Pizzarium in Downtown: Almost Like the Pizzarium in Rome
|All photos by Emily Codik|
|Pizzarium in downtown: pizza al taglio, Roman-style|
In Rome, in the Prati neighborhood located a short walk from the Vatican, there is a pizza al taglio (pizza by the slice) joint named Pizzarium. The restaurant is tiny, there are no chairs, and there is a ridiculously long line at lunchtime. There are craft beers and a choice of fritti -- all things fried. Quadrilateral pies are prebaked and topped with a variety of fresh vegetables and cheeses. Slices are cut with scissors. Some are scattered with whole basil leaves; others are smothered in untraditional sauces such as hummus and potato paste. They are all excellent pies.
Pizzarium is owned by Gabriele Bonci, one of Rome's most famed pizza-makers. His slow-rise doughs and ingredient-centered pies have garnered quite the following in Italy and beyond.
In downtown Miami, just a short walk from Miami Dade College, there is a pizza joint also named Pizzarium. Pies are precut, prebaked, and sold in three sizes: taster slice, slice, or tray. There are arancini (risotto croquettes) on the menu.
When I asked co-owner Massimiliano Saieva whether Pizzarium in downtown and Pizzarium in Rome were related, he explained they are not. Saieva did not apprentice under Bonci, who has mentored a slew of pizza-makers around the globe. Instead, he was a student of Federico del Moro at Pizzeria La Coccinella in Italy's capital. Still, downtown's Pizzarium mirrors Rome's in many ways.
|Pizzarium in Prati in Rome|
But that's not why I was at Pizzarium.
Recently, Short Order visited Lucali, the South Beach outpost of an acclaimed Brooklyn pizzeria. Since opening a few weeks ago, Lucali has earned a reputation as the best pizza in town. Lucali is not Roman- or Neapolitan-style pizza, though. It proffers a unique style of New York pie that was developed by pizza-maker Mark Iacono: baked to-order, blistered, thin crusts; fresh and aged cheeses; a secret tomato sauce, and patron's choice of fresh toppings. The 20-inch pies start at $26. Toppings are extra.
Shortly after Short Order's story on Lucali, a reader suggested that the SoBe joint does not bake the best pie in town and that Pizzarium makes a superior slice.