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Thursday, June 30, 2016

The Picky Eater's Guide to Katie's Pizza and Pasta

Posted By on Thu, Jun 30, 2016 at 6:45 AM

click to enlarge Ricotta-stuffed fried squash blossoms. - PHOTO BY LAUREN MILFORD
  • Photo by Lauren Milford
  • Ricotta-stuffed fried squash blossoms.

Katie’s Pizza and Pasta (9568 Manchester Road) has made a name for itself in Rock Hill, creating a quirky space in a strip mall where you'll find inventive pizza and pasta dishes. Helmed by Katie Lee, formerly of Katie’s Pizza (6611 Clayton Road) in Richmond Heights, this is not your average pepperoni pie destination — you’ll find pizza toppings include corn, egg, clam and more. In addition to serving lunch and dinner, Katie’s Pizza and Pasta also offers a robust brunch menu on the weekends, plus craft cocktails and a good selection of wine and beer choices.

But the most important question: How do we rank it for vegetarian, gluten-free, paleo and kid diners?

Vegetarians: You’ll be a happy camper here. Our favorite veggie appetizers are a twist on toasted ravioli, filled with artichokes and served with pine nut pesto, and the creamy, garlicky cannellini bean dip. There are also fried artichokes, charred cauliflower, ricotta-stuffed fried squash blossoms and eggplant parmagiana (it's listed as an appetizer, but we think it’s filling enough for an entree, too). Katie’s offers a variety of burrata and crostini plates, and seven scrumptious vegetarian salads. The fried artichoke salad is, by far, our favorite.

For entrees, you can go with one of five veggie pizzas (we recommend the corn pizza with zucchini and goat cheese) or three veggie pastas, though many other pizzas and pastas can also be modified to be vegetarian.

click to enlarge Eggplant parmagiana. - PHOTO BY LAUREN MILFORD
  • Photo by Lauren Milford
  • Eggplant parmagiana.
Gluten-free: The good news is that Katie’s offers gluten-free pasta, gluten-free pizza and even gluten-free modifications to some appetizers. The bad news is that each modification will cost you $5. So if you wanted to order the cannellini bean dip with gluten-free toast points to start, and enjoy the pasta special of the day with gluten-free noodles, your bill will be $10 more than the diner next to you who is enjoying their regular wheat carbs with abandon. 

That said, their gluten-free pasta and gluten-free pizza crusts are perfection — they truly taste like the real thing. With all the appetizers, salad and entree options here, this may become a gluten-free diner's favorite restaurant.

click to enlarge Gluten-free pasta special with fresh scape. - PHOTO BY LAUREN MILFORD
  • Photo by Lauren Milford
  • Gluten-free pasta special with fresh scape.
Paleo: While pizza and pasta are definitely out for the typical paleo dieter, many appetizers and salads will make paleo diners happy. For appetizers, there’s charred cauliflower or a melon and prosciutto dish, plus braised short ribs (minus the polenta on the side) or the daily charcuterie platter.

The prawn and citrus salad (minus Parmesan), market vegetable salad, kale and finocchiona salad, watermelon salad, pear salad (minus ricotta) and insalata mista (minus Parmesan) are all paleo-friendly.

Kids: Bring ‘em along! There’s not a kids’ menu per se, but there are high chairs and no one will notice if your child is a bit rambunctious; the place is usually buzzing with lots of chatty diners. 
click to enlarge Al fresco dining at Katie's Pizza and Pasta. - PHOTO BY LAUREN MILFORD
  • Photo by Lauren Milford
  • Al fresco dining at Katie's Pizza and Pasta.

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