Two nights ago, I walked up to the door of my favorite restaurant with a pit in my stomach. A sign had appeared on the door of Radius Pizza two weeks earlier saying the staff had gone on vacation, but rumors swirled the vacation was permanent.
The sign was gone. The door was locked. The rumors were true.
It felt as if a good friend had packed up overnight and fled town — and taken their delicious pizza recipe with them. Now I’m bereft: how do I face future meals without my steady backup Radius?
The pizza place may not have appeared like much to passersby in Mount Pleasant, and though it was often crowded during happy hours, it never really seemed to pop. It was a fact that always shocked me as I meditated over the delicious food. I had plenty of time to meditate this as I had more than a mild addiction to Radius Pizza.
I ate there at least once a week, sometimes with friends, more often alone, saddled up to the bar, with laptop in tow. Making use of the free Wi-Fi, I’d bang out my weekly column on Monday nights in between bites of a slice and salad.
And delicious bites they were. Todd and Nicole Wiss, the owners, were not just pizza makers; they were lovers of fine ingredients, surprising combinations, local harvests, and good drinks. The menu changed every season. I’d always be losing some cherished menu item, only to find it replaced by something even better.
The bar had a steady diet of regulars, commiserating over some terrible reality show, or gossiping about a neighborhood scandal. Trying to find my footing in a city of transients, the restaurant became a buoy. J.C., the bartender, would slide over a glass of Pinot noir and a soda water as soon as I would sit down. I met neighbors there, impressed friends with the good food who came to my neck of the woods and ate a lot of pizza.
In the past few months, the cracks started to appear that often foretell a restaurant’s closing: the staff turned over completely. The few that remained seemed bemused by the understated chaos that set in.
I’m sorry that such talented chefs couldn’t keep their restaurant alive. I’m sorry that the friendly staff lost their job. I’m sorry I’ll never get to stroll down a few blocks to snack on a sopressetta, arugula, ricotta slice.
What’s a hungry girl to do? Can you recommend a spot around Mount Pleasant that can harbor my shipwrecked self?Tweet #BestNeighborhoodEats
Let me know the #bestneighborhoodeats I should be checking out instead.
And I’ll pour out some pinot for Radius tonight.
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