To say we're obsessed with pizza might be an understatement.
We simply love pizza – true Neapolitan pizza – otherwise known as Vera Pizza Napletana. And the truth of the matter is, the only other place you can taste such an authentic Pizza Napletana is Naples (Napoli) itself. Ecco is one of the only restaurants outside Napoli to give this much care to our pizzas. Most of the ingredients – flour, oil, tomatoes and mozzarella are imported from Italy. We use a real wood-fire stove in baking our pizzas, a skill that takes years to master.
2000 years of history.
New York is famous for their pizza. And so is Chicago. But we know pizza really only means one thing: Napoli. Pizza originated in Napoli. In fact, the word pizza is a local Neapolitan pronunciation of the word "pita." So you can probably be sure that today's pizza is a direct descendent of the flat bread baked in Pompei almost 2,000 years ago.
To know pizza is to know Napoli.
Napoli is a bustling, densely populated city nestled at the foot of Mt. Vesuvio. The oldest districts of the city such as Forcella and Spaccanapoli haven't changed for centuries. Dedicated pizzaiuoli (pizza bakers) use the same ingredients and methods that they have for centuries. They're a rare breed who have spent years mastering the art of the wood-fired brick oven. Ecco Restaurant is proud to carry on these cherished traditions.
The best ingredients make the best pizza.
We won't be shy in admitting we're something of ingredient elitists. We ship our flour from Italy. We use only Sicilian salt. We import our San Marzano tomatoes from Italy. The extra-virgin olive imported is 100% southern Italian grown, picked, pressed, and packed. And every week, the mozzarella di bufala (that's buffalo mozzarella) arrives fresh from Napoli.
Only with fire.
The only way to make Neapolitan pizza is in a wood-fired brick oven. It only takes about two minutes for the pizza to bake. Many pizza establishments boast about their brick ovens, but they're actually fired by gas – it's a gimmick. A true pizzaiuoli spends years learning how to fire the oven to the proper temperature.
It takes two days to make pizza dough.
There's one way to make pasta per pizza (pizza dough) – by hand. First we start with stone ground flour imported from Italy and add in some Sicilian sea salt. Then the flour and salt is mixed by hand with some water and a piece of dough from the day before. It sits for 24 hours at room temperature as the dough rises. It is then mixed, weighed, and shaped by hand. After rising a minimum of another 12 hours at room temperature, the dough is ready to be used for pizza.
Only San Marzano tomatoes
We fly our tomatoes in all the way from Italy. All of our tomatoes are San Marzano tomatoes, named for the town of San Marzano, near Naploi. They have a sweet, tangy taste due to the rich volcanic soil. And just like wine, true San Marzano tomatoes are certified by the Italian government with a DOP label.