Pittsburghers no longer need to hop on a plane – or cross two rivers – to get a taste of Naples, Italy. The Mt. Lebanon staple Il Pizzaiolo is currently putting the finishing touches on their newest location in Indiana Township. Located just 20 minutes north of the city, Il Pizzaiolo is ready to find a new home in a new community.
The original Il Pizzaiolo became the first Neapolitan pizzeria in Pennsylvania when it opened in Mt. Lebanon in 1996. Since then, the location has become famous for their delicate Italian dishes and warm atmosphere. In addition to their famous pizza, the Il Pizzaiolo is bringing this same sense of Italian hospitality with them to the Indiana Township location.
“We really hope to become a centerpiece of the community,” says Il Pizzaiolo owner Ronald Molinaro. “In Mt. Lebanon I’ve seen babies with sauce on their faces, throwing pizza on my floor. Years later those same babies are working their first job in my restaurant, or celebrating their college graduation.”
Molinaro always knew he wanted to work in the pizza industry. After making pizza in New York City in the 80s, he realized the best pizza was being created from the (then dying) tradition of coal ovens. He traced this style of pizza back to Naples, and hasn’t looked back since. After opening the original Il Pizzaiolo, he been working every day since to provide this type of pizza to the city of Pittsburgh.
“The best pizza in the world is in Naples, and anyone who says otherwise are kidding themselves. The people who make pizza in Naples were born on the floor of a pizza shop, and pizza is part of the community. They source from their neighbors and know exactly where every ingredient is coming from. It isn’t just sauce, bread, and cheese melted together – the ingredients speak in total harmony.”
Working to replicate this pizza, Molinaro sources the best ingredients – for example, his buffalo mozzarella is flown in from Italy. Additionally, each pizza is expertly crisped in Italian made pizza ovens.
The menu for the new location will be be very similar to the Mt. Lebanon and Warrendale locations. However, Molinaro was inspired by the stunning interior the new location, saying it reminded him Tuscany. Because of this, he is working to incorporate a few Northern Italian dishes as well.
Il Pizzaiolo is known for their Margherita, Marinara, and Prosciutto e Arugula pizzas, and pasta dishes like Spaghetti Pomodoro, and Gnocchi Sorrentina. The Indiana Township location will offer all of these staples, as well as the new Northern Italy specials like Lasagna Bolognese, Chicken Cacciatore, and Veal Chop Milanese.
Il Pizzaiolo Indiana Township will open on Wednesday, May 17th at 11:00 AM for lunch. The restaurant also has locations in Mt. Lebanon and Warrendale. Reservations can be made on the website. The restaurant also offers catering services.