With a crust that leavens for 96 hours, flour imported from Italy and a particular rectangular form, this pizza is a lower above what’s obtainable at your native slice joint.
However you’ll be able to’t get a reservation to attempt it — and even order a pie for takeout.
NYC’s most unique, sought-after pies are solely obtainable by way of barter. Hopefuls attempting to attain a small-batch pie have to enroll on-line, and in the event that they’re chosen, commerce their very own providing of meals or drink.
Gabriele Lamonaca, 30, will get 5 to 10 requests for his Roman-style pies day by day through his site, UnregularPizza.com, however solely has sufficient capability in his Harlem condominium’s kitchen to prove three or 4 per week.
“It’s heartbreaking not to have the ability to present as many pizzas as folks need,” he informed The Submit. “I put lots of effort into every pizza, and I by no means repeat [the flavor combinations].”
He meets clients who discover him through his Instagram account within the streets to commerce his creations for their very own signature dishes or bottles of wine.
The Rome native got here to New York in 2008 to review chemistry at St. Francis School in Brooklyn Heights and be taught English, however stated he was all the time drawn to eating places and had the purpose of opening his personal place. In 2017, he took a job managing the road at a Brooklyn Chipotle. “I actually wished to know how People use their lunch hour,” he stated. Since then, he’s labored for Cacio e Vino within the East Village, varied Italian meals distributors and Filaga, a pizza store in Chelsea Market.
Lamonaca — who’s hoping to open his personal restaurant this coming spring — began experimenting with recipes in earnest when COVID-19 hit and work within the restaurant trade dried up.
He brings his science chops to his kitchen in Harlem, which he shares together with his filmmaker girlfriend, turning out pizza with dough that leavens for 3 days. “The longer it’s leavened, the lighter the dough and the crunchier the crust,” stated Lamonaca, who then tops his pies with favorites resembling burrata cheese, zucchini, anchovies, chilly cuts and, for a Tremendous Bowl pie, fried hen.
His flour is imported from Italy, and he buys native, natural produce, typically from Union Sq. Market. He estimates that every pie prices $25 to provide.
Pals started requesting pies for themselves, jealous of the mouthwatering pics Lamonaca posts. Not desirous to take money from them, he devised a unique kind of transaction. “I actually wished them to attempt it, and I figured everybody was cooking of their properties, so I informed them to offer me no matter they have been making in return.”
He stated there’s some historic precedent for bartering. Throughout leaner instances in post-World Warfare II Italy, “My grandmother would bake bread and press olives into oil, and commerce it to neighbors for eggs,” he stated.
In modern-day NYC, trades embody every little thing from chocolate cake to hen Milanese to the fermented tea referred to as kombucha.
“I brew my very own, so I bartered half a gallon for a pizza,” Christina Nee, 23, of Prospect Heights, informed The Submit of her December barter. She handed off a bottle of her DIY drink to Lamonaca in Union Sq. Park, then scarfed down his pesto pizza on a close-by bench together with her boyfriend.
“It was the perfect pizza I’ve ever had,” she stated. “I went to Italy final yr, and the pesto was so good. This tasted precisely prefer it.”
Thirty-five-year-old Kiari de Paola, who’s Italian herself, was additionally chasing that real taste when she related with Lamonaca by social media. For her barter, she whipped up an Italian dessert generally known as a crostata, within the form of a coronary heart for Valentine’s Day. The pair met within the Meatpacking District for the commerce, the place she scored a burrata pie with sliced zucchini and a red-cabbage sauce that she stated reminded her of house.
“I’ll positively wish to attempt extra of his pizza,” stated the Astoria resident and meals blogger, who leads native excursions by her journey company New York Metropolis four All. “Not solely as a result of it was scrumptious, however as a result of it’s genuine Italian.”
Lamonaca stated the trades are “thrilling,” and added, “You by no means know what you’re going to get within the barter.” However followers are hoping for the day the place they received’t need to whip up a dish of their very own to get a style of his pizza.
“When Gabriele opens his store, we’ll be there on opening night time,” stated Nee.