Una Pizza Napoletana

Posted by: Florica

Now that the brouhaha has subsided it is possible to drop in at Una Pizza Napoletana and experience, unobstructed, the fantastic simplicity that has been the subject of countless praises and reviews.

Una Pizza Napoletana is indeed something truly special. When someone puts so much care, so much love and commitment into their product, it really transpires. It feels good and honest.

There are only five simple options on the menu at Una Pizza Napoletana – none of which contain meat or any toppings beyond the key basics: naturally leavened dough, extra-virgin olive oil, basil, garlic, buffalo mozzarella and San Marzano tomatoes.

Coming piping hot out of wood fired brick oven the pies are charred and crispy and yet still doughy and moist. The Marinara pizza is without any cheese, just tomatoes, oregano, sea salt and garlic. While the most elaborate pizza on the menu, the Ilaria, contains arugula, cherry tomatoes and smoked mozzarella – which, as one guest describes it, runs smoke rings around your heart.

The pizzas are not cut. You can pair them with a selection of Napoleatan wines, reds and whites, or Italian beers. They arrive on large white plates, wafting fresh aromas and lingering the juicy drizzle of a delectably high quality olive oil.

Above the soap-blue custom built oven that hovers like a bubble in the middle of the lofty space is a large wooden crucifix. Only one man’s hands touch each pound of dough and that man is the proprietor Anthony Mangieri. His wife, Ilaria (of the smokey pizza) runs the front of the house. The section where Mangieri works is cordoned off – like a Spartan stage that takes up half the space. Everything is tiled in white and each table is cut of a smokey slab of marble.

The result of this precisely honed-in endeavor – the place as a whole – focuses all the attention on the craft of pizza-making. Seeped in tradition, the minimal menu forgoes heavy ingredients to focus on subtle flavors. Despite the grittiness of 11th street – or because of it – and the simple rawness of the space, the whole experience feels elevated and cosmopolitan.

Eschewing New York for San Francisco, Mangieri has brought something unique to this city. The place has spirit – it helps to welcome the night with friends, warm pizza and a bottle of Piedirosso.

una pizza napoletanaanthony mangieri