For the second time in the last year, the small Fells Point eatery Little Donna’s flew to the top of a New York Times list — this time as part of their list of the best pizza places in the country. The ranking praised owner Robbie Tutlewski for “channeling a lifetime of experience through his pizzeria.”

But there’s one problem: Little Donna’s is not a pizzeria.

The Tuesday article calls out 22 pizza shops from rural Iowa to Alaska to Southern California for helping spur a “pizza renaissance” — essentially providing a roadmap through the nation’s finest pies. Little Donna’s mention is another prized opportunity for the eatery, which was lauded for creating an elixir of cheese and buttery juices with the “all-but-mandatory” garnish of Maryland’s softshell crab.

The second stint in The Times thrilled Tutlewski and caught the business a bit more prepared this time around, now with a hostess and online reservations to manage the crowds. But still, he grapples with the idea that with more publicity comes a greater likelihood of being misunderstood.

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“When people get here, they know it’s not all about the pizza,” Tutlewski said, adding that what his restaurant makes is actually considered a “tavern pie,” which is flattened into a thinner crust and cut into squares.

Tutlewski was introduced to tavern pies while living in Indiana, where lore had it that the pizzas were made with the dough of pie crusts and served in bars that topped each slice with salty meats to get the customers drinking.

The versions at Little Donna’s are made with a special oven, hand-built with larger machinery than your usual kitchen appliance. And as of two days ago, it’s broken. Tutlewski and his friends have described The New York Times feature as “winning a Tony for a show that closed.” The oven won’t be down for too much longer, though; Tutlewski said tavern pie should be available again starting Thursday. But most of the menu is not centered around the famed pies anyway.

The restaurant, which Tutlewski and his family live above, is an ode to the owner’s Yugoslavian heritage. Named for his grandmother, Little Donna’s maintains a short menu of lobster pierogies, kielbasa-stuffed schnitzel and smoked Carolina trout dip, among other dishes. It opened with a close-knit staff befitting of the home-style service Tutlewski hoped to offer. He never expected to catch heaps of the post-Orioles game dinner rush or to be sorting through hundreds of out-of-towners’ emails duking it out for a table.

“We’re not like, ‘Give me that dish before it goes out — it needs more garnish,’” he said.

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But after the first Times article in September, customers were beating down the door. “It took us two months to get through our emails,” he said. The intimate ambiance that Tutlewski at first mocked for appearing too much like a neighborhood bar was now seen by some as a mark of exclusivity.

Only about 100 pies are made each night. If 140 people came in asking for pies, Tutlewski would remember it as “the night that got us.”

The pies range from taco-style with chorizo, corn chips and green chili crema, to the softshell seasonal special, with mounds of savory crab that add texture and, according to Tutlewski, “just make sense.”

“I know people are going to be coming and expecting pizzas,” he said, explaining that the broken oven is an opportunity to show people the restaurant is more than just that. In the article’s aftermath, he’s called reservation holders to let them know pizza will not be on the menu.

People haven’t responded poorly, he said, and there’s been no chaotic surge in business in the 24 hours since the article posted. He’s thrilled about the positive press, which is great for the restaurant and the family name, he said, especially as the summer ramps up and food costs continue to rise.

For now, Tutlewski hopes customers come in with an open mind, willing to see all that Little Donna’s has to offer.