Restaurant C-Suite Magazine | Winter 2020

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Pollara featured a pizza with figs. The eclectic pizzeria has also offered anchovies, poached figs, copa, thinly-sliced prosciutto, and swiss chard. With its use of intriguing and unconventional ingredients, and its differentiated pizza style, Pollara scores big with customers. There is still plenty of room for artisanlike techniques and fresh, lesser-known ingredients. Nielsen noticed Detroit pizza a few years back when she stayed in Detroit for a project. A prime example is Buddy’s Pizza, now a chain of pizzerias, that originated in Detroit in 1946, and is tied to the trend’s roots. Farther west, Leaning Tower in Oakland Calif. is an impressive example. It carries a Detroit pie that is quite popular. The Focaccia Dough is pressed, and feels airy and light. The cheese fries against the pan. It makes one think of fried cheese, “which is having a moment, right now,” she says. Consumers are looking for something different, and this style is also comforting. Detroit-style pizza has also been trending in D.C. Two Detroit-style pizzerias offer a promising start, according to Washingtonian Magazine. In the Ivy City neighborhood, Della Barba offers customers takeout and delivery

pizza Motor City style. “Focaccia-like dough is pressed into steel pans. (Legend has it that the original pans were the blue steel sheets used to clean auto parts),” notes Washingtonian. The pizzas are then topped with Wisconsin Brick Cheese and a red sauce. The result is a crisp crust on the bottom and a soft, cheese top, which is said to be delicious. New York’s Emmy Squared will also arrive soon in D.C. and add to the options in the nation’s capital.

Standing out from the crowd “Something small can grow,” says Nielsen, but it needs to have roots. Right now, many artisans are working with food that has roots. At the core are very distinctive ingredients. Authenticity and an artisan story can make a pizza stand out. Also, look to high quality ingredients. Is there something special about the cheese elements or even the milk? Most of these can be threaded into the pizza pie’s story. Consumers today are food-smart and curious. “They bring a better understanding of food,” she adds. Specialized pizza makers can keep things fresh and attract business, as long as they can tell their story. In a crowded market, “you have to stand out in some way.”

Roman-style pizza at Pollara hits the mark. Photo by Pollara.