April 14, 2016 02:57 PM

A preview of wood-fired pizzas coming to the menu at Bread & Circus
Zoe Huval

Full disclosure, I’m a server emeritus at Bread & Circus Provisions and a lover of pizza. Still, I believe that I surrender little objectivity to declare that B&C’s upcoming transformation from gas-station-Cajun-meets-Old-World-peasant-cuisine to a bonafide Neapolitan pizza joint is a net positive for the Lafayette dining scene.

The heart of that metamorphosis is the importation of a wood-fired pizza oven, straight from the mystical climes of Naples, Italy — the namesake of Neapolitan pizza and, I assume, multi-colored ice creams.

Chef/Owner/Auteur Manny Augello has been driving interest and funds for the costly move via a Kickstarter campaign, replete with tasty rewards like pizza parties, pizza-naming rights and patron sainthood. If you’re into that sort of thing, you can head over to their campaign page here to donate. As the weekend approaches, they’re pushing to clear the remaining 30 percent of their $10,000 goal. The new concept, which will streamline Augello’s free-association menu instincts, will also bring down the heretofore ambitious prices for a exposed-kitchen style restaurant.

For those of you familiar with B&C, rest assured that the essential playfulness and dedication to high quality ingredient-sourcing has not changed one iota. The new menu features old favorites in their essential form, like miso ramen with shashu pork and the Juicy Lucy cheeseburger, and others re-imagined as a host of dough-based and baked goodies. Open your minds, hearts and mouths to soon-to-be new favorites like the chop block calzone, stuffed with a butcher’s block of Augello’s choice charcuterie scraps and a side of celery-salt mayo, or the Pizza Garabaldi with balsamic reduction, spinach and house-crafted mozarella.

Pizza is a more accessible vehicle for Augello’s cerebral and historically rooted cuisine. Neapolitan pizza in specific provides a neutral canvas to showcase his excellent curation of choice ingredients, wide and far. Get ready for crushed burrata cheese, Lafayette’s only house-made bottarga and a red sauce too good to believe. The joint’s popular Late Night menus will still hop on Saturday night’s after shift, and Augello’s restless mind is sure to keep things weird going forward.

Bread & Circus will close during the week of Festival International to install the new oven and prepare the kitchen for its new identity. Keep track of the changes via their Facebook page, or visit them in person at 258 Bendel Road.

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