Award-winning chef to open new pizza-centered restaurant in downtown Raleigh

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James Beard award-winning chef Ashley Christensen has Instagram abuzz after starting a new account for her next restaurant Pooleside Pie. (WTVD)

James Beard award-winning chef Ashley Christensen has Instagram abuzz after starting a new account for her next restaurant Pooleside Pie.

The Instagram page says the restaurant is "coming in 2018."

The account published its first post on Wednesday and already has over 2,100 followers.



Pooleside Pie is set to be next to one of Christensen's other restaurants, Poole's Diner, and will focus on Neapolitan-style pizzas.
ABC11 reached out Ashley Christensen Restaurants which is not releasing any other information about the new addition right now, as it is still in its planning stages.

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However, they say Christensen is in Italy doing research for her restaurant menu.

ABC11's Stephanie Lopez did get a chance to speak with Ashley Christensen while she's away, here what she had to say about her new restaurant:

Stephanie: What is the inspiration for PooleSide Pie?

Ashley: The inspiration and concept started with the space. We were very excited to secure the very special building next to Poole's (Diner), and wanted to create an experience that was unique from Poole's but also complementary to it. Pizzerias, like diners, are a very approachable style of restaurant, with food that feels comforting to people, so it made sense to us to focus on pizza next to our diner.

What is Ashley Christensen's new goal/hope in opening this restaurant?

As with all of our restaurants, the hope is to create a unique dining experience that focuses on hospitality and contributes something positive to the community.

What makes for the best Neapolitan-style pizza?

Our pizza experiences in Naples have centered around a style that features a very thin (but not crispy) crust, with a modest approach to toppings. It's an exercise in restraint. The pizzas are cooked very quickly in a very hot wood fired oven. We're spending the next several days in Rome, where the approach to pizza is different. I'm still studying the intricacies of different techniques and approaches, and haven't decided exactly what style our pies at Pooleside will emulate.

What is the hope for the customer experience?

We don't use the term customer, we prefer the term "guest." Beyond our general dedication to great hospitality, we aren't ready to share specifics of service or operation style.

Is there a season in 2018 you all are targeting for the opening?

We're not ready to share that yet.

Related Topics:
foodrestaurantpizzanew businessraleigh newswtvdocRaleigh
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