LowBrow Pizza and Beer (LB) is a restaurant in east Naples, FL. The restaurant, as of this writing, has been open less than two months. As the discerning reader may guess, LB is focused on pizza and beer. Besides these two restaurant staples, other items are served as well.
The proprietors at LB are Chris Jones and Henrik Lagergren. Both of these owners are interesting in their own right. Chris has been a chef for many years, going through a number of reinventions. Chris started out with techniques such as molecular gastronomy, but quickly tired of plating out his dishes with forceps. He went back to basics locally with barbecue, drawing critical acclaim with his food truck, Porker BBQ. Pursuing that tack, he decided to focus on pizza which he cut his teeth on with his barbecue venture. Chris’s business partner, Henrik, has traveled the world and is a great source on emerging culinary trends. The name LowBrow is tongue in cheek. It is really a quip on the perceived snobbery of some of the eating establishments locally in Naples. The food at LB is anything but.
Chris feels pizza is all about its base, the dough. The Bakers Percentages, the water, fermentation among other factors if done properly, provide a wonderful substrate for the finished product.
LB has a very nice wood-fired pizza oven, which is another sine qua non of great pizza. LB uses an oven from the Italian company Pavesi. The temperatures range from 750 to 1000 degrees F. Why should this matter? This causes the dough to expand rapidly, becoming airy and full of holes. This provides a wonderful contrast between a slightly crispy exterior and and a soft, puffy interior.
As you enter the restaurant, you may recognize it as a former Five Guys burger space, albeit much more crowded with the new owners.
I came here twice, the initial visit sampling some non pizza items. On this first visit, I tried the pizza bones. These were wood fired pizza crusts bits served with three different dips, marinara, garlic butter or ranch with blue cheese. This was not bad but I really meant to order the roasted bone marrow with gremolata, the latter a mixture of seasoned bread crumbs with citrus that is a garnish for this dish. Due to poor sales, this item is no longer offered at LB.
In conversation, I told the owners that I usually pay for everything I eat and write about, but occasionally I am thrown a bone by a proprietor for my efforts.
This is exactly what happened and thanks for the bone Chris and Henrik!
I finished my first visit with the bovine love burger.
This was a wonderful hamburger featuring a bbq brisket blend, pimento cheese, bacon, lettuce and tomato on a brioche bun with in house tater tots. Ranch/blue cheese dip and in house made pickles sealed the deal. I was told I would be happy upon eating this. I can say that statement was very accurate!
I came back a second time to try some of the establishment’s pizza offerings. As you walk in, their pizza selection is displayed on the wall behind the ordering station.
Before our pizzas, we sampled another menu item, the chicken parm sandwich. This was delicious, featuring breaded and fried chicken thighs topped with pepperoni/arrabiatta tomato sauce and aged mozzarella. Tater tots complemented this very heavy duty and excellent menu item.
A couple of the pizzas were sampled, all about 12″ dinner size.
Although the picture does not do it justice, the meatfest pizza was remarkable featuring bbq brisket, pork belly and pulled pork garnished with parmesan shavings. In a word, excellent.
Cortez the killer pizza was also sampled. Chorizo with roasted potato, sweet corn, crème fraiche with scallion, lime mayo, cilantro, cotija cheese and chilies topped another over the top, delicious pizza.
My dining companion really liked the tater tots so we tried an order of them. The tater tots, as the other menu items were exceptional but at this point superfluous. LB also has a well curated craft beer selection representative of the local producers in the area.
The food at LB is exceptional and reflects the talents of the executive chef, Chris Jones. The pizza here is perfection, and the non-pizza menu items tried were also excellent.
The service, however, could and undoubtedly, will improve. After many positive reviews, I think the establishment was unprepared and overwhelmed. Nonetheless, I think you will be very happy eating here.
It’s a wrap for another post on Forks.