I have to admit before Rione opened, I don’t believe I had heard of “Roman-style” pizza, or pizza al taglio. Then again, I’m not a pizza aficionado. According to Wikipedia:
Pizza al taglio or pizza al trancio is a variety of pizza baked in large rectangular trays, and generally sold in rectangular or square slices by weight, with prices marked per kilogram or per 100 grams. This type of pizza was invented in Rome, Italy, and is common throughout Italy.
Since Rione opened over two years ago in the Rittenhouse Square area, it’s been a popular spot for authentic Roman-style pizza in Philadelphia. In addition to the shape, what sets it apart from other pizzas is the 72-hour proof time on the dough which results in a pillowy crust quite similar to focaccia bread.
Even as someone who doesn’t eat pizza often, I was still very curious to try it because food is an adventure! So, when we had out of town friends come to visit, they suggested we meet there. This was the time for me to get educated about this unique style of pizza.
Since pizza is not a favorite food (crazy, I know — but I have reasons), I went in with low expectations. I walked out with a new appreciation for the craft of this style of pizza-making. The quality of the ingredients, many locally sourced and others imported from Italy, truly makes the difference ensuring everything tastes ultra-fresh and flavorful.
Our party selected several slices so we could try a variety. My absolute favorite was the Parmigiana – made with a thin layer of sliced eggplant, a smidge of light tomato sauce, a sprinkling of parmesan, and a few pieces of fresh basil. Hubby enjoyed his slice of meatball pizza, not pictured.
While the toppings are creative and exciting, all of these pizzas will be delicious and worth trying thanks to that distinguishable, airy crust. I could eat just that!
Rione also offers a few salads and sandwiches which I did not try on this visit but would be fun to try for lunch sometime.
We got there close to 7pm on a Saturday night and there was only a handful of people in there. It was quiet, sans music playing, and our party having lots of laughs over a bottle of Pinot Noir we brought with us. It’s not a fancy spot (they gave us plastic cups to enjoy our wine) so it’s wayyy more casual than other sit-down restaurants, such as competitor Alice Pizza.
Both restaurants are owned by native Romans, with the latter also offering a larger menu of Italian specialties such as pasta dishes and cheese and charcuterie selections and a full bar.
Are you a fan of this style of pizza? What’s your fave? Let me know in the comments.
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