La Montanara, the deep-fried pizza joint from Forcella's Giulio Adriani, opens up today, and at last night's preview party we got a glimpse of everything that's going to be on the (all deep-fried) menu.
The pizzeria will be serving up five 9-inch Montanara-style pizzas, as well as a pizza sandwich, arancini, deep-fried pizza filled with Nutella and almonds, and plenty of other deep-fried goodies. And of course, chef Giulio Adriani and staff came up with this concept while strolling the Lower East Side after work.
"When we came out with the Montanara, I couldn’t expect big success like this or all the press," Adriani told us. "So one day we were passing by with one of my servers in the Lower East Side after work for fun, and he said to me, if you ever have fried pizza around here it would sell really well because all the people want to eat after clubbing."
But Adriani was apparently scared of how people would react to the words "deep-fried" tagged onto "pizza." "Many people think fried pizza is heavy, but using sunflower oil and with this technique, it’s light; in this technique the grease goes away," he said. "I thought maybe people they would think it’s a little strange, but most of the people say, fried pizza, what is that? Is it really fried pizza? And then they try it."
Luckily for all you non-LES crawlers craving some fried dough, Adriani says he probably won't stick exclusively to the tiny 12-seat eatery. "No, no, no, our project is big," he said. "With this technique I can better control the cooking part."
Of locations and numbers, though, he's unsure. "God knows, maybe one, maybe 10," he said. "But we always need to search places where there is also night crowd."
See the interior and menu below.
Photo by Jane Bruce