If you've lived in Miami long enough, you understand that operating a successful restaurant for many years in this city is quite the feat. This past month, however, Andiamo in the MiMo district celebrated its 16th birthday. What's the secret? Managing partner Frank Crupi attributes the pizzeria's longevity to the fact Andiamo hasn't strayed from its original mission.
Since opening day, the menu and recipes have remained unchanged, and despite new trends in the pizza realm, Andiamo continues to serve straight-shooting New York-style pies. Crupi describes Andiamo's brick-oven pizza as American meets Italian, and says customers have always had the option to choose their own toppings for a fully customized full or half pie.
"There’s always going to be newer, shinier, and slicker pizzerias, and they're wonderful, but we’ve been consistent since day one in serving just fresh, quality ingredients. Everything’s handmade, and it seems to be a good formula," explains Crupi when asked why folks keep coming back to Andiamo.
One way the eatery maintains its consistency is by having little to no turnover in kitchen staff. There's no single chef, but Crupi says the cooks making the sauces and dough have been there since the beginning. He's in charge of the recipes and believes the fewer people that know them the better.
Andiamo is located at 55th Street Station in a converted 1954 Robert Law Weed Building, the General Tire of Miami. The completely enclosed glass building is considered a historic landmark, and Andiamo's founder and owner, Mark Soyka, had his eyes on it for a long time. The restaurateur and resident of nearby Morningside opened Soyka across the street in 2000 before taking a chance with Andiamo one year later. Israeli-born Soyka also owns News Cafe on Ocean Drive, Dogma Grill on Biscayne Boulevard in MiMo, and his latest, Café Roval, which sits on the same stretch as Soyka and Andiamo. Undoubtedly, Mr. Soyka breathed new life into the neighborhood and helped pave the way for further gentrification.
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Andiamo was the first gourmet pizza place in Miami, says Crupi, who was brought on as a managing partner over ten years ago. Given the custom pizza option available here, you can get pretty much anything on your pie, which is offered in a ten-, 14-, or 16-inch format. Prices start at $9.75 for a classic Andiamo pizza topped with tomato sauce, mozzarella, and basil. Salads and sandwiches are also available.
"What makes us special is we have something for everyone and our atmosphere is a neat place to come for a business meeting, a date, or family night," Crupi says. So is another Andiamo a possibility in the future? He says he and Soyka get approached almost daily to open a second location, and they're willing to do it if they find the perfect location and opportunity.
Andiamo is open daily for lunch and dinner and offers delivery in the area, as well as delivery via services like Postmates and Delivery Dudes.