Tupelo Travels

If you’re hungry for pizza and you’re in Mississippi, look for an Old Venice Pizza Co. (There’s also one in Memphis, Tennessee, but we all know that Memphis is really north Mississippi.) My husband and I eat at the one in Tupelo, and it’s on our ever-lengthening list of favorite places. This is pizza with style. Old Venice began in Oxford, Mississippi, about 10 years ago. It combines Southern hospitality with Old World ingredients for an upscale yet friendly experience. One of the best things about Old Venice is its imaginative pizza menu. There are all sorts of specialties: Daddy Crawdaddy, with sweet red peppers and crawfish tails; the Mardi Gras, with andouille sausage; and a couple starring Memphis-style pulled pork. Or create your own from a list of almost 50 ingredients. You can order the lunch special of two slices from the four daily featured pizzas plus a salad. It’s a lot of food, but that’s a good thing, because my husband says Old Venice pizza is the best he’s ever had … cold — an important consideration for pizza lovers who look forward to leftovers! There are also pasta and sandwiches and a nice wine and beer selection (any place that has Blue Moon is a winner for me). Old Venice believes in wine with pizza and offers recommendations for your meal as well as wine tastings and other fun evenings in its sleek and stylish bar. And that’s the other attraction: Old Venice’s ambiance. The interior of the Tupelo restaurant is sleek and calming, with muted grays and purples — perfect for a peaceful mid-day break in the restaurant or a fun night out in the bar. Old Venice’s bars are called Burgundy Rooms. The Tupelo bar includes a high-tech-looking wine-dispenser that lets you sample 1-ounce pours of various wines for a sort of do-it-yourself wine-tasting. Now why did somebody wait so long to come up with that super idea? I love it! Visit the Web site at http://www.oldvenice.com to learn more.

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