Credit: Helaina Hovitz
Before you jump to any conclusions, let me start of by saying that Numero 28 did not start off with the intention of becoming a chain. It started out as one single brick-oven pizza shop created by a family of Italians who flew to New York City on a mission to bring “authentic” pizza to New Yorkers.
“What do you mean, bringing us authentic pizza? This is the pizza capital of the world!”
You’re correct, figurative reader. But “by-the-slice” pizza joints are a different experience than your “sit down, have a drink, embarrass your friends with a loud Italian version of happy birthday” dining establishments. In fact, the only reason it turned into a “chain” was to meet popular demand: Rolando Biamonte and his family managed to find a formula that worked so well that it spawned nine locations: six in New York City and three others in Texas, Miami, and London.
Unlike other chains, the Biamonte family is so big that they’re able to spread out and have family members personally manage every single location. Yep, even in London. Each location has a different vibe, depending on the neighborhood; so visiting Numero 28 on the Upper West Side is a different experience than visiting Numero 28 on Bergen Street in Brooklyn. The chefs at each location also have the freedom to add their personal touches to the original menu, which Biamonte’s mother designed at her first outpost on Carmine Street in the West Village.
“Our team is very creative. One of our pies has sashimi on it,” said Co-Owner Luigi Porceddu. “We are always trying new toppings and ingredients, plus, we listen to what our customers want. People are crazy about kale these days, so we went and made a pizza with kale as a topping.”
I’ll go ahead and stick with roasted pumpkin, pancetta and pecorino, but I’m sure plenty of people will clamor for the kale.