A former Del Posto manager, who also owns the Michelin-starred Acquolina in Rome, is hoping to bring Roman-style pizza alla pala to the forefront when he opens Campo de’ Fiori in Park Slope. Italian-born Andrea Dal Monte tells us, “I’d like to be at the same level of the best pizzeria here — Keste, for example — but what I’m doing is different.” Under the tutelage of his friends at Forno Campo de’ Fiori, a restaurant on Rome’s pizza-happy piazza, Dal Monte is making rectangular pies that he says are crunchy on the bottom and moist on top, so they can be eaten with two fingers without folding.
Dal Monte is topping his pizza (sold by the pie) with imported mozzarella, local basil, San Marzano tomatoes, and a variety of extra virgin olive oils that (true to Forno Campo de’ Fiori) he’ll also sell in an attached shop. He tells us he’s working with small producers in Italy and getting his testun cheese (aged in walnut leaves) from Beppino Occelli. But don’t think the oven was hand-built in Naples — he’s using an electric Baker’s Pride oven with stone, because he says it gives off less CO2 than a brick oven. “We work a lot on the dough to achieve our results — the challenge is to prove we can do an outstanding pizza without a brick oven.”