Angelo Iezzi — an incredibly well-known and respected pizza maker in Rome — has teamed up with a restaurateur here to open a Roman pizzeria on the Upper East Side. Called PQR and located at 1631 Second Ave. near 85th street, it will sell what’s known as pizza al taglio, or by the cut. This square style of pizza has an airy dough with a crisp bottom and tender interior, and Iezzi is known as a modern master of it.
Like Wylie Dufresne with American food or Dave Arnold with cocktails, Iezzi applied a scientific approach to dough making — which was considered heretical in Rome at the time — but the results were so ethereal, that they’ve since been adopted across the country, Grub Street reports. It helps that Iezzi started a school to spread his techniques, which includes a 96-hour fermentation and 80 percent hydration, believed to produce a dough that’s lighter and easier to digest.
Here in NYC, his dough will hold toppings such as grapes, goat cheese, and prosciutto or stracchino cheese, pancetta, and pink peppercorns. The 28-seat space is counter service, with slices running from $4.50 for a standard margherita to $10 for a version stuffed with porchetta and topped with potatoes. There’s no alcohol yet, but a wine-and-beer license is in the works.
Iezzi isn’t the first famous Roman pizzaiolo to bring that style of pizza stateside; Bonci opened in Chicago from Gabriele Bonci last year. But NYC is not lacking in Roman venues, with Roman imports and Roman-inspired joints opening up furiously. Trapizzino, Marta, Camillo, and Caffe Marchio are just a few scattered about.
PQR, co-owned by San Matteo owner Fabio Casella, opens to the public Friday, March 16 and will be open daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.