Love Supreme Brings Magnificent ‘New School’ Pizza to Manor Road
Brothers Ryan and Wade McElroy’s spot also offers wine, meatballs and a stellar sound system
By Laurel Miller
Photographs courtesy of Love Supreme
There are those who believe that pizza is like sex: Even when it’s bad, it’s still pretty good.
I am not one of those people.
Pizza making is an art (just ask the Associazone Verace Pizza Napoletana). As a purist, I’ve always favored Neapolitan, with its subtle chew, gloriously blistered crust and sublime – if minimalist – toppings. But give me a great New York-style slice, deep-dish, a wood-fired California pie or rectangular Roman, and I’m no less enthralled.
At Love Supreme, the two-month-old “pizza bar” on Manor Road, the pies are what co-owner/native Austinite Ryan McElroy calls, “new school.”
“For the last few years, I’ve done a lot of traveling – mostly in New York, New Jersey and California, trying pizza. We (with his sibling and co-owner Wade McElroy and chef Russell Victorioso) finally landed on a New York-style/Neapolitan hybrid in terms of our crust and process, what everyone in the New York pizza scene calls, ‘new school.’ They’re crispy-bottomed and cooked in a gas oven, but have a fluffy, charred cornicione, or rim.”
Whatever you want to call Love Supreme’s pizzas, they’re magnificent. McElroy says he’s dreamed of opening a pizzeria on Manor for over a decade, but the 200-seat restaurant, which includes the expansive patio and outdoor bar, is a manifestation of his and Wade’s lifelong love of pizza … and music.
“Pizza was the first food we really loved. And we’re big John Coltrane fans,” McElroy says, referring to the jazz great’s iconic 1964 album, “A Love Supreme.” “The name just stuck in our brains and resonated with us. It reflects our feelings about pizza and music.”
In addition to a stellar sound system, Love Supreme offers salads, seasonal composed dishes, wings and incredible meatballs in marinara. The beverage program, curated by general manager Paulina Cline, showcases natural wines and rotating frozen cocktails as well as Frosé (look for daily specials for as little as $5). “Paulina and Wade are really into natural wines, which are rapidly catching on in Austin. We figured Love Supreme would be a fun format to introduce even more folks to them,” says McElroy.
Love Supreme’s menu will change seasonally, with an increasing emphasis on side dishes made with local produce. “Right now, we source weekly based on availability, getting vegetables when we can from Johnson’s Backyard Garden, Steelbow Farm and Middle Ground Farm,” says McElroy. “We also sometimes get organic heritage flour from Barton Springs Mill. Currently, we’re waiting for them to get more of their Texas-grown Red Fife wheat for our dough.”
Victorioso is also gearing up to launch square pizzas, what McElroy calls, “a marriage of Detroit-style, with the airiness of focaccia. “This is Russell’s baby and we’re excited about it – he really matched the vision with the round pies and this has been a labor of love for him long before Love Supreme.”
Ultimately, Love Supreme was created to provide a little of something for everyone, says McElroy. “We wanted a place where a lot of different kinds of people can enjoy themselves and relax, which is why we went with counter service. Our obsessiveness about pizza and having a vibrant wine menu was about having a good time with this. If you take the process and execution seriously, you can deliver transcendent food and that’s part of it, but really, Love Supreme is just a good hang.”