L’Arte Has A New (Pizza) Slice On Life

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PARK SLOPE – Although actually in business for a month, L’Arte della Pizza made it official on Monday, June 3. Under sunny skies, the grand opening celebration at 172 5th Avenue began with a ribbon cutting ceremony followed by complimentary tastings.

L’Arte della Pizza, 172 5th Avenue (Photo: Steve Viuker)

On hand to welcome L’Arte were Executive Director of the Park Slope Fifth Avenue BID Mark Caserta and Deputy Director Joanna Tallantire. In addition, DIME Community Bank branch manager Charles Alexander took a quick break to make the scene. After a brief speech by Caserta, the ribbon was cut.

L’Arte della Pizza Brooklyn was born by the paring of two immigrants. Master Pizzaiolo Riccardo Villani and Leobardo Perez met in the world of New York pizza. Originally from Mexico, Perez has worked in the pizza industry for 12 years and was trained in making traditional New York-style pizza. He had always desired to learn the art of authentic Italian pizza making. Pizzaiolo Perez’s passion for authentic Italian pizza was reignited while working alongside Master Pizzaiolo Villani.

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Riccardo Villani and Leobardo Perez (Photo: Steve Viuker)

Villani is a native of Campo di Fano, a small hamlet located in the province of L’Aquila in the region of Abruzzo, Italy. Abruzzo’s traditional cuisine is eclectic, drawing on pastoral, mountain and coastal cuisine. Combined with the love of cooking in both his home and hamlet with a farm to table approach, he was exposed to some of Italy’s finest ingredients and products. Master Pizzaiolo Villani decided to pursue his passion and enrolled in the Scuola Italiana Pizzaioli and was trained under World Pizza Champions and Master Instructors, Graziano Bertuzzo and Gianni Pompetti.

Master Pizzaiolo Riccardo Villani making the pizza (Photo: Steve Viuker)

“L’Arte della Pizza Brooklyn serves traditional 12” and 16” round pizza pies, classic Sicilian pies,” said Anna Villani, a partner in the shop. “We also serve pasta, salads, suppli’ (riceballs), paninis served on either Italian bread or homemade Focaccia. We specialize in Pizza in Teglia and Pizza alla Pala.”

5th Avenue BID’s Mark Caserta; Riccardo Villani; Anna Villani; and Leobardo Perez (Photo: Steve Viuker)

Although living in Dyker Heights, Anna Villani said all concerned felt Park Slope was a better market for their product. And unlike many pizza shops today, customers can order gourmet pizza by the slice or a whole pie. The shop has limited seating.

L’Arte della Pizza Brooklyn
172 5th Avenue (between Degraw & Sackett Streets), Park Slope
Hours: 11am – 10pm daily

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