The Blind Pig, a pizzeria by the owners of Bear's Smokehouse BBQ, is scheduled to open this week at 89 Arch Street in Hartford.
With their new Bear's Smokehouse now open around the corner on Front Street and about five years left on the lease at their former Arch Street location, owner Jamie McDonald wanted to open something that Hartford could use. "There really is no pizza place downtown that's strictly your local pizza hangout with a good bar, so we saw that need and decided to go for it."
McDonald admits that at the beginning of this process he didn't know much about pizza. "I bought probably fifteen books on dough and pizza and bread making, and it has really been trial and error over the last few months. Our chef, David Capodici, came to us from Infinity Hall and has always has a passion for pizza. He's come up with a really great menu."
The Blind Pig menu consists of small plates, salads, pizzas and desserts. Salads range from $8-$15 and small plates range from $9-$14, and include stand outs like the housemade sausage with fire roasted peppers, and the burrata with roasted tomato and charcuterie crumbs on Farm to Hearth bread. The pizzas are separated into three sections: white, red and BBQ, and all range between $9-$15. The BBQ pies all include meats from Bear's Smokehouse. Desserts are $6 each and comprise of fun choices like s'mores calzones and a nilla wafer tiramisu.
They'll be sourcing some ingredients locally, such as their bread from Farm to Hearth in Haddam, a few cheeses from Arethusa in Bantam and Mystic Cheese in Lebanon, as well as some of their meat from Walden Hill in New Haven.
A big difference between The Bling Pig and your typical neighborhood pizzeria is the full bar menu. "We wanted to have a craft bar to match the quality of the pizza," said McDonald. Managing Partner Justin Morales "wanted to do something unique, kind of like our menu itself, a little eclectic with no real leaning towards one spirit or another."
The cocktail menu is all priced between $8-$10 and includes classics like the negroni and more inventive twists like the Lychee Love with lychee liquor, vodka and lemonade, and the Portofino Spritz with Aperol, sparkling wine, lemon juice and rhubarb bitters.
The Blind Pig will be open Monday-Wednesday from 11am-10pm, Thursday-Saturday from 11am-12am and Sunday from 11am-9pm. To-go orders, online ordering and delivery are expected to be added in the coming weeks.