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Top This: Gaeta Olives and Roasted Grapes (à la Hostaria del Piccolo)

[Photographs: Kelly Bone]

When you hear a pizzeria is importing most of their ingredients from Italy, it's natural to assume you're going to get a Neapolitan-style pizza. But that's not the case at Santa Monica's Hostaria del Piccolo. Chef Germano Minin hails from the northeastern city of Palmanova and is making a pie to reflect his region. He cites fellow northern Italian Simone Padoan, of I Tigli, as the main influence for his droop-less, hardy crust.

The Caprino, topped with mozzarella, goat cheese, Gaeta olives and grapes, is a seemingly simple, but carefully conceived combination. After a number of trial runs, Chef Minin ended up with either a grape juice soggy crust, or a pizza topped with scorching grape grenades. The briny Gaeta olives add just enough "bite to balance the sweet grapes."

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What You'll Need

Hostaria del Piccolo

606 Broadway Street Santa Monica, CA 90401 (map)
310-393-6633; hostariadelpiccolo.com

About the author: After nearly a decade in Brooklyn, Kelly Bone landed back in Los Angeles where she writes The Vegetarian Foodie. She spends the rest of her time designing office cubicles... you might be sitting in one right now! Follow her on Twitter at @TheVegFoodie

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