900º Woodfired Pizza Truly Has Something For Everyone!
There’s an old saying that says you shouldn’t try to be all things to all people, but it’s still nice to find local restaurants with something delicious for just about everyone.
Case in point: The new 900º Woodfired Pizza in the Shops at Wiregrass mall. If someone in your family loves New York-style pizza, this sparkling new eatery has got you covered. But, if someone else feels like trying true Neapolitan-style thin-crust pizza baked in just a couple of minutes in a 900º (Fahrenheit) authentic Italian wood-burning oven, 900º Woodfired Pizza is the only pizza restaurant equipped with both types of pizza ovens — a traditional NY pizza oven and a wood-burning Neapolitan one.
In addition, as their names indicate, 900º Woodfired Pizza owners Roberto Maganuco (who also owns Caffé 365 Italiano in the mall) and Steve Falabella are both real Italians and New Tampa residents who also offer a variety of outstanding pastas (served properly al denté without ordering it that way), delicious salads, sandwiches, calzones, wings and more — all at very fair prices.
“We use only the best ingredients here,” says Roberto. “Real Bufala mozzarella, real San Marzano tomatoes, the finest Antico Molino Caputo flour from Napoli (Naples) and the best and freshest toppings. And, we adhere to the standards set forth by the Association Verace Pizza Nepoletana (VPN) for our wood-fired pizzas.”
(Note-The VPN promotes the art of pizza making as it has been done in Naples for 200+ years.)
The restaurant may not look very different from most other pizza places, despite its vaulted ceilings and immaculate appearance) but it’s really also an outstanding Italian ristorante. As you walk in, several varieties of New Yorkstyle pizza pies are on display and sold by the slice, usually including “Grandma’s Pizza,” a thinner-crusted square pie than your traditional Sicilian-style square (with that delicious pizza sauce on top of the cheese and topped with baked onions), at least one “white” pie with fresh tomatoes and basil, but no sauce, plus other favorites like sausage, pepperoni, veggie, etc. Even if you fully intend to enjoy a wood-fired pizza, it’s tough to walk past these piping-hot pies without sampling at least one slice.
Both the scrumptious woodfired and NY-style pizzas are available with everything from the traditional to truly gourmet toppings like broccoli rabe, spicy salami and cherry tomatoes. You can even get a 36-inch-long rectangular woodfired “Pizza al Metro” with your choice of toppings served on boards (although I haven’t seen one yet).
The list of antipasti, pastas and calzones also is impressive, with everything from a traditional Caprese (mozzarella and tomato) salad to Spiedini (fresh mozzarella wrapped in proscuitto di Parma and served on a bed of arugula and cherry tomatoes), a unique bruschetta (woodfired focaccia bread, plum tomatoes, oregano, garlic, basil and extra virgin olive oil) and “Il Gran Piatto,” a cold antipasto for two with assorted Italian meats, mixed olives, fontina cheese and roasted peppers.
The pastas are to die for. Seriously. My favorite so far is the penne bolognese (left), which is loaded with fresh mushrooms and a not-too-heavy pink meat sauce, and is one of the “Create Your Own Pastas” on the menu, which means you get to choose from spaghetti, penne or tagliatelle (long, flat pasta ribbons similar to, but thinner than. fettuccine). I also enjoyed the “O Spaghetto,” which is spaghetti topped with cherry tomatoes, fresh basil and extra virgin olive oil.
I will likely try the “Pesto alla Genovese,” which features fresh basil, crushed garlic, Parmigiano Reggiano, pine nuts and extra virgin olive oil. There’s also “polpette” (meatballs), “Pesto alla Siciliano” (tomato sauce, almonds, basil and olive oil), “La Spaghettata” (a big bowl of spaghetti, homemade tomato sauce, green and black olives, capers, chili peppers, garlic, parsley and olive oil) and beef and veal tortellacci with a classic meat sauce...and more!
I also have to try the unique calzones and the lime-marinated woodfired chicken wings. When I saw the order at right come out, I had to take a picture of it and I heard at least one customer raving about them.
There’s even a pizza and pasta kids menu and a woodfired Nutella dessert pizza available, as well as house red and white wines, Italian Peroni Nastro Azzurro birra (beer) on draft, Heineken, Miller Lite and Amstel Light in bottles, Italian mineral water and Coco-Cola brand fountain drinks.
The new 900º Woodfifired Pizza in the Shops at Wiregrass mall (next to Cosi Café and Caffé 365) is open daily for lunch and dinner. For more information, call 527-6940 or visit 900Woodfifired.com.