Mercurio’s is a full-service Italian eatery that specializes in artisan gelato and Neapolitan pizza. We strive to offer our guests an authentic Italian experience at our restaurant.
We make a Neapolitan style pizza with simple ingredients: water, Caputo flour, yeast and salt. We do a long fermentation, about a three-to-six-hour bulk fermentation and then we roll our dough balls. They rise another 36 to 48 hours before being used. Hydration that works best for us is about 62 to 68 percent.
With a successful gelato business, what went into adding Neapolitan pizza in 2011?
Our gelato shop has transitioned a few times before becoming Mercurio’s. We needed to make the adjustment of adding food to our menu because having only gelato in Pittsburgh made business difficult in the winter. To add a pizza restaurant to our existing gelato business, we had to move locations in our small shopping district to have a larger building. We also spent a lot of time educating ourselves on how to run a full-service restaurant and on how to properly make Neapolitan pizza.
What has been key to operating a successful business with your siblings?
We understand each other’s roles and we don’t move into each other’s lanes. We all have the same goals for our businesses and understand what it takes to meet them. It helps that we are all competitive people and therefore take personal responsibility for our work so we can all win together.
You took Second Place in the Gluten-free Division at the 2019 Caputo Cup. What advice do you have for other operators struggling to perfect their gluten-free pizza dough?
Talk to your vendors to find information on what gluten-free products are available, try them all and use them as a base. Don’t be afraid to blend different flours such as potato starch, brown or white rice flour, or tapioca starch into different brands. We add a lot more water to our flour now than we did initially and it helped a lot with the density and texture. Use rice flour to stretch the product and try to press it on a wooden surface to help with it sticking. The flour is easier to press when cold and using a small wooden roller for the center will help get it thin without creating a hole.