About a year ago, when we first started our seemingly neverending updates about the anticipated opening of the new Noble Crust in the Shops at Wiregrass mall, my fiancé Jannah and I started visiting the original Noble Crust location on 4th St. in St. Petersburg.
We were hooked from the moment we walked in. The vibe…the buzz…the enticing aroma of fresh garlic in the air inside owner TJ Thielbar’s not-fancy-but-nice creation had everything we’ve been looking for in a true mom-and-pop addition to the Wesley Chapel dining scene.
I was fortunate that Noble Crust Wiregrass managing partner Will Perez — who worked his way up the ranks in St. Pete — is a long-time Wesley Chapel resident who pushed his friend and business associate (Thielbar) into expanding so close to home I can almost taste it from my apartment.
It also was Will who sought me out — as the restaurant coordinator for the recent Taste of New Tampa & Wesley Chapel, to make sure Noble Crust would participate in that event.
I feel lucky just to know these guys, much less get to sample the incredible Italian cuisine with a Southern flair given life by Noble Crust’s Chef Rob Reinsmith.
Here’s all of the dishes we already love at Noble Crust — the too-tasty-to-be kale Caesar, topped with a deep fried soft-boiled egg (Will says he spent most of his first day at the St. Pete location carefully hand-peeling those eggs); the Southern fried chicken parmigiana (with al denté bucatini, or hollow spaghetti); the current grouper special (served with succotash, mashed potatoes, a frise salad and the best chimichurri sauce ever); the beef, pork and veal meatballs; the Noble Pig (with house-made sausage and incredible pepperoni) and Margherita pizzas; and our surprise current favorite special — the cauliflower gratin (pictured) with crumbled bacon.
Yes, although I still can’t get an amazing Cowboy ribeye at Noble Crust, the fact its prices are less than half the cost of dinner for two at Dempsey’s Steak House at Saddlebrook Resort (my other favorite), make this hot new eatery my #1 favorite restaurant in Wesley Chapel! Now, I just have to convince them to open for lunch, at least for me!
Noble Crust Wiregrass (28330 Paseo Dr.) is open every day for dinner at 4 p.m. (3 p.m. on Fri.), and at 10 a.m. for brunch on Sat. & Sun. It stays open until at least 10 p.m. every day (til midnight on Fri. & Sat.). Ask about their “Sunday Gravy” early dinner on Sundays and please tell them that you read about Noble Crust in the Wesley Chapel Neighborhood News! For reservations & info, call (813) 703-2602 or visit Noble-Crust.com!