- 336 Monmouth St., Newport, KY, 41071
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- 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 11 a.m.-midnight Friday and Saturday; 11 a.m.-9 a.m. Sunday
- Official Web Site:
No kidding: we could actually smell the sweet aroma of pizza bread drifting through the air – and not just at the front door. I think my nostrils detected it right around the same time I laid eyes on the brick building. (It’s also known as the Captain James Curtis Reed House, a Kentucky landmark, according to the plaque out front.)
Strong’s sits at the northern end of Monmouth, near the edge of Levee territory. The street’s been on the development upswing of late, both in terms of food and merchandise.
The mood: This is definitely a hardwood-floor-and-wine kind of place, but since it’s housed in a house, the natural comfort softens some of the edge .
The brick walls wear ornaments that would also play in a classic burger spot (“Route 66” signs, a faux car grille) or a seafood diner (ship’s wheel, “gone fishin’” note). More along the feel of the restaurant’s cuisine, I dug the large canvas featuring a trio of bakers sharing a bike.
My friend Dan and I were seated in a snug room with four other groups. The proximity and acoustics had us experiencing not just our own conversation, but that of everyone around us, including talk of the Reds, politics, goo-goos (from the baby behind me) and taking trips to New Orleans “on a whim.”
The food: We got the ball rolling with an order of Bruschetta ($7.45). The tomatoes were lively but not to the point of burying the toasted, freshly baked bread underneath. We left one of the Pecorino Romano cheese-dashed pieces behind before the pizza came.
Oh, how was it? Really, really good, we thought; our order was a 16-inch brick oven-forged pie (based at $12.55) with toppings, pepperoni and some chewy bacon (at $1.75 each), that added character to every slice but played backseat to the herb-y, fire-born flavor that was most distinguishable of all, even over the mozzarella.
The lone Bruschetta would soon find three surviving slices to keep it company for the ride home.
The drinks: Wine and beer are available, but we settled on Pepsi at $1.79.
The damage: $27.08, minus tax and tip. (P.S. They’ve got delivery, late hours and surrounding outdoor seating. )
The verdict: The prices aren’t the lowest in town but as Dan put it, you get what you pay for. Strong’s adds zest to the local pizza scene, and does it with style.