Manhattanites, stay tuned: The Lower East Side space at 175 Orchard St, which housed the Una Pizza Napoletana partnership with the Wildair/Contra folks, is still closed, but it's still on track to remain the Manhattan location of Una Pizza...once we make some headway out of this pandemic. Could be a while longer.
In the meantime, Mangieri is hosting a pop-up with Manhattan’s Don Angie in his Atlantic Highlands, NJ location on Saturday, for takeout lunch and dinner.
The collaboration with Don Angie chef-owners Scott Tacinelli and Angie Rito kicks off at 2 p.m. with a menu that includes Don Angie lasagna ($28), pizza with vodka sauce ($25), and black cocoa tiramisu ($12).
Mangieri is revered by pizza people for making super-light crust and topped with a sheen of ingredients. When he’s been baking every pizza himself (which he’d gone back to for much of the pandemic), when the dough runs out, no more pizzas. And don’t bother asking for substitutions or special orders: they’re not an option.
New Yorkers were introduced to Mangieri when he opened in the East Village in 2004 and people went bananas. By 2010, he moved to San Francisco, then shuttered when he lost his lease, and, by 2017, returned to NYC to partner with the Wildair crew. By February of last year, he opened a sit-down spot serving alcohol (no small feat in New Jersey) and has pivoted to takeout-only through the pandemic.
Speaking of Mangieri
Anthony Mangieri will team up with Nicholas Morgenstern of Morgenstern's Finest Ice Cream for an ice cream collaboration launching on March 22 for a limited run.
The Una pints, each wrapped with art from a different artist (and comes with goodies like numbered spoons), are each $15.50 with a portion of the proceeds going to Service Workers Coalition.
Among flavors you’ll find the Una Express -- espresso hazelnut; Una Tortoni -- an elaborate strawberry ice cream concoction with coconut and strawberry jam and a meringue layer; Una Royale -- fior di latte ice cream with walnut cake and orange; and Una Liquirzi -- a heavy cream ice cream with licorice and marshmallow.
You can get pints from Morgenstern’s locations, at the Atlantic Highlands' Una Pizza, or online (where you can arrange to have a four-pack shipped), as well as from a wrapped vending machine at Eataly’s Flatiron location.
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Consider this pizza pilgrimage
You may have missed David Shapiro’s Untitled Pizza Movie — the seven-part series showing online through Metrograph that touches on, among many things, New York in the ‘90s, stuff we collect, and the nature of friendships. It also focuses on an unusual New York character, Andrew Bellucci, Lombardi’s pizza maker from 20 years ago, who went to jail for embezzling from a law firm where he used to work; he pled guilty to over 50 counts of fraud.
Once he got out of jail in 1997, he said he drove cabs for a handful of years, then teamed up with a partner who took him to Malaysia to open restaurants. From there he returned to New York, with stints in Bangkok, Hawaii, and elsewhere.
Bellucci’s finding a new partner recently led to the opening of Bellucci Pizza in Astoria earlier this year. Since the film ran, he says, business has been good, with people citing the film and occasionally asking him to sign their pizza boxes. And while it can get so busy he sometimes turns off the online ordering (when he first opened, he'd run out of dough), during those stretches, “We’ll take walk-ins,” he said.
As to how his pizza compares to his Lombardi’s pies from 20 years ago, he says, “I knew nothing then.” But his passion for pizza hadn’t waned in all that time, as he worked at various restaurants around the world and even had a pizza oven in his yard in Kuala Lumpur. Now, he says, every pie “is the result of a little bit of experience from all over the place.”
If you’re a first-timer to his shop, he suggests ordering the way he would if he were to visit any new pizza shop. He says, “Get the plain cheese pie.”
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Unregular Pizza will open downtown this spring
We caught up with Unregular Pizza's Gabriele Lamonaca, the pizza maker from Rome who’s been bartering pizzas over Instagram before he opens up his own place this spring — downtown, in a TBD location. And yes, it will be called Unregular PIzza.
In the meantime, he’s been baking in his Harlem apartment through the pandemic, swapping 3 to 4 pizzas every other day. “I’m swamped,” he says. Understandable when it takes three days before the dough is ready -- and he's prepping to open a restaurant. Lamonaca often seems pretty moved by some of the swaps, whether he’s swapping pizza for "prosciutto" (a logo) with a guy who’d had a heart transplant, or a musician who wrote a pizza barter song for the occasion. Stay tuned.
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