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Eataly Debuts Its Crispy, Roman-Style Pizza

By Chicagoist_Guest in Food on Jun 8, 2016 5:33PM

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One of the new pizzas. Photo courtesy of Eataly Chicago.

By Leigh Kunkel

While it’s a universally accepted fact that everyone loves pizza, not everyone can agree on what kind they prefer. And until now, Eataly Chicago has only offered one option: Neopolitan style. But no more! Beginning Wednesday, Eataly is launching their new “pizza alla pala,” a Roman-style pizza that’s served on a wooden pala (paddle).

In addition to being oblong (the Neopolitan pizzas that Eataly already serves are round), the new pizzas are cooked in an electric oven rather than a wood-burning one, making the crust golden and crispy on the outside and light and fluffy inside. Think more of a flatbread, which has a consistent thickness all the way through, than a pizza, which often has a raised crust and a flatter center. The dough itself is also different; it has a much higher water content, making it stickier and denser before it’s baked, and creating a more bread-like consistency.

Photo courtesy of Eataly Chicago.

Another deviation from the Neopolitan pizzas that people may be more familiar with is how the toppings are added: while some, like the Quattro Formaggi, are baked with all the ingredients on top, others, including the Tricolore, which has prosciutto, mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, and arugula, are topped after the crust is baked, leaving the ingredients fresh and crisp. Standouts from the new menu include the Parmigiana, with thinly sliced eggplant and mozzarella, and the Eggs ‘n Bacon, which even our Italian host agreed was excellent, if very “American.”

Some might argue that Chicago doesn’t need any more pizza, but when that pizza comes topped with stracciatella, which is freshly pulled mozzarella soaked in cream, who are we to complain?

The new menu is below—the pizza alla pala cost between $16 and $22.

Piazza Summer 06.08.16