More Than Just Pizza, It Is Truly “Where Food Becomes Art”
By Marissa Pietrobono
Upon entering Pizza Gallery & Grill (PGG), your senses immediately recognize this is NOT your “Typical Pizza Place,” especially since its recent remodel. “There is a fine line between staying fresh and innovative without straying from your brand,” said Founder Chris Conneen. Since their first location in downtown Melbourne 27 years ago, Conneen has exceeded this balance within a very competitive market.
The New Look
Casting the new PGG vision began by hiring Jessica Neal of Unite Design last year. She then collaborated with Robin Conneen, Chris’ wife, to produce some pretty amazing results. A fresh/contemporary/eclectic atmosphere with a 1,100-gallon saltwater aquarium greets you at the front door. The inviting sounds and smells then draw you past this underwater art gallery into the front dining room with raised ceilings, copper fixtures, zebrawood wall covering, tile mosaics, rotating art exhibits and a high energy open kitchen —all of which come together quite nicely.
The other areas of the restaurant sit on The Avenue Viera’s Central Park, with a spacious lounge, 10 large screen TVs, and indoor/outdoor bar – a great place to watch your next game of choice. A huge covered patio with a separate stage was built where live musicians and artists await those who love dining outdoors. A private dining room is adjacent to the lounge and opens up to a patio on the park also. It seats up to 50 guests and features a large dropdown screen, audiovisual connections and WiFi. This room is perfect for professional board meetings, private gatherings, celebrations, watching the big game and more.
The New Bar
Thirteen-year employee and Master Mixologist Ericka Hash brought the PGG Bar to a whole new level. Three words to describe it: Modern, Fresh & Fun!
The bar features a beautiful new granite top, LED lighting and a copper tile mosaic. New menu additions include 12 new taps, local and national craft beers and some of the most creative drinks you’ll find anywhere. Ericka and her team are truly passionate toward the art of craft cocktails.
A great happy hour, live entertainment and a fun staff make this spot a regular stop for many.
The New Menu
PGG’s culinary vision began with empowering Executive Chef Kyle Hash to “Think Outside the (Pizza) Box.” He began with a new Burger Menu that would rival any chop house. In addition, he added a Bourbon Chicken and Eggplant Florentine Sandwich, Turkey Avocado Panini and Baja Fish Wrap. One of his favorite new additions is a Korean street food inspired Tuna Bahn Mi sandwich with seared ahi tuna and pickled vegetables, finished with a hoisin BBQ sauce.
The ever-popular Gorgonzola and Prosciutto flatbread pairs the salty flavors of prosciutto with sweet cranberry-raisins, tangy balsamic reduction and rich Gorgonzola cheese. Top these with a fresh blend of mixed greens and enjoy the contrasting textures between the creamy Gorgonzola and the crispy flatbread. Next was the Vegetarian Eggplant Stack entrée. The eggplant was sliced thin, breaded and fried, then layered with a blend of three Italian cheeses and marinara, all baked and served over fresh baby spinach. The presentation on a triangular plate with a beautiful edible orchid made it look almost too good to eat. However, the freshness of the ingredients was palpable, making each bite more enjoyable and one I wanted to savor.
Other new entrees include a Mahi Vera Cruz and Salvador Shrimp Scampi, plus several exciting new gourmet pizzas and flatbreads.
What would a dining experience be without dessert? Chef Kyle has brought in a new Gluten Free Caramel Cheesecake along with a more traditional favorite, “Milk & Cookies,” only this one is far from traditional. Four warm slices of chocolate chip cookie, served on an artist palette with four mini martini glasses of milk — a family favorite to share or kick it up a notch during happy hour with some added Kahlua.
While many things have changed at Pizza Gallery & Grill, one thing has definitely stayed the same for 27 years, and that is their mission: “Enriching Our Community with Food, Outreach and Art.”
2250 Town Center Ave.
Suite 113, Viera
Mon. – Thurs. 11 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Fri. & Sat. 11 a.m. – 11:30 p.m.
Sun. 11 a.m. – 8:30 p.m.