Sonny's Pizzeria


Sturgeon Bay Pizzeria Showcases Its Italian Neapolitan Pizza

Posted on’s Italian Kitchen and Pizzeria in Sturgeon Bay is doing bigger and better things than ever before as it celebrates its first anniversary at its new waterfront location. There are new menu items and fresh, exclusive craft brew offerings. In celebration of the anniversary, an open house will be held on Saturday, February 20 from noon to 8pm and include free samples of new menu items and drawings for prizes including free pizza for one year. Owner Jason Estes and team recently came home from a training session in New York City, where they studied the fine Italian art of making authentic Verace Pizza Napoletana, or true Neapolitan pizza. They hope to show Wisconsinites the beauty and authenticity of this flavor-packed Italian pizza. This pizza is only about 12 inches in diameter, making it a more personal choice. It’s made with basic dough containing double zero flour, which is a very fine flour found most commonly in Italy. The crust is brushed with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkled with fresh basil. Hand-crushed, imported, Italian tomatoes make up the sauce, and fresh mozzarella cheese is spread evenly on top to give the pizza added moisture. The pizza is baked in a stone oven with a wood fire. The fire is 800 degrees and the pizza doesn’t stay in there any longer than 90 seconds. When the pizza is baked to perfection, it should be soft, slightly elastic and very fragrant. “This is a very basic but still gourmet pizza and is one of the biggest trends in the industry right now,” said Jim Finney, general manager of Sonny’s Italian Kitchen and Pizzeria. “It really brings back the basics of Italian pizza.” Even though the members of Sonny’s kitchen staff have been making this pizza for several years, they want to get certified with the V.P.N. Institute of America. Part of their trip involved the application process for certification. “We’re trying to be one of the frontrunners in the area with certified Neapolitan pizza,” Finney said. “There’s a big learning curve here in Wisconsin for Italian pizza.” The team was also invited to participate in the Caputo Cup Competition while in New York City. This competition is made up of the prime Neapolitan pizza makers in the country and they compete to be awarded the best pizza maker. Even though the team didn’t compete, they watched and learned about various pizzas, ingredients and cooking methods. They were introduced to the Montanara pizza which is made with fresh dough that’s deep fried for 20 seconds on each side. This will be a new dish on their revamped menu, along with several other pasta dishes and appetizers. They also learned how to make their own fresh mozzarella cheese. Sonny’s has also extensively expanded its craft brew offerings by installing a 22-handle tap system. This, combined with bottled offerings, gives Sonny’s the widest selection of craft brews in Door County. The new system will be primarily focused on rare and unique craft brews from across the Midwest, and some of the offerings will be exclusive. Finney says, “Be sure to check Facebook for details about our frequently changing selection.” For information on specialty beer events, visit or find the restaurant on Facebook. This summer will bring live music events Saturday evenings on The Piazza, their outdoor patio complete with fire table and outdoor bar. Visit them at 129 N. Madison Avenue in Sturgeon Bay or call 920-743-2300 for more information. You can see Sonny’s menu online at or call (920) 743-2300 for more information.

Brunch With Santa

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We are very happy to announce that we have accepted Santa’s request to come here and eat (because we want to be on his good side). He will be stopping by on December 13th, 2015 from 10 am to 1 pm. We will be serving up pizza, pasta, Italian sausage and a salad bar. Call us at 920-743-2300 to reserve some space for you and your family. photo-1-v1 photo-2-v1

Which style of pizza crust is best?

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For decades now there has been the never ending debate of which pizza crust hales supreme; Chicago deep dish or New York thin? Over the past decades, there have been a number of new players to the game. Because we as Americans enjoy choices, why not add a few more crust types to the debate? Since the early 2000’s Neapolitan crust pizza has been growing in fame and favorability. Then there is always thick crust, thin crust, deep dish, and pan style. So which is the best? To better answer that, let’s look at what makes them all different. Thin Crust This is where the history of pizza begins. From the Ancient Greeks that would eat a flatbread covered with herbs and tomato, to the ovens of 16th century Naples, Italy, the history of pizza begins with thin crust. Keeping the crust thin comes down to ingredients and preparation. Thin crust pizza is made with a base of wheat flour; primarily a 00 Italian type ground flour. Typically, thin crust is patted out and not kneaded like a bread. This traditional form of crust tends to be crispier and much easier to eat one handed. Thick Crust Not a fan of thin and crispy type pizza crust? Why not try what some like to call “Buffalo-style”, “Hand-tossed”, or “Thick crust”. Making this happen is as easy as adding in some yeast. Making it thicker, softer, or puffier comes from adding the leavener, which translated from old Indo-European language means “to Bubble”. Like most good things, greatness comes to those that wait. By allowing the dough to set up for a few days, it will allow the ingredients to come together and make for a better eating experience.  Still edible by hand, this crust begins to have a bit more beef to it than a traditional thin crust. Deep Dish There is still a rather lengthy debate involving Chicago deep-dish pizza. This “pie-like” crust was created sometime in the 1940’s in the pizzerias of Chicago. Some credit Ike Sewell and Ric Riccardo for the creation of this city gem. With its creation the debate of which crust is supreme began. Deep dish crust is pressed into a pan and then filled with ingredients, cheeses, and then traditionally topped with tomato sauce. Variations of this have included a stuffing in the crust as well as another layer of crust on top of the ingredients before the sauce is applied. All of these “pie” options have become synonymous with Chicago and the “Chicago Pie”. Though the crust is deep, and created in a ring, many from the region will tell you that the key is still to keep the crust thin. Get your fork and knife ready for this one, however, no heavy lifting will be allowed. Neapolitan Style This crust style is the closest relation to the ancient Greek’s style and it has gained popularity in America in the last decade or so. What separates the Neapolitan from the other types? First off the pizzas size makes it unique to the pizza crust world. Typically, the crust size is around 12 inches in diameter. It makes it much more personal in size than its competitors. The authentic Neapolitan pizza crust is created with highly refined type 0 or 00 wheat flour, yeast, water, and salt. The pizza is then baked in a stone oven with a wood fire at about 800 degrees for no more than 90 seconds. In many pizzerias today, the push for the Neapolitan pizza is on the rise (no pun intended). Being able to personalize the pie you want makes it more inviting to patrons. Being able to showcase what the pizzeria is capable of offering makes it more attractive to restaurant owners. With all these choices, which is the best? Ask nearly anyone from Chicago, and you’ll get one answer. Ask a New Yorker and you’ll probably get a much different choice. Ask someone from the west coast what their favorite pizza is, and you may be surprised by what is or isn’t on their favorite pie. So what is really the best style of crust? Well, even after you answered that question in your head, the answer really comes down to what you like, want, and crave every time the word pizza comes up.

What Is A Neapolitan Pizza?

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One of the fastest growing pizza types is Neapolitan. It’s not too surprising because of the fresh ingredients, specialty cheese, and very specific tomatoes; pizza lovers get an unforgettable pie. What makes a pizza Neapolitan versus just a wood fired pizza? It all starts with the crust. Neapolitan pizza dough starts with type 00 wheat flour and is mixed with brewer’s yeast, salt and water. Once mixed, the dough is kneaded by hand or in some instances a specialized mixer. It is then left to naturally rise.

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Sonny’s Pizzeria Schedules Closing For Move To New Location

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Sonny’s Pizzeria, one of Door County’s best known pizzerias, will be closing at 6:00 pm, Sunday, February 8th in order to move their famous pizza ovens into their new waterfront location at 129 N. Madison Avenue, Sturgeon Bay. Sonny’s expects to open in the new location by Wednesday, February 11th. “Even a short term closing is always a tough decision,” says Jason Estes, owner of Sonny’s Pizza. “Moving the massive pizza ovens is not a small challenge, but we’re excited about everything happening at the new location.” The classic pizzeria-style oven weighs over a ton and will require special gas and electrical connections. To make things even more challenging, the oven will be on the second floor of the new building. “Our oven is the heart of our pizzeria,” says James Finney, Sonny’s manager overseeing the relocation. “Breaking the oven down and moving it, even just the few blocks, will take dozens of man hours. Our goal is to have pizzas rolling out of the new location hopefully as early as February 11th.” The oven being moved isn’t the only oven involved at Sonny’s new location. “A wood-fired oven will be central to many new dishes,” explains Estes. “Your favorites will still be on the menu, but we think there will be some excitement around the new menu.” “Keep an eye on our Facebook page and website for news,” says Finney. “We’re working to keep our customers as up to date as possible!” Sonny’s Pizzeria has been a Door County favorite for pizzas, pastas, chicken, and other Italian favorites since 1996. Sonny’s recently acquired the lakefront property adjacent to the historic Michigan Street Bridge and will be developing several dining and entertainment venues in 2015.