Good news for square-pizza aficionados: Luzzo’s has quietly — almost furtively — added something they’re calling “la quadrata” to their menu. But they can’t fool us. We may have flunked junior-high Latin, but having eaten hundreds of square pizzas before, we immediately recognized the thing for what it was by its four equal sides and telltale right angles. It’s not unusual, of course, to find a slice joint in this town that traffics in both square and round pies. But it’s pretty much unheard of for a Neapolitan-style pizzeria to do so.
According to Michele Iuliano, Luzzo’s iconoclastic, self-described executive pizzaiolo, it’s made from the same dough he uses for his exquisite round pies, only it requires a crazy-sounding, three-step, Wonka-esque cooking process. First, the unadorned dough is given a tanning-booth session in the gas oven, then it’s shoveled in an electric oven, and, finally, it’s finished in the coal-and-wood-burning oven. Somewhere along the line, this pampered pie is topped with sauce and cheese. “It used to be one of my favorite childhood snacks,” says Iuliano. “The name literally means square,” he admits, confirming our suspicion. Needless to say, it’s delicious — crisper than a round Luzzo pie, and notable for what might be the thinnest square crust in town.
More good news: In addition to the Quadrata, Iuliano has recently added a few more noteworthy items to the menu, including “a frusta,” which means “whip” in the native tongue, and is a long, strombolilike loaf stuffed with sausage, broccoli rabe, and mozzarella; plus, there’s a new golden-fried calzone called a pizza fritta which is about the size of an Hermès handbag.