This month, Terry features Pasquale Pizza and Pasta which can be found in the Monteray Plaza Shopping Center in Corolla.
There are many things I have learned since embarking on my business venture, Outer Banks Restaurant Tours. Among them is that no matter how stylish the restaurant, how elegantly presented the food, or how layered and complex the combinations of ingredients in the dish, sometimes you just can’t beat good, old-fashioned cooking. You’ll find just that at Pasquale Pizza and Pasta in Corolla.
Owner Pasquale is a native of Naples, Italy. He worked in the family business of boat-building when boats were crafted of wood instead of fiberglass. At the age of 19, Pasquale came to the United States, specifically New Jersey and worked in a pizza restaurant with his family for many years. About a decade ago, Pasquale and his wife moved to Corolla and took over what was then Nicoletta’s Restaurant, which he operated for several years. But, he yearned to go back to his pizza-making days. In May of 2011, Pasquale sold Nicoletta’s and opened Pasquale’s Pizza and Pasta in the Monteray Plaza Shopping Center in Corolla. I, for one, am very glad Pasquale is making pizzas again!
It’s not a fancy place. In fact, you can’t even see it from the street because it is located in a small courtyard near the movie theater. Although there is a bar in the restaurant, the menu caters to families with chicken fingers, wings, and subs available in addition to the pizza offerings. Don’t be fooled! In fact, Pasquale’s pizza, in my humble opinion, is the best on the beach. And, upon request and with a little advance notice, Pasquale will produce some absolutely delicious traditional Italian dishes specially prepared just for you.
If you are only familiar with the thick-crust, topping-loaded pizzas, a pizza from Pasquale’s will come as a bit of surprise to you. Give it a chance! The crust is thin and crispy, the homemade marinara sauce is delicately and perfectly seasoned, the fresh mozzarella cheese is slightly tangy and salty, all topped with a drizzle of Italian olive oil. Sometimes, less is more, and this is one of those times. Try a plain cheese pizza or, Pasquale’s specialty, the Margherita pizza. Both are mouthwateringly perfect in their simplicity. Add a glass of wine and you’ll think you’ve been transported to a sidewalk café in Naples itself!
The same goes for the traditional Italian dishes that Pasquale makes. A personal favorite of mine is his eggplant rollatini. This delicacy consists of strips of eggplant, which have been breaded and lightly fried. A salty prosciutto and creamy goat cheese are layered on each strip of eggplant and then rolled into a pinwheel. These eggplant rolls are then topped with Pasquale’s delicious marinara sauce and some Parmesan cheese and baked. Delicioso! He makes a mean lasagna, too. These Italian recipes are ones that have been passed down to Pasquale from his family and you can taste the tradition in every bite.
Pasquale Pizza and Pasta will reopen in the spring. The restaurant also does carry out and delivery on a limited basis. Buon Appetito!