This Sunday Pranzo I wandered around my own adopted home town of Kelowna where I stumbled upon a new restaurant, The Curious Artistry and Alchemy. Needless to say is raised my curiosity and I wasn’t alone. The rectangular grey building with charcuterie hanging in the windows brought out the inquisitiveness of many downtown dwellers that afternoon. So what’s this restaurant all about?
Entering the building, which used to be the combination of an adult pleasures store and a heavy metal smoke shop, you now get the feeling of industrial chic. The floors are concrete with outlines of where the separation of the two, adult and smoke shops, used to be. The decor evokes a sense of old-timey dive diner/café ripped from an Edward Hopper painting.
Yet the shop is also divided, one side of the bar being more coffee-centric and the other side of the same wall being where the alchemy comes in, the cocktails. The division further promotes the sense of 1930s prohibition and so too does the artwork upon the newspaper menus and walls.
Images of authorities dumping out liquor (the horror) upon the ground, men holding picket signs proclaiming “We want beer!”.
So what does this all amount to?
In short, the best pizza in Kelowna.
With all the tables being full I grabbed a spot at the pizza bar where I could watch the magic happen. Pizzas are churned out quickly with “The Curious” pizza oven which creates the perfect crust that would rival any in Italy.
The pizza menu is a mix of classics like Margherita, Prosciutto, Soprressata with provolone (pictured above) and blue cheese with caramelized onion – be sure to top your pizza with their spicy chilli olive oil!
But you can also get an apple pie pizza if you’re feeling up for something sweeter topped with apple sauce, sliced apples, butterscotch drizzle and whipped cream. Or the Hot Donut which is a PB&J filled pizza dough folded into a mini calzone shape and baked until the crust is crispy.
Along with a soprressata pizza I also tried their soup of the day and the meat locker, a small charcuterie platter listed under dessert.
The southern anti-prohibition theme is recurrent throughout the menu: chicken and waffles – something after my own heart that you don’t often find this far north – pork chop with cheddar grits and a breakfast/brunch menu that will start your day off in that kind of way you won’t have to eat until dinner.
In the past year the downtown Kelowna food scene has developed excessively for the better. I for one welcome The Curious with open arms and a mouth full of pizza!