Up-Island pizza parties

Pizza at the Beach Plum is wood fired in their new oven. — Photo by Gabriela Herman

There are a lot of amazing things about pizza — gooey cheese, herby sauces, crispy-chewy dough — and there are a lot of amazing places to grab a slice on this Island. But sometimes pizza is about more than quick and easy takeout. Pizza is best shared with friends, but even better when shared with a community. Almost everyone loves pizza. And there’s something beautifully symbolic about dividing a circle into shareable wedges — especially when the community pitches in to build the pizza oven. This fall, get a taste of that collaborative spirit at one of these up-Island pizza parties:

The Beach Plum Restaurant

In partnership with Island Grown Schools, the Beach Plum restaurant in Menemsha will host Thursday-night pizza nights from 5 pm to 9 pm until they close on Oct. 19.

“The Beach Plum is excited to introduce the community to its beautiful new wood oven,” Elana Carlson of the Beach Plum wrote in a press release. Construction of the oven started at the beginning of the summer, with help from craftspeople in the community. Beach Plum chef Chris Fischer and intern Miles Cornwall poured the foundation; Allan Klein and Andy Magdanz sourced, assembled, and set the oven, and mason John Maloney laid the brick and built the façade.

The Beach Plum collaborated with Island Grown Schools for several fundraising dinners this summer. For the 250-person IGS event in June, local students experienced the behind-the-scenes of the restaurant world, helping with hosting, waiting tables, and even managing the restaurant.

This fall, students are harvesting with Beach Plum staff at a different farm each week. Last Tuesday students harvested vegetables at Beetlebung Farm with the Chilmark Garden Club. Those vegetables were served on top of pizzas the next night.

The restaurant offers a limited menu on pizza nights. Last week included vegetable sides, a kale salad, two entrées, and dessert. Pizza choices will vary. Last week guests enjoyed a pork, nettles, fennel, and chili pie, a long-cooked greens, scallion, garlic, and sheep cheese pie, and a tomato, panna, and arugula pie. The Beach Plum is a BYOB establishment.

Pizza to-go orders can be placed calling: 508-645-9454. The Beach Plum is open Thursday, Friday, and Sunday through Oct. 19. For more information, visit beachplumrestaurant.com.

Orange Peel Bakery

Most Wednesday nights from 5 pm to 8 pm, the Orange Peel Bakery in Aquinnah has the outdoor wood oven fired up for make-your-own-pizza night. Orange Peel provides about 60 balls of homemade dough, plus sauce and cheese. Guests bring their own toppings to share on a pizza assembly line, and BYOB. The suggested donation is $10. “Anything goes” as a pizza topping, according to Orange Peel’s web site. “Consider olives, peppers, pineapples, pepperoni, feta cheese, onions, herbs, quahogs, mushrooms, duck, chicken, asparagus, and pesto.” Because it takes place outdoors, pizza night is always weather-permitting. In November, pizza night will move to Saturday nights. For updates, find the Orange Peel Bakery on Facebook, or visit orangepeelbakery.com.

Chilmark Community Church

After a summer hiatus, pizza nights have returned to the Chilmark Community Church, every Tuesday at 6 pm through Nov. 25. The tradition is to come for pizza and bring a potluck dessert to share. Afterward, adults have a Bananagrams tournament while kids are free to run and play games outside. It’s a nice break from both the TV and the dinner, and all are welcome. Free. For more information, call 508-645-3100.