THE DISH: Pizzeria Venti

Pizzeria Venti

1350 Scenic Highway, Suite 424, Snellville


Open since: March 28

Owners: Gary and Terry Moon

Location: Pizzeria Venti is located in The Shoppes of Webb Gin next to Charming Charlie.

Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays

Atmosphere: The inside of Pizzeria Venti is narrow and warm. When you first enter the doors, the smell of pizza and herbs hit your senses before you have a chance to look at the menu.

Guests place their orders at the front counter, then find a spot at one of the nine tables inside or on the patio with umbrellas.

Although this is a franchise, the owners were allowed to make it their own space with the colors, tables and decor.

"I like to tell people that this is a boutique franchise ... because they want us to run it like a family-run restaurant with support," co-owner Terry Moon said.

The Moons have hung pictures from trips to Italy on back walls. Large cans of tomatoes and olive oil line the front counters. Pizza and gelato are on display in glass cases for guests to look at before ordering.

People can order their for to dine in, take out or for catering, plus there is free wi-fi.

Menu: The restaurant's slogan is "A taste of Italy ... no passport required."

As you might imagine, the food is Italian. Pizzeria Venti serves pasta, salads, soups, pizza, desserts and gelato.

Moon prides himself in the pizza's authentic dough -- there's one secret ingredient that you can't just purchase from the grocery store.

"We use imported water to make our dough," he said. "I keep a bottle (out front) because most people don't believe us. We get it by the truck load."

No joke. The large blue plastic San Benedetto bottle sits on the front counter for curious diners.

As for baking the pizza, Moon and his crew keep it simple. No frills or fancy shows. This spot uses a stone oven set at 450 degrees F.

"The pizza doesn't care how it's baked," Moon said. "It's just pizza and it wants to be baked properly, so we use the stone ovens to control the temperature better. ... Our food is about consistency."

There is also a small menu for the little ones. Children can choose from a slice of cheese pizza, a bocce ball (Italian meatballs and cheese wrapped in crust), bolini (breadstick stuffed with pepperoni and cheese) or spaghetti. Each meal includes a drink and mini gelato for $4.

Things you might not know: The Moons went to Italy for training to run Pizzeria Venti.