Friday, May 22, 2009

Is This A Pizza Restaurant?

Naples is known for its pizzaioli; less so for its hip-hop artists. Alberto Polo Cretara happens to be both, although the rapper M.C. actually got his pizza training in Rome, at the legendary Il Forno. “My teachers were very severe,” Cretara says. “They really cared.” And so does he, about the integrity of the four-foot-long pies he’s baking in a Tagliavini triple-decker electric oven at Farinella, the Italian bakery he opened. Roman style in shape and substance, Cretara’s pizzas are traditionally topped and sold by the slice; the same dough is used for sandwiches like broccoli rabe and smoked mozzarella, or stracchino with walnuts and radicchio. Intended to be a fast and affordable lunchtime beacon in the Civic Center wilderness, Farinella will also serve frittatas, a baked special and soup of the day, and Italian-accented breakfast items, plus packaged bread products like grissini and freselle. — Rob Patronite and Robin Raisfeld

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