PN Wood Fired Pizza is a new concept—a restaurant where guests can choose the type of flour used to make the crust on your pizza—as well as enjoy a full spectrum of authentic Italian cuisine.
PN Managing Partner Giacomo Baldi is a man with a mission: to improve the quality and flavor of the flour (and hence, the pizza) we consume. As CEO of Molino Grassi USA, the leading European manufacturer of organic and specialty flours from Italy, and partner in the restaurant, he saw a unique opportunity to bring the most delicious and nutritious pizza to the U.S. His vision is informed by over 20 years in the restaurant industry as a chef and consultant. He is joined at the front of the house by General Manager Vivian Loren, who spent the last six years managing restaurants in Slovenia and the U.S., and is an expert at making guests feel welcome.
While most high-end pizza places feature only refined “00” flour, at PN (Pecore Nere or Black Sheep) they choose to do things differently. Rather than just one type of flour, you can choose from an ever-expanding variety of flour options. The flours are organic and many are made from ancient grains. They are not refined, so they are higher in fiber and lower in carbs, and they are also not enriched or bromated. The lower glycemic index makes spikes in blood sugar less likely. In addition, the dough is matured for at least 96 hours, allowing the yeast to break down the sugars, and making the gluten easier to digest.
It’s clear from the moment diners enter the loft-like space, with its fresco-like walls stripped to reveal a history of colors, cement floors, tiling, and rustic wood tables, that this is a unique place. To the right is the cocktail bar with a full liquor selection, to the left is a retail space offering Molino Grassi flours, naturally sweet tomato pulp from Parma that is used on the classic pizzas, Italian extra virgin olive oil, and 100 percent Arabic coffee from a small producer in Italy. Full-sized bags of flours imported from Italy, are mounted on the wall along with explanations of the qualities and benefits of each variety. The types of flour include:
Kronos, the durum
Organic Kronos semolina and organic stone ground type 1, a perfect balance for a golden crust full of flavor. Packed with fiber and with an intense smell of wheat.
Einkorn, the oldest
Einkorn or Monococcum or farro piccolo, heritage spelt, is packed with high levels of fatty acids, phosphorus, potassium, pyridoxine, and beta-carotene. Nutty with hints of hay.
Multigrain, the complete
Organic Manitoba flour blended with organic rye—rich in lysine, organic barley, high in Beta Glucan, organic rice, high in the level of digestible carbohydrates, and organic oats and rich in fiber. It has a unique texture and lightness, with a full-flavored taste.
Montana, Canada meets farro
Organic Canadian Manitoba mixed with farro and rye. High in protein, sodium and fiber. Distinctive malty flavor with notes of tea leaves.
Kamut, the heritage durum
Kamut or Khorasan wheat is a hard durum wheat, packed with high proteins, unsaturated fatty acid, selenium, zinc, magnesium, and minerals. This exclusive flour delivers a full buttery taste and nutty mouthwatering finish.
Miracolo, the Italian heritage soft wheat
Grano del Miracolo is a heritage ancient grain cultivated in the Province of Parma, Italy, by Molino Grassi. It is rich in minerals, phosphorus, iron, and antioxidants. The gluten is more digestible than any other wheat. A soft wheat flour with a distinctive, fragrant and almost sweet flavor profile.
Organic stone ground type 1, our main player
Italian organic wheat, stone ground. Packed with minerals and fibers, rich in protein, fiber, wheat germ, and bran. Nutty notes and a rich flavor.
Organic whole wheat flour, the complete
The organic whole wheat flour is packed with minerals, fiber and is low in carbohydrates, and includes the bran coat and germ. The glycemic index of this flour is the lower among all the other flours. Nutty character with a finish notes of hay.
The dough is aged for several days, but the pizza cooks in about 80 seconds in the wood-fired oven (built in Italy near the Ferrari factory) at 850-900 degrees. Only ingredients of the very highest quality are used, most of them exclusively imported from Italy by PN Wood Fired Pizza. Pizza varieties include classics such as margherita, tomato pulp, fresh Mozzarella, basil; marinara, tomato pulp, garlic, and oregano; salamino, tomato pulp, fresh Mozzarella, spicy salame; gourmet creations such as porcini, mozzarella, porcini mushroom, pine nuts, pork jowl, fresh thyme; bufalina, artichoke puree, mozzarella di bufala, speck, and baby spinach; portofino with potatoes, string beans, Mozzarella, and pesto; tartufo, white pizza with artichoke and black truffle puree, fresh Mozzarella, peppery pancetta, and raw Tuscan sheep milk cheese, to name just a few.
But PN is much more than pizza: the authentic Italian cuisine includes lunch, dinner, and brunch dishes that are simple and flavorful. Working with Chef Giovanni Gurrieri from Sicily, Baldi has developed a complete menu of antipasti, crostini, salads, pastas, meat, fish, and poultry entrees. Gurrieri, whose experience includes cooking in Belgium, the Caribbean and in Europe as a private chef, trained at culinary school in Milano at Alto Palato, where his teachers were Michelin-starred chefs. The dishes for PN reflect the same philosophy as the pizza, with seasonal ingredients, mindfully sourced from New York producers or imported from Italy, with an emphasis on simplicity and flavor.
Some featured dishes for Spring include mixed green salad with fennel, tomato, pear, goat cheese, sliced almond, honey dressing, polpette tartufo, tender, light pork/beef meatballs with truffle, octopus all'inferno braised for one hour with garlic, rosemary and chili oil, served with harissa and white bean puree; crostini all’Elbana—slices of bread, melted mozzarella, anchovy, prosciutto di parma, gnocchi with zucchini pesto, grilled eggplant parmesan (not breaded or fried) and lamb chops crusted with crushed pistachio. Specials to come include monkfish with cherry tomatoes, capers and pine nuts.
Brunch includes selections such as a lamb burger with eggplant, pine nuts, yogurt and mint; poached eggs slowly cooked in tomato sauce; savory steel-cut oats with mixed mushrooms, organic egg and spinach, and a selection of pizzas (with your choice of dough) such as the America, mozzarella, organic egg, pancetta pepata, parmigiana reggiano, and black pepper; Salmone with mascarpone, mozzarella, capers, arugula, and salmon; and Polpettosa with tomato pulp, meatballs, mozzarella and shaved parmesan, and sweet options such as wild blueberry cream cheese bread pudding.
Desserts are created by GM Vivian Loren, who learned about pastries from her Slovenian grandmother. She has been passionately studying pastry and developing her skills and techniques her whole life. Here, Italy meets the U.S. with creative inventions such as nutella cheesecake, pistachio soft cake and semifreddo with pretzel and caramel peanut butter.
The bar offers a full complement of cocktails including Elderflower Spritz and Negroni; a wide selection of Italian beers, and an extensive all Italian wine list, grappa and bitters.