When it opens this weekend on a corner of Sixth Avenue in the West Village, MaximoPino will unveil made-to-order pizzas, a slew of pastries imported from Italy, and an underground gelato operation. The royal-blue signage bears the modified name of Italian chef-owner Massimo Pino, who honed his crust-making skills at a family bakery in Southern Italy and more recently worked at an Italian café in Dallas. He hopes this venture will be a flagship for a local chain.
Pino is importing the majority of products from his motherland, including Prosciutto di Parma, speck and fresh, and smoked mozzarella to top pizzas; desserts — cornetti, cannoli, cassata Siciliana; and gelato ingredients like Sicilian pistachios and Bacio candies. On flat-screen TVs, customers can watch live footage of 50 varieties of gelati and sorbetti being blended in the basement or listen to music streaming in from Italian radio stations. To drink: espresso-based coffees, twenty flavors of hot chocolate, and frozen beverages like the Marscapino, a sort of tiramisu slushee. MaximoPino is open from 7 a.m. to midnight Sunday through Thursday, and on weekends until 2 a.m. — a more refined late-night alternative to Ray's across the street. Click through the slideshow to see the streamlined space and preview the menu below.