When we talked to Shawn DeAmicis, one of the partners in Flour & Stone (355 E. Ohio St.; no phone yet), he told us, “We settled on Brooklyn-style. We like it, and no one is really doing it here.” High-quality tomatoes and cheese, DeAmicis hopes, will separate this pizzeria from others. But what exactly is Brooklyn-style pizza? “Thicker crust on the outside,” DeAmicis says. “Chris [Murphy, the other partner] could explain it better.”
“He’s not even right,” Murphy said when we told him what his partner said. “I wouldn’t call him a foodie. No one would call Shawn a foodie. The pizza is more my shtick.” Murphy says the pizza resembles what he grew up with in Rochester, New York, with a crust chewier in the inside and crispier on the outside than Neapolitan pizza. “Think about good Italian bread where you can pick up a loaf and knock on the bottom and it’s that sort of hollow crispiness,” he says. The pies will use Margherita pepperoni, Grande cheese, and Alta Cucina tomatoes, baked at a high temperature in a Wood Stone gas oven.
DeAmicis and Murphy hired a consulting chef to help them develop the pizza. Then a yet-to-be-named chef will take over. The 1,100-square-foot space will have some sushi-bar-type seats near an open kitchen and only four or five tables, but takeout and delivery will be available. They hope to open in June or July.
The two partners won’t manage the day-to-day operations. “We are keeping our day jobs,” Murphy says. (DeAmicis is a stock options trader; Murphy’s a business consultant.) “We’re bringing on experienced people. We have no illusions that we know how to run a restaurant.” Pragmatic approach—that’s a good way to keep this pizzeria from just being pie in the sky.