Chow Bella

La Piazza Al Forno to Open Second Location Under New Name in Downtown Phoenix

La Piazza Al Forno, the Glendale pizza spot famous for its real-deal Neapolitan pizza, hit the big time after its appearance on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. In fact, the place has become so successful that chef-owner Justin Piazza plans to open a new location in downtown Phoenix no later than June of this year.

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The new venue, which will occupy the former Cartel Coffee Lab space at First Street and Washington (Cartel moved into bigger digs next door) will be called La Piazza Locale, and Piazza says the new location will be even more Naples-centric than the original.

La Piazza Locale's menu will include fresh pastas, more pizzas and more appetizers, including fried mozzarella, arancini, angelo angioletti (fried pizza dough strips topped with basil, cherry tomatoes, olive oil and salt) and mezzaluna (a slightly more modern half-pizza, half-calzone situation). Best of all, the menu will offer montanara (Neapolitan-style fried pizza) every single day.

Piazza already has ordered the same big bad brick oven that he has in place at the original location. Purportedly perfect for Neapolitan pizzas (don't ask me, something about heat retention), it's made by master craftsman Stefano Ferrara from Naples.

Piazza also says he's really excited about moving downtown. "People are so friendly and supportive there," he says. "It's more my speed."

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Nikki Buchanan