January 30, 2019

KEVIN WADLOW/Free Press
Stone Oven Pizzeria chefs prepare to serve a pie at the new restaurant in the plaza at mile marker 82.7, oceanside, in Islamorada.

KEVIN WADLOW/Free Press Stone Oven Pizzeria chefs prepare to serve a pie at the new restaurant in the plaza at mile marker 82.7, oceanside, in Islamorada.

ISLAMORADA — No pizza quite compares to pizza that comes out of a stone oven, says chef Martin Gomez, now at the newly opened Stone Oven Pizzeria.

“This is a real pizzeria. It’s unique and old-school style,” said Gomez, with two decades of experience in Upper Keys eateries.

Owners Ryan Crockett and Klara McGarry opened the new Stone Oven Pizzeria shortly before the dawn of 2019.

“Everybody loves pizza. We love pizza,” Crockett said. “There was no pizzeria around here and people were asking for it.”

The Stone Oven Pizzeria lies adjacent to The Whistle Stop in the plaza at 82685 Overseas Highway on Upper Matecumbe Key. The new dining room is separate from the lounge.

The restaurant “was created for a family-friendly environment,” Crockett said. “The Whistle Stop has always had good food, but now we’ve expanded our kitchen and brought in the stone pizza oven.”

A stone oven allows pizza to be cooked at a higher temperature, “which cooks the crust a lot better,” Crockett said. “They’re the best.”

Pizza chefs Martin and Rafael can create one of 17 specialty pizzas, from vegetarian to a full-works meat. Most prices range from $9.99 for a personal pizza to $20 for a large. Order ahead of time for the Chicago-style deep dish ($29.99).

Customers also can “build your own” pizza with a wide range of toppings, cheeses and sauces.

Crockett leans toward the “white-sauce Philly cheese steak with onions and mushrooms.” He orders it with a cauliflower crust ($4 extra, personal size only) to cut down on carbohydrates and calories.

McGarry opts for the vegetarian cheese with pesto.

“I throw pesto on everything,” she said.

The Stone Oven Pizzeria menu also offers calzones and strombolis, wraps, burgers, cheese dogs, wings, catch-of-the-day fish, burritos, tacos and quesadillas.

More than a dozen appetizers include seared tuna, fish dip, fried okra and buffalo chicken pizza bites. Salads and a soup of the day are available.

Stone Oven Pizza is in its “soft opening” phase with restaurant dining or carry-out from 5 to 11 p.m. Lunch hours and delivery service are expected to be available in the near future.

For more information, see the Stone Oven Pizzeria page on Facebook. Orders can be called in to 305-664-1404.

kwadlow@keysnews.com