The making of pizza has different nuances attached to it, yet it’s usually not something that establishments focus on when it comes to offering innovative approaches that they feel diners might embrace. However, creating al taglio pizza is something that connects with New York audiences, since the direct translation is pizza by the slice. That’s why the concept’s creator has opened up a place at 1631 Second Avenue in Yorkville.
That man’s name is Rome-based Angelo Iezzi, who has teamed with Fabio Casella, the owner of San Matteo, to open PQR. That acronym stands for Pizza Quadrata Romana, which began serving its pies on March 15. The difference with al taglio is that instead of the traditional round shape, rectangular pizzas are the norm.
The idea has been around for the last three decades, though it was controversial when it was first offered. That’s because the local health department wasn’t happy with the idea of 80 percent hydration of the dough mixing with cold fermentation for a total of four days. Yet the taste delivered actually makes it a much more digestible food, which may be because of the additional olive oil that’s also part of the recipe.
Stopping in offers hungry customers anywhere from eight to 12 different pizzas, including some exotic choices that go far beyond a pepperoni and sausage. Instead, palates get a chance to sample pies that combine goats-milk cheese, prosciutto and grapes. If that doesn’t whet their appetite, dough stuffed with porchetta and with a potato-based crust might be the selection.
Not every aspect of al taglio is the same as in Rome, with PQR selling their pizza by the American-friendly concept of by the slice. Italians are used to purchasing theirs by the weight, an idea that would likely raise eyebrows in New York.