QUINCY – The pizzas are perfect. The steak tips are legendary. The desserts are a must order, and it’s all served with a side of South Shore sass. Quincy Center is undergoing a serious makeover and a hot new restaurant named 16C is leading the way.
Owner Kerri Lynch Delaney is Quincy to the core. She grew up in the city and owned the very popular BabyCakes bakery for a decade. Now she’s moved on to 16C where gourmet pizzas and comfort food favorites are served in a sleek and busy space with tables on one side, a bar on the other, and an open kitchen in the back.
“I like the idea of an open kitchen. That way you can kinda see everything that’s going on, and you can see the great people that I have in the kitchen,” Kerri said. “It’s fun too, when you’re watching them all joke around. It’s kind of nice. It’s like a big family.”
That’s not just an expression, because it really is a family affair at 16C. Kerri’s cousin Maggie manages the dining room, and award winning chef Barbara Lynch just happens to be her aunt.
“She’s my dad’s younger sister and she’s my godmother. She’s helped me with the menu. She’s given me all sorts of advice, and to have her helping me is huge.”
First and foremost, 16C focuses on pizza, but these are no ordinary pizzas. In fact, they’re not called pizzas at all.
“We call them sheets because they are a flatbread pizza,” Maggie explained. “We don’t have a brick oven, so we couldn’t really call them flatbreads. We wanted to think of our own name, our own kind of style. So we call them sheets and they’re served on a sheet tray.”
Each sheet is made from dough that rises for 72 hours before its rolled out, topped with gourmet ingredients, and baked in a high tech oven.
“The dough is so tasty. It really is. You start with the dough; you already know that the customer is gonna be so happy with the pizza. And then with all the fun toppings that you’re putting on top, they’re only gonna get happier. The more toppings you add, the happier the customer,” Maggie laughed.
If you want a slice of something familiar, the Pepperoni looks as good as it tastes. For something a bit more adventurous, there’s Mushroom topped with crispy shallots. Then there’s Maggie’s personal favorite, the Bianco with thin sliced potatoes, rosemary and pools of melted cheese.
“It’s just a really light tasting pizza,” Maggie said. “It’s kind of like a pizza you don’t feel guilty after you eat.”
If you are looking to indulge, look no further than 16C’s Cheeseburger pizza.
“It’s like eating a Big Mac on top of pizza dough. It’s American cheese, burger, romaine lettuce, tomatoes, diced red onion, diced pickles, and then we drizzle our burger sauce on top of it,” Kerri described. “It really tastes like just like a cheeseburger.”
If you’re in the mood for something a little fancier, nothing beats the beautiful and addictive pea, prosciutto, and fontina pizza.
“It’s such a great combo. Our kitchen has come up with some of the best ideas and there’s so much flavor packed into that pizza,” Maggie said.
There’s plenty more on the menu at 16C. Appetizers include homemade Meatballs with marinara and lightly fried Calamari drizzled with lemon aioli.
For entrees, there’s Chicken Under a Brick served with panzanella salad, and a gourmet burger with two 4-ounce patties and melted American cheese on a housemade potato roll.
No dish is more popular than the Steak Tips, not only because they’re delicious, but also because they come with a side of history. The secret recipe for these terrific tips came from the legendary Quiet Man Pub in South Boston. Kerri’s father Paul Lynch was one of the bar’s owners, and when the place closed about a decade ago, regulars lost their favorite spot for steak – until now.
“I figured when I was doing this, I would bring them back. We have people coming from everywhere to get those steak tips,” Kerri said. “I had no idea they were going to take on a life of their own. People just go on and on about the steak tips.”
Quite fittingly, the man who used to own the Quiet Man is keeping quiet about what makes them so great.
“What we soak it in and what we baste it with when we’re cooking them, and I’m not telling you what that is,” Paul told us.
Rounding a meal at 16C are some incredible desserts. Since Kerri used to own a bakery, it would certainly be a mistake to miss out on treats like a rich chocolate brownie with salted caramel ice cream, German chocolate layer cake with coconut-pecan goo, and warm Bread Pudding with caramel and housemade vanilla ice cream.
“You get the hot sweet bread pudding, and then kind of the cool down with the vanilla bean ice cream, and then the caramel at the end,” described Kerri. “It’s great.”
From the sweets to the sheets, the tastiest new place to eat, is 16C. You can find it at 16 Cottage Avenue in Quincy, and online at 16crestaurant.com.
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