Camp Springs, Maryland
We wanted to cook authentic Italian comfort food following regional recipes and also serving the most revolutionary pizza (pinsa) in a simple yet inviting, charming and including environment.
Pizza & Dough:
Pinsa is a new high hydration and long fermentation dough that uses a special mix of flours: soy, wheat and rice. The result is a light, airy and easy to digest pizza that is becoming a new favorite on the market.
Why pinsa and what really separates pinsa from other pizza styles?
Pinsa because we wanted to work with something fairly new in an over-saturated pizza market (Neapolitan, NY style, etc.). The big difference is the lightness of the dough paired with crispness on the bottom and softness on the top.
How did you and Topolino learn about pinsa and how to make it?
I first learned about pinsa in 2018 at the Vegas Pizza Expo. Being from Napoli I thought I knew what pizza meant. Boy was I wrong! I immediately fell in love with pinsa and start thinking about it day and night like a 15 years old dealing with his first crush! Then in 2020 when I had the opportunity to open Via Roma, Topolino came along and told me we had to sell pinsa. Say no more I told him!
How long did it take you to develop your pinsa?
About six months, during the pandemic and also during the first months of Via Roma in 2021. But I can tell you that Topolino improves his technique every single day. He never rests. He never takes a day off. Pinsa is all he thinks about! Soon you will see his product in a lot more places. He is the real force behind this amazing pizza.
Tell us more about your kid’s cooking class. What’s involved and what are some of the logistics of a class for kids?
It all started with my eight-year-old daughter, Giordana (Gigi). She wanted to cook pinsa since I told her about Via Roma. Then she met Topolino and start practicing with him every time she could. Then Topolino and she told me about this idea of cooking classes for kids where the teacher was Gigi and I jumped on it! We are at our third class coming up where Gigi will teach more kids how to stretch the dough, how to properly put toppings on it, while Topolino will cook those pinsa for the young chefs. Every kid has a great time, and the parents too!
The interior is stunning. What were you trying to accomplish with the look and vibe of the restaurant?
A minimal look with neutral colors and simple design interrupted by a big splash of color ‘O Struscio’, the amazing mural made by an amazing artist. Grazia Montalto, who being from Napoli like us, immediately understood what we were looking for, a relaxing ambiance that makes everyone feel comfortable — no matter if you are wearing flip flops or your best outfit for a date.