When you walk into Una Pizza in San Francisco, don’t expect to be able to choose from an unlimited selection of toppings.
Anthony Mangieri has been baking pizza since childhood, and he’s attained his dream of owning his own pizza shop. He sticks to traditional Neapolitan style pies, with a handful of fresh toppings, and relies on the quality of the ingredients and care in the preparation to speak for themselves.
In this interview with Chow.com, Mangieri expounds upon his passionate commitment to doing pizza his way:
One of the most unique things about Mangieri’s restaurant is that they stick to only five (originally four in the interview above) choices of toppings. These ‘minimalist’ pizzas include:
- the Margherita: a tomato, basil, and mozzarella pie,
- the Filetti: sauceless with fresh cherry tomatoes, garlic and mozzarella,
- the Bianca: a white pie with fresh basil, sea salt and garlic,
- the Marinara: tomatoes, garlic, and oregano, and
- the Ilaria: smoked mozzarella, tomatoes, arugula and sea salt.
Saturdays, guests may even be able to get a sixth option: the Apollonia, which includes fresh eggs, salami, and mozzarella.
These aren’t the pizzas you ordered in college. Each pie, although similar in ingredients, offers a unique flavor all its own, Mangieri insists.
They come as 12-inch, uncut personal pans, drizzled in olive oil, straight from a wood-fired brick oven. And Mangieri’s pies were even named the ‘favorite pizza’ in the Bay area by SFGate and scored a 25 in the Zagat guide.
Why the limited menu? According to Mangieri, it all comes down to quality. More ingredients, he feels, and he wouldn’t be able to control the quality of his end product.
Producing the best pizza he can is important. He even ripped out the first pizza oven he had installed, within 24 hours, because he didn’t feel it was right for his baking.
Una Pizza makes everything from scratch, and each pie is hand made by Mangieri himself . In fact, All the work in the restaurant, including the original rennovations–floors, tables, walls, etc. was completed by Mangieri , his waiter, and his busboy. And these three comprise the eateries entire staff.
When it comes to his business, Mangeieri likes to have full control; and for him, it is an extremely successful approach. As he explains:
“Why is it, that in the restaurant world, it’s all right that you go into a restaurant and the owner or so-called great chef is, like, at home watching TV while there’s a bunch of people in there cooking for them, but you’re going in for their food? If I go to see Iron Maiden, it better be Iron Maiden. I don’t want to see Cover Band Iron Maiden.”
Image: Una Pizza/Facebook