In some ways, the success of Supino Pizzeria was the underlying cause of the short life of its next door sibling, La Rondinella. It just couldn’t seem to hit the level established by what a number of people believe is the best pizza around.
And so La Rondinella is gone, and its space has eased the crush for pizza lovers. Now there is plenty of room in which to enjoy the thin-crusted pies turned out by proprietor Dave Mancini’s busy kitchen. And it stars on the menu in varieties from red-sauced beauties to those with no sauce, but such toppings as spinach, feta, onions and olives to smoked prosciutto, roasted garlic, chopped parsley and smoked gouda atop the thin, faintly charred crust that is really what makes or breaks a pizza.
At the newly expanded Supino, that crust is the headliner.
The setting is appropriately as casual as the Eastern Market location on the corner of Russell Street and the Fisher Freeway. An array of metal- and wood-topped tables, both high and low, and a handsome walnut bar seat a total of 60, leaving the original small Supino space for those who stop by for carryout.
Napkins are paper, service friendly. The amenity of beer, wine and cocktails adds to the appeal of the expanded restaurant. In addition to the pizzas, proprietor Mancini pared down the La Rondinella menu, leaving just a couple of salads, a few panini, typified by the prosciutto with arugula and Gorgonzola cream, and four selections known simply as “plates.”
One of them is Polpette, meatballs made with a mixture of turkey, lamb and beef, served with roasted polenta and a touch of marinara sauce, and it seems destined to be a popular item. And so is the mix of oven-roasted mushrooms, also with roasted polenta. Just right as an side to both dishes and also to pizzas is the fresh, light arugula and watercress salad.
Even those who go for one of the plates can also easily try the pizza, because it is available by the slice in three varieties, including a daily special, which might be the El Greco, spinach, feta, onions, kalamata olives and mozzarella. Warning: one slice won’t be enough. Whole pizzas come in 12-inch and 18-inch sizes.
The second time around for this airy space with uncovered windows offering a glimpse of market activity is a winner.
2457 Russell, Detroit
Call: (313) 567-7879
Hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Tues.-Sat. Closed Sun.-Mon.
Prices: Pizzas $8-$18, salads $5-$7, panini sandwiches $9-$11, plates $7-$12.
Credit cards: All major
Liquor: Wine, beer and small cocktail selection
Noise level: Moderate
Wheelchair access: No barriers
What the ratings mean
★ — routine ★★— good ★★1/2 — very good ★★★— excellent ★★★★— outstanding