Valentina’s Pizzeria & Wine Bar
25951 Huntsville Brownsferry Rd Suite B
Madison, AL 35756
Madison’s best kept secret is out. Joe Carlucci, owner and pizza maker extraordinaire, recently made the national scene by winning awards at the International Pizza Expo in Las Vegas. He won Best Traditional Pizza in the World, and came in second in the World Pizza Maker of the Year competition. Joe is no stranger to awards, having won many throughout his 30 plus year career as a pizza maker, and he holds two Guinness world records: highest pizza toss and longest pizza spin. His 9-year-old daughter, Valentina’s namesake, even holds a kids Guinness world record for highest pizza toss. They are passionate about their food and you can taste it.
From New York to Alabama, from food truck to brick and mortar restaurant, Joe is making his name, and staking his claim to having some of the best pizza you will find! His award-winning dough takes 5 to 7 days to make, assuring that it has that perfect bite and flavor that it’s known for. He makes New York-style pizzas, Detroit-style pizzas, Sicilian pizzas, and gluten-free cauliflower crusts. The quality of the ingredients is evident from the crust to the toppings. His pizza is the star of the show, but you can’t count out the calzones, meatballs, gourmet salads, and garlic knots. Valentina’s also has a quite extensive beer and wine menu for those who like to imbibe in the spirits with their meal.
Some friends and I recently had a girls night out at Valentina’s and ordered far too much food but we enjoyed every bite! For appetizers we ordered the Piatto di Formaggio, Mozzarella la Familia, and the Trevi. Plates of various cheeses, meats, veggies, breads, and hot honey. The hot honey is divine! The perfect accompaniment to the cheeses.
I had the Brown’s Ferry Salad and it was right up there as one of the best salads I have ever had. Baby romaine lettuce, bacon, roasted walnuts, pears, heirloom cherry tomatoes, gorgonzola, and a pear vinaigrette.
For pizzas, we had the Carlucci (mozzarella base with bacon, roasted walnuts, fontina cheese, arugula, prosciutto, and apricot jam), the Bianca (ricotta, Fior de latte, mozzarella, parmesan reggiano, and olive oil, made even better by us adding some of the hot honey to it), the Hayley (red sauce, roasted peppers, chorizo, pepperoncini, ricotta, pepperoni, arugula, and a balsamic glaze), and the Jazzy Jess (mozzarella base with roasted portabella and porcini mushrooms, morels, fontina cheese, umami powder, and truffle oil). Our favorite was the Carlucci but they were all fabulous. There was a nice chew and flavor to the crusts and again, the quality of the ingredients speak for themselves, and takes these pizzas to a whole other level.
Go early before they get too crowded, grab a wine or beer, and watch Joe make your pizza right there in front of you, or go out and enjoy the nice patio while you wait. Let’s just pretend it’s still our little secret.
Heather Prestwood is a Cullman native, now-Decatur resident, with a love for Huntsville and Madison. Particularly the food. She is a home cook who loves to feed people, talk about food, try new foods, and tell folks all about it! You can reach her by email at email@example.com and find her food posts on Facebook and Instagram by searching #HeatherEats.