From the owners of Camille's, Oakland Pizza with a distinct menu, ambiance

Fans of Camille’s Wood-Fired Pizza in Tolland will see some similarities at its owners’ new South Windsor spot, Oakland Pizza Co.

Same style of thin-crust pies, ranging from classic margherita to creative artisanal toppings. Same relaxed atmosphere. Same emphasis on craft beer, with carefully chosen taps spotlighting some of Connecticut’s most sought-after brews.

But when owners Camille Malaspina and Dave Noad opened Oakland in the former Teddy’s Pizza space in late October, they were adamant that their new spot not be a carbon copy of their original.

It’s still “comfortable and inviting, we hope, still family friendly, still date-night friendly,” Malaspina says, but with new offerings to add excitement.

“If we wanted it to be a chain, it would’ve been the same name, same oven, same décor, but we wanted it to be different,” she says. “It was important that Tolland has its own place and South Windsor could have its own place, and still have it be a community spot that they feel is theirs with a different ambiance.”

“It’s the same culture, fun and accessible, there for everyone’s experience,” Noad says.

The couple says they might not have moved to open a second spot if the timing hadn’t been ideal, but their strong presence in Tolland, along with a dedicated staff there, helped them make the decision to expand.

“If this had come two years into Camille’s, I don’t think we would’ve jumped on it,” Malaspina says. “But we were established at Camille’s, almost five and a half years. We’ve got a great team. Camille’s truly became a family and I’m hoping we can accomplish that here as well. We’ve been extremely blessed.”

FEATURED/NOTEWORTHY DISHES: So what’s new and unique at Oakland? Where Camille’s employs a wood-fired oven, the one in South Windsor is brick, which led Noad to amend the pizza menu slightly. Oakland now offers some of its pies in both 12-inch small and 16-inch large options; Camille’s turns out one size.

The pizza list offers many of the favorites from Tolland: spicy roni, with chopped chili peppers and onion; spicy sausage and kale, prosciutto with arugula and aged balsamic and the Billy’s Bianco, with pistachio, garlic cream sauce, goat cheese, ricotta, red onion and truffle honey.

In South Windsor, Oakland offers a “supreme” pizza with pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms, peppers and onion, and a margherita pie enhanced with burrata. But a Tolland favorite, the “bacon and eggs” pizza, ultimately works best in the wood-fired oven, Noad says, and won’t migrate to the new location.

“We’re conscientious of what we thought we can do best here and best there,” he says.

Small pizzas are $10.99 to $13.99, large $14.99 to $18.99. “Artisanal” pies are only available in small sizes, for $14.99.

New and specific to Oakland: sliders with grilled chicken, veggies, meatball and pulled pork, served in portions of two, three or four ($8 to $15) with a side of greens or fries for an extra $3. The veggie slider, with fried eggplant, sun dried tomato pesto, roasted peppers, mozzarella and spinach, is a best-seller, Noad says, and they’re planning to experiment with new ones, like a recent fried chicken special.

Oakland also offers a variety of small plates ($5 to $9): mixed marinated olives, fried mozzarella bites, garlic bread, fried buffalo cauliflower, hot wings in buffalo or jerk flavors, sweet and spicy carrot dip and its meatballs, in “Sunday sauce.” Fresh salads ($4 to $10) include a chef-inspired daily option with seasonal ingredients, like a recent creation with kale and arugula, dried cranberries, goat cheese and pumpkin seeds.

Specials allow the kitchen to experiment, like a Brussels sprouts appetizer with soy, caramel, lime and peanuts and baked pork sugo with rigatoni, pork, tomato, goat cheese and mozzarella.

THE BAR: General manager Dennis Noad oversees the beer and wine program, with up to 10 craft drafts (featuring recent highlights like SingleCut Softly Spoken Magic Spells, Kent Falls Sweatpants and Ommegang Rosetta). Oakland also offers four wines on tap (two red, two white) and others by the glass, with a bottle list heavy on Italian selections.

LOCATION AND HOURS: Oakland Pizza Co., 289 Oakland Road, South Windsor, is open Tuesday through Sunday, noon to 9 p.m. Closed Mondays. 860-644-4789, oaklandpizzaco.com.

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