Looking for a fun, rustic Italian eatery and pizzeria with a full bar on the Atlanta BeltLine? We found the place for you! Nina & Rafi is the creation from restaurateur and bar aficionado Billy Streck of Hampton + Hudson and Anthony Spina of O4W Pizza. They opened less than a year ago, in December 2018, along the Eastside trail in the new phase of Studioplex called “SPX Alley,” located at 661 Auburn Avenue in Atlanta.
All Nina & Rafi’s pizza crusts are vegan with a choice of thin or thick crust. We, of course, had to try one of each – one with tomato sauce and the other white. Since each pizza is made fresh-to-order they can take about 30 minutes to cook.
In the meantime, we were blessed with perfectly seasoned grilled artichokes made with Roman artichokes, grilled lemon and extra-virgin olive oil, served with grilled bread on the side. The artichokes were accompanied by succulent rice balls, delightful melt-in-your-mouth risotto, pecorino, and house-made mozzarella balls that we wanted to marry, … or stuff in our bras for a snack later. They were crispy on the outside and oozing with deliciousness on the inside.
To cleanse our palates, we delighted in one of Nina & Rafi’s specialty cocktails, the Corsica Spritz (Cap Corse quina, Fino sherry, Aqua di Cedro, Mediterranean tonic, prosecco, basil and thyme) which was light and refreshing and faintly sweet.
Our classic pizzas arrived, cooked to perfection. The thin crust White Pie is a combination of mozzarella, ricotta and pecorino cheeses topped with fresh garlic. We added spinach, roasted red pepper and breaded eggplant, which was to die for!
To balance that out, we went in the opposite direction with the thick crust Detroit Red Top pie with olives and fresh tomatoes. This dish is a light and airy pan pie with a cheese blend and is topped with Nina & Rafi’s homemade mozzarella.
Luckily there was no dessert on the menu, so we ordered another round of drinks and took them to go and sit outside in the sunshine. It was a lovely afternoon, perfect to walk off our meal on the BeltLine and check out all the new and exciting buildings, shops and restaurants that are popping up everywhere. If you have not yet visited the BeltLine, GO! You can stroll, run, scooter or bike. Now that the weather has cooled down, take advantage, head down to see the change and growth and be sure to grab a bite, or a slice, at Nina & Rafi!
For more information and menus, check out Nina & Rafi’s website,
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