PROVIDENCE, RI – Prepare yourself for the most inventive, most creative, most delicious pizzeria you never heard of. At Fellini Pizzeria, the lineup of pies is a feast for the eyes, and a slice is a more like a meal.
With locations in Providence and Cranston, Rhode Island, Fellini Pizzeria is fun and funky. There’s a large take out counter if you want to grab and go, and a busy dining room and bar if you want to stay awhile.
At the center of it all is Fellini’s owner and pizza pioneer, Kristy Knoedler.
“It’s definitely not just a regular pizza place. It’s a New York style, loud, hootin’ and hollerin’ kind of place,” she said. “We put on a show: throwing the dough up in the air; spinning behind our backs; the music’s loud as can be.”
Kristy loves pizza. From tossing and saucing, to slicing and sampling, it might just be her favorite thing in the world.
“I feel more comfortable here than I do in my own home,” she laughed. “This is my safe place. It’s my passion, my love.”
The pizzas at Fellini are built upon super thin and crispy whole wheat dough. Then they’re topped with skim milk mozzarella and a simple sweet tomato sauce. That cheese is put on before the sauce, to help support the mountain of toppings that may follow, like on the gloriously gluttonous Kitchen Sink Pizza.
“We take penne pasta; we throw it on the pizza. We add scallions, roasted red peppers, tons of garlic, parmesan cream sauce, pepperoni, feta cheese, and black pepper. And the flavor in your mouth, it’s nuts, ” described Kristy. “I love when couples come in. The guy’s like ‘Babe, look at that. There’s pasta on that pizza.’ She’s like ‘eh.’ Next thing you know, I look over, she’s eating it.”
Another slice that’s certainly worth sharing is the Sweet Heaven, piled high with ricotta, scallions, creamy parmesan sauce, and bacon. Lots and lots of bacon.
“The bacon on here is just whole pieces of bacon. We’re not chopping anything up. We load it, so every bite has that smoky flavor with that rich ricotta cheese and cream sauce it just blows you away.”
Fellini Pizzeria is so good, you might want to eat here every day, but there’s one day a year where it seems like everybody actually does eat here. On the day before Thanksgiving, Kristy and her team put on their turkey hats, and put out an unbelievably good creation that stuffs everything you love about the holiday meal, onto a pizza.
“It’s a Thanksgiving pizza,” she said. “It’s slow-roasted turkey, homemade mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, served with a side of cranberry sauce.”
This delicious annual tradition started almost a decade ago, and has now become all-out madness.
“Every year it’s gotten bigger and bigger. The line is literally out the door, down the street, from 11 in the morning to midnight.”
Believe it or not, Kristy makes about 1,000 Thanksgiving pizzas all on that one day, with a specific method to the madness:
“Mozzarella cheese first.
“Stuffing: tons of butter, tons of spices, breadcrumb, the whole shebang.
“Then we do mashed potato dollops through a pastry bag.
“Slow roasted turkey in a crock pot. The turkey is so tender that you can just pull it right apart.
“Then you top it off with gravy – you know brown gravy, not red sauce.
“Then when it comes out of the oven, everyone gets a little side of cranberry sauce.”
Those in the know put in their order for this special pizza up to a month in advance, because every single slice always gets gobbled up.
While the pizzas at Fellini certainly are the star of the show, there’s plenty of other great options, like homemade Spinach Pie, addictive Garlic Knots, and Crispy Oven Baked Chicken Wings with – not eleven – but twelve secret herbs and spices.
“12! Screw Colonel Sanders, right?” Kristy laughed.
Sandwiches come on fresh baked homemade focaccia, like the Chicken Pesto, and the enormous Muffaletta.
Even the salads here are worth the trip.
“A lot of people want to have a salad because they’re on a diet. This is a meal. People come here for the salads.”
Of everything on the menu, Kristy’s all-time favorite comes back to the pizza, and a surprisingly simple slice at that.
“Pepperoni,” she declared. “The best. I probably eat a slice of pepperoni every other day, for the past 20 years.”
And through all those years, Kristy still loves what she does.
“There’s nothing better than standing here on a Friday night when the place is packed, and seeing people be like, ‘Oh my god, it’s so good.’
“I’m like waving and showing off spinning pizzas for them and it’s like being on stage. It’s funny because in my normal daily life I hate attention, but when I’m here, bring it on!”
You can find Fellini Pizzaria at 166 Wickenden Street in Providence, 2190 Broad Street in Cranston, or online at fellinipizzeria.com.
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