Licavoli’s Villanova Pizzeria: A “slice” of Italy in St. Clair Shores

By Isabella Boedeker, Intern

Photo credit: Isabella Boedeker

Many Grosse Pointers are familiar with the family friendly Licavoli’s Market, located on Mack Avenue. Licavoli’s is best known for their quality pizza and their wonderful customer service. Recently a sit-down restaurant of Licavoli’s opened on Jefferson Avenue in St. Clair Shores, called Licavoli’s Villanova Pizzeria. My family has been loyal customers of Licavoli’s Market for the past few years, so the announcement of this new restaurant intrigued me. 

I was very impressed as soon as I walked in the door. The lighting and beautiful interior directly caught my eye.  There was plenty of seating throughout the restaurant with many tables able to seat six or more customers.  I could not get over the entire makeover of the space, as the restaurant was previously a very old Steve’s Back Room, which had no character.  The restaurant captured a feel of being in Italy.  

We were greeted by a welcoming hostess who sat our party of six immediately. The waitress approached us and took our drink order and appealing fresh bread with dipping oil was swiftly

Photo credit: Isabella Boedeker

brought to the table. The waiter even made a smiley face out of the balsamic vinegar in the oil.

Our waitress was very friendly. She engaged our table in talking about her favorite pizzas, made the table laugh and just had an overall congenial presence. She checked on us frequently throughout our meal, while the bussers made sure to fill our drinks without asking.

The menu was very inviting. We shared an antipasto salad with creamy parmesan Italian dressing that was homemade. We even dipped our bread in it.  The salad was plentiful of provolone, red onion, salami, ham and pepperoncini. It was hard to make a decision on the pizza, because there were so many to choose from. All of the thin crust specialty pizzas were unique and I wanted to sample them all. We decided to order the thick Detroit Style pizza with pepperoni because that is not on the menu at their market.   I normally don’t like Detroit style pizza, but the dough was delectable.  The thickness was just perfect.  The sauce provided a sweet taste, which I thoroughly loved.  It was loaded with plenty of

Photo credit: Isabella Boedeker

pepperoni and cooked to perfection in the special ovens.  We also ordered one of the thin crust options, called “The Jill,” which was topped with olives, goat cheese, arugula, and peppadews. It was very flavorful. Our eyes were a little bigger than our bellies, and there was plenty to take home after the bread and salad. 
Ultimately, I would give Licavoli’s Villanova Pizzeria 4.5/5 stars. This restaurant is a great addition to St. Clair Shores and if you delight in the food at Licavoli’s Market, this is sure to bring you in. The only inconvenience of Villanova would be that it’s dine-in only, which makes it difficult for those wanting to carry out. If you’re looking for an affordable and fun night out,  I would highly recommend this restaurant.