During a recent New York visit to promote his new book, Pizza: Seasonal Recipes from Rome’s Legendary Pizzarium, Italy’s most famous pizzaiolo, Gabriele Bonci, judged local versions of Italy’s most famous export. F&W took Bonci on a six-pizzeria tour through Manhattan and Brooklyn. Between bites, he dished on the ins and outs of pizza making and revealed why passion can trump tradition. His conclusion: New York’s new wave of hipster pizzerias far outshine the old standbys. The same holds true in the Italian capital, where the old-fashioned Roman-style pizzerias serve round, thin-crusted pies sparsely topped with mediocre ingredients. Instead, Bonci maintains that newer places are now turning out the city’s best product.
Bonci’s own Pizzarium, a 270-square-foot hole-in-the-wall with long lines, little seating and no table service puts the emphasis squarely on ingredients. Pizza by the slice, which is served from long rectangular trays and sold by weight, is made exclusively of stone-ground heirloom wheat and organic toppings.