Louie's Steakhouse margherita pizza has tomatoes

Nelson’s Best Pizza Contest: Every detail counts for Louie’s Steakhouse’s pizza

For a rustic, thin-crust pizza, Louie’s Steakhouse is the place to go.

For a rustic, thin-crust pizza, Louie’s Steakhouse is the place to go.

Located inside the New Grand Hotel, Louie’s Steakhouse is one of six participants in the Nelson’s Best Pizza contest, which continues until September 6.

Food and beverage manager Rob Little explains that pizza was added to the menu at Louie’s three years ago.

“We bought a convection pizza oven and jumped in with both feet,” he recalls.

There’s 13 thin-crust pizzas on offer, from four cheese to carnivore to meatless supreme.

Little says his most popular pizzas are the Sicilian (Italian sausage, sundried tomatoes, caramelized onions, banana peppers, mushrooms) and the roasted garlic (spinach, olives, red peppers, mushrooms, roasted garlic).

What makes Louie’s Steakhouse pizza stand out? Little says it all comes down to how it’s prepared.

“Everything is detail oriented — we want it to look good and smell good, before you even take the first bite,” he says, pointing out that 80 per cent of taste is based on smell.

To improve the flavour profile the meat and most vegetables are placed on top of the cheese, with the exception of anything that will burn in the oven. This ensures that you will smell the toppings as you’re eating.

Another important detail is the cheese. At Louie’s Steakhouse they use a three-cheese blend of mozzarella, swiss and provolone.

And, of course, who could forget the crust. To achieve their rustic, thin-crust appeal, Louie’s Steakhouse puts the dough in the oven before it’s fully risen. This has the duel effect of creating a crisp, thin-crust along the bottom, while the still-active yeast forms bubbles that crisp up in random spots on top of the pizza.

“The yeast has a mind of it’s own, when you put it in the oven,” Little says. “Every pizza comes out looking a little different.”

To vote for Louie’s Steakhouse in the Nelson’s Best Pizza contest, go to nelsonstar.com and click “contest” in the top corner.

You must be registered to vote and only one vote is accepted per day.

Other participating restaurants include Itza Ristorante & Pizzeria, Hume Hotel, Leo’s Pizza & Greek Taverna, Panago, and Thor’s Pizzeria.

The winning pizza will be featured on the cover of {vurb}.

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