How does the food at Pizza Art Wine stack up against its stylish Instagrammable look?

THE BASICS: Yilena Hernández opened her ode to pizza, art and wine in February 2023 in the Ichiban Square shopping center. In late 2023, an assist from consulting chef David Dickensauge revamped the menu to focus on quality ingredients and expertly prepared pizzas and pasta. Happy hours, a self-pour wine tap and live music make this vibey spot a great evening hangout.

WHAT’S A MUST: The Beef Carpaccio appetizer offers delectable, tender thinly sliced meat with capers and onions. Among several pasta dishes, the Tagliatelle Bolognese is a standout for its wide noodles and meat sauce. The real stars are the pizzas, with the Tartufata taking the lead thanks to a mix of prosciutto, mozzarella and truffles.

About 225’s food criticBenjamin Leger previously served as managing editor for 225 and was the editor of its Taste section from 2012 to 2021, editing, writing and steering the direction of its food coverage in print and online. He is passionate about all things food and food journalism, and has written about the greater Baton Rouge area’s cuisine and culture for nearly two decades.

I knew the backstory of Pizza Art Wine before I ever set foot inside. The restaurant’s owner, Yilena Hernández, is an international fashion model who opened the restaurant last year to celebrate her love of, well, pizza, art and wine.

From the curated photos on its Instagram to the glammed-up poses on Hernández’s own social media that show the Cuban beauty hopping out of a sports car in front of the restaurant wearing the highest of high-end brands, one would expect the restaurant’s vibe to be more L.A. than La.

But once inside this restaurant in Ichiban Square, the look translates as more boho chic than glitzy. There are colorful paintings on nearly every inch of the walls, and crystal chandeliers share space overhead with modern amber glass pendant lights. Meanwhile, the exposed kitchen shows off a huge bespoke brick pizza oven (more on that later) and a wood-paneled patio adds a more casual aesthetic.

Eggplant Caponata

That’s where my friends and I opted to sit one cool Tuesday evening. The interior dining room was bustling with patrons, likely all there for what we found out was the half-off select bottles of wine special known as “Wine Down Tuesday.”

We were happy to oblige the weekly deal, and once we selected our choice from the large wine menu, we moved quickly onto appetizers.

First up was the Beef Carpaccio, a beautifully dressed plating of thinly sliced raw beef topped with capers, chopped red onion and arugula.

The meat was melt-in-your-mouth tender, but the unexpected honey mustard drizzle was more sweet than peppery. I’m used to a horseradish sauce or mustardy vinaigrette drizzled on top of this dish, and I needed something with a kick. Still, overall, the delicious quality meat and the other ingredients were spot on.

Next was the Eggplant Caponata. This eggplant relish isn’t something I’ve seen on local Italian menus, but I’ve always loved its mix of savory and sweet flavors. I was excited to try it here. A mixture of roasted eggplant, olives and capers in a chunky tomato sauce came on two “boats” of crusty bread. Unfortunately, this was more sweet than savory. One of my dining partners even remarked she didn’t realize the dish had olives in it because the sweetness was so overpowering.

Our final starter, the Pesto Salad, however, struck the right balance, with mixed greens, grape tomatoes, pine nuts and shaved Parmesan in a pesto dressing. The dressing was pungent, salty and just right, bringing all the ingredients together for a nice palate cleanser before our main course.

Our table of four decided to share two pizzas and a pasta dish. Even though pizza is, of course, in the name, there are nine different pasta dishes on the menu, too. We wanted to show them some love.

The Tagliatelle Bolognese is one of nine pasta dishes on the menu

We went with the Tagliatelle Bolognese, which featured wide noodles and a stick-to-your-ribs mix of Italian sausage, capicola and ground beef in a rich pomodoro sauce.

Topped with shaved Parmesan, the dish was a satisfying take on spaghetti and meat sauce and the herby Italian sausage shined through.

Now onto the pizzas: The menu divides them into red sauce and olive-oil-based pies. We were ready to try one of each.

The Diavola includes Italian sausage and spicy salami with mozzarella on a red sauce base. The huge slices of salami were so fiery that one of my friends opted to remove them from his slices. But the rest of us didn’t mind a little heat and loved the flavors.

Tartufata pizza

The Tartufata brings together mushrooms, prosciutto, shaved truffles and truffle oil with plenty of mozzarella. The truffle flavors were delicious without overwhelming the dish, and the rest of the ingredients offered contrasts of salty and savory.

Both pizzas were a hit and a big part of that was the incredible crust, courtesy of that brick pizza oven. Crispy, airy and nicely charred, it’s exactly the kind of pizza crust I covet and will likely have me coming back for more—maybe even making me a brand loyalist.

While there were a few misses on the appetizers, our main courses hit the mark. Consistently good pizzas and a nice wine and cocktail selection make this restaurant expertly tailored for a night out with friends. And with its chic and artsy vibe, Pizza Art Wine is clearly ready for its close-up.

This article was originally published in the April 2024 issue of 225 magazine.