Jan Norris: Food and Florida

Food, Restaurants, Recipes and Pre-Disney Florida

Jan Norris: Food and Florida header image 1

Society Bites: House-Made or Local Foods on Pizzeria Oceano Pies

July 13th, 2009 · 1 Comment

By Thom Smith, columnist

In a his long career as a South Florida restauranteur, Dak Kerprich has done it fancy at such places as Max’s Grille in Boca, trendy at Kyoto in Delray and simple at Miss Marsha’s, a Singer Island pizza joint. Buoyed by the success of Miss Marsha’s, which he sold last year, he’s still big on simple.

pizzeria-oceana-exterior

On July 2, Kerprich hosted the grand opening of Pizzeria Oceano in Lantana. It couldn’t have been much simpler.

Wood-fired pizza not for some

Just half a block east of Federal Highway, it originally was a modest bungalow. Most interior walls are gone. All the better to draw the customer’s eye to the focal point – the oven. Imported from Italy, it resembles a small igloo, but it’s hardly icy. Inside a flickering Georgia oak fire kisses Kerprich’s personal pies to proper doneness.

Dak Kerprich, Pizzeria Oceano

Dak Kerprich tops a pizza ready for the wood-burning oven

“It’s great to be back; I think we’ve got a winner in this one,” said Kerprich, who also opened Suite 225, less than a block away a few years back. But he allows some customers may need some educating about wood-fired pies. “One woman complained about black marks on her pizza, so I explained that’s the way they come out. And they may not be perfectly round either.”

“I want to keep it simple,” Kerprich said. “You won’t see any drawings or designs zig-zagging on the plates. Just good, natural food. We’re trying to be as organic as possible.”

Everything about Pizzeria Oceano – the pizza, the antipasti, the stromboli — is basic, fulfilling the house motto: “No frills, great food, get it!”  The produce is fresh, supplied by local farmers in Lake Worth, Boynton Beach and Loxahatchee – including Swank Farms. Jody and Darryl Swank showed up to sample the spinach pie featuring the leafy greens. The sauce, a margharita base, is organic. Kerprich makes his own mozzarella and sausages.. All the cured meats are natural – no steroids, no antibiotics, no nitrates.

Keys Pinkies – but only if available

If Kerprich puts a special on the board, it’s because he was able to find an unusual product, not because of price. One recent offering was Key West “Pinkies.”

“They couldn’t have been fresher,” Kerprich said of the jumbo shrimp. “They were great on pizza or just tossed into the oven and roasted with a little olive oil and lemon.”

Wash it down with specially chosen wines or some unusual beers such as Narragansett, a small brewery revived in Rhode Island (My peer columnist, Dan the Beer Man, has written about it). If you want Coors Light or a Miller or Bud product, the corner convenience store is just a few steps away.

Opening party on the deck
Opening party on the deck

Small but cozy

The interior features a wood bar, half a dozen stools, pots and pans hanging from the ceiling and the centerpiece oven. A few tables on the front porch finish it off.

“I wanted to make it like a bar,” Kerprich said. “Good food, good times. It’s best to have it right out of the oven, still sizzling when it’s served.”

Pizzeria Oceano

  • 201 E. Ocean Ave., Lantana
  • Phone: 561-429-5550
  • Open daily from 5 p.m.; take-out available

Tags: The Eat Beat: Restaurant News · Thom Smith's Society Bites

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Jerry & Grazyna Krigstin // Feb 15, 2010 at 10:22 am

    At last we found you. We are at 5380 North Ocean Drive, apt. 5H. We mourned your leaving Singer Island and have not had a good pizza since the last one we had at Miss Marsha’s Pizza.

    See you this Friday. Will call for a reservation. We will not eat till Friday.

    Grazyna and Jerry

Leave a Comment