Pulling a Pie from the Oven
Will Gioia pulls a pie from his Montague gas-fired deck oven. It's the same oven that Gioia uses in his original shop back in Berkeley, though he says the new model has more firepower, so pies cook a little more quickly.
Gioia's pies range from traditional to more creative toppings, like the mixture of sausage and pickled peppers shown here. As the base of his sauced pies, Gioia uses Stanislaus tomato sauce, to which he adds fresh herbs. For cheese, he chooses Grande mozzarella.
Ready for the Oven
Gioia prepares to slide a pie into the oven. For those of you who get into the nitty-gritty of these things, he says he cooks his pies at 650 degrees for between 8 and 10 minutes.
A Finished Pie
Here's a look at a finished pie. In this case, it's asparagus, red onion, chili, ricotta, and pecorino.
Gioia says the crust of his pies should have some chew, but should also come out really crispy. His inspiration comes from the corner slice shops of his Brooklyn and New Jersey childhood. His local pizzeria as a very young child was Pino's on Seventh Avenue in Brooklyn. He also takes some inspiration from Di Fara.
The Gioia Team
That's Will Gioia at the center. To the right is sous chef Ryan Cantwell. To the left is Cantwell's brother, Dennis, who handles the front of the house. Gioia's wife, Karen, was not in the restaurant when we visited.
Inside the Restaurant
The restaurant, all white tiles and reclaimed wood, seats about 50 diners.
Pickles above the Bar
Gioia reports that his sous chef, Ryan Cantwell, is a bit of a pickling fiend. The product of his efforts sits in jars above the bar, and appears on some pizzas, or can be ordered as a snack before a meal.