Bourdain-Approved Bonci Pizzeria Opens in Chicago
Gabriele Bonci’s first American brick and mortar will serve his signature pizza al taglio.
Gabriele Bonci is an international pizza celebrity thanks to his elevated take on pizza al taglio (cut pizza) that—coupled with the proximity of his original pizzeria, Pizzarium, to the Vatican—has earned him the nickname “the Michelangelo of dough.” Now, for the first time ever, Bonci’s Anthony Bourdain-approved pizza will have a permanent home in the United States with the opening of his first American location in Chicago’s West Loop.
Starting today, the pizzeria, which is simply named Bonci, will serve the legendary pizzaiolo's signature rectangular pies that are topped with a wide range of artisanal ingredients—from sliced bottarga (cured fish roe) to cherries and foie gras to his signature roast potato—some of which are only available once per year. Just like at Bonci's original location in Rome, each slice of pizza al taglio will be cut to order with scissors and customers will be charged $8.99 to $18.99 per pound, depending on which pizza you opt for.
According to Eater, Bonci’s opening menu will include a classic Margherita, along with hummus and mortadella, potato and mozzarella, and others that will be topped with a rotating selection of quality produce and meats. Bonci will also serve sandwiches and suppli—fried risotto balls—which are a perfect appetizer to enjoy while your pizza is refired.
While this is Bonci's first location outside of Rome, he plans for his U.S. location to mirror the quality of Pizzarium. “In bringing my pizza to America, I have a huge responsibility to live up to expectations,” Bonci acknowledges. “After traveling to Chicago and getting to know products from American farms and producers, I am inspired and totally confident I will be able to replicate the spirit of my Roman pizzeria in the U.S.”
Chicago is already a very crowded pizza market, but there will always be room for pizza that causes none other than Anthony Bourdain to utter the following, “Your life would be so much better if you had this right now. Leave your family, abandon your children… you know you want it.”
Bonci Pizzeria is now open at 161 N Sangamon St. in Chicago's West Loop.