Pete’s Pizza & Tap House: fresh oven-baked pizza, craft beers

11666072_10153505803102948_5599128029034668930_nPIZZERIAS ARE BOOMING THROUGH-OUT our region. Award-winning Old Town Pizza plans to open a third restaurant in Roseville in late summer, and upscale Pizza Bar opened this spring in downtown Truckee.

One of the most popular pizza restaurants in western Nevada County, Pete’s Pizza & Tap House in Grass Valley, just expanded to a new, beautifully designed location in the historic downtown. Pete’s specializes in thin New York-style pizza, made with fresh dough — regular or gluten-free. The sauce is made from scratch, with fresh local ingredients, including local tomatoes (from Greg’s Organics).

Pete’s stone-baked pizzas run the gamut. They include margherita, veggie, Hawaiian or any ingredient you want. A peach pizza is made with fresh peaches (SunSmile Farms), mozzarella, bacon, bleu cheese and arugula, with a balsamic glaze.

The salads are delicious, such as a spinach, Greek or Caesar salad. The menu also includes calzones and oven-baked subs.

Pete’s has 14 craft beers on tap, including local brews from Auburn Alehouse, ol’ Republic Brewery, Loomis Basin Brewing Co. and Knee Deep Brewing Co., among others. Its other two taps include Sprecher’s root beer and Crispin Cider. The sodas are made with cane sugar, not high-fructose corn syrup.

The restaurant reflects the culinary and creative vision of Lorri and Aaron Flores, who bought Pete’s Pizza in Grass Valley in 2008 from its founders. In 2011, Lorri and Aaron opened a second Pete’s Pizza restaurant in downtown Nevada City.

Now the Flores have expanded in Grass Valley, from Pete’s original location on Neal St. to a larger location at 114 West Main St. The interior is a work of art, with exposed brick walls, hardwood floors, unique hand-made tables and clever features.

“I’m still pinching myself at how beautiful it turned out,” says Lorri. The features include one-of-a-kind table and chairs, “sip n’ spin” cupping tables and a clever sign made with a rolling pin that reads “That’s how we roll.”

Lorri worked with local artists, professionals and fellow parents whom she met at Nevada City School for the Arts. They included Richard Baker of Siteline Architecture; Monica Hughes of Naked Tree Woodworking and Sally Peterson of the Funk Yard. The contractor was Mark Tintle of MK & Sons Construction. “When I dine out, the experience should include not only the food but also the space,” says Sally.

(Photo: Monica Hughes)

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