The beauty of Chicago is that you never have to go anywhere else. Paris? We’ve got plenty of French Impressionists at The Art Institute. India? Stroll down Devon Avenue. Not precisely Mumbai; but close enough. Throw in Chinatown and the Taste of Peru and you might as well stay put. A week in Thailand, and I never ate a single mouthful tastier than anything off the menu at Star of Siam. I’ve been from Antigua to Zurich and everywhere in between. Trust me. Put your feet up. Relax. You’re not missing anything.
|Matt Warman, manager of the Bonci Pizzeria, |
161 N. Sangamon, cuts a slice of mushroom.
And the pizza there ... like the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, words can’t convey the experience.
We rubes tend to think of pizza as coming in two forms: deep dish and flat. Being Chicagoans, we endlessly argue over which is the true pizza, where stuffed pizza fits in (answer: it doesn’t) and should flat be cut into wedges or squares (answer: who cares?). We have no clue there is a third, entirely different type of pizza, represented by Bonci: light, airy crust, with all sorts of toppings — over 1,500 — you must try, served al taglio, as the Italians say, “by the cut.” You tell them exactly how much you want, sampling an inch of this, two inches of that.
It’s worth flying all the way to Rome just to ... oh wait. Never mind. Turns out Bonci opened a second location at 161 N. Sangamon St. two years ago next week. (Yes, yes, it escaped my notice; I’m not New Pizza Parlor Central). Even if you know it’s there, do you know why, with the entire world to choose from, Bonci picked a spot 10 minutes from the Sun-Times for its second location?
How did that happen?
“I worked with Gabriele,” said Rick Tasman, president of BonciUSA, referring to Gabriele Bonci, “the Michelangelo of pizza.” “He had been wanting to come to the United States.”
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