gearing up for Fork Fest. Now that we’ve all had a chance to digest a bit, we thought it would be a perfect time to highlight the group’s newest additions, Mazzo Cucina D'Italia.

Mazzo opened last May with a Farm-to-Table menu and a team-centered focus. Using locally-sourced ingredients, the Mazzo staff works together to create menu items and special features. The results of which benefit not only the restaurant patrons, but also give them employees something to brag about.

“When they can see their ideas work and become successful they become more engaged and excited about their work and their future with Mazzo,” says Brittany Knoch, director of marketing.

The team came together first to decide the layout of the newly remodeled space. Knoch recalls the careful placement of the wood fired pizza oven, an essential part of Uccello’s legendary pizza.

“It was fully constructed when it shipped to us,” remembers Knoch. “We needed to use a crane just to lift it off the ground. With its mammoth size, we decided to knock out the front windows and the crane just dropped it right in.”

The windows have since been replaced and Mazzo has made a cozy home on Monroe Center. They’re excited for the Holiday season, which will make great use of their event space, Atrium at Mazzo, and even more excited to celebrate 2017 at New Year’s Eve at Mazzo.

Saluti!

Rockwell Republic

There is certainly no shortage of fantastic restaurants in West Michigan. Each bring something a little different to the table – literally. With a vast array of cuisines from the myriad of cultures in West Michigan, sometimes you have to pack two restaurants into one.

This was the initial idea behind Rockwell Republic. When they first opened in the historic Heartside District, the two eateries boasted two menus and two completely different atmospheres. Rockwell's Kitchen & Tap was more casual and felt like you were in Chicago and Republic Cafe was more upscale and had the feel of a more sophisticated wine bar.

As each restaurant grew more and more popular, the strain on the one kitchen became too great and patrons endured long wait times for their meal. Brothers Paul and Dave Reinhart, then owners, streamlined the menu by taking favorite dishes from each and combining them.

In 2016, the brothers Reinhart approached friend and fellow restaurateur, Jeff Lobdell, about buying Rockwell Republic. They were looking to focus their efforts on what was then Monty's and rebrand as Butcher's Union, a more food centric establishment.

After celebrating his first year at Rockwell Republic, Lobdell has seen it voted Best Happy Hour in Grand Rapids, hit record sales, and grow in staff. The menu has remained successful with eclectic fusion dishes, small plates, and sushi.

They’re all about making friends, too. Since Lobdell took over, Rockwell Republic has partnered with Avenue for the Arts for First Fridays. Together with other local businesses, Rockwell Republic is working to bring attention to the vibrant work being done in the area.

To learn more about Rockwell Republic, visit rockwellsrepublic.com or stop in to the restaurants at 45 S. Division Ave.