Although pizza was invented in Italy, its American capital is New York City (sorry, Chicago). Until recently, transplanted New Yorkers in Miami have either had to fly home for a couple of slices or deal with the Miami versions that lacked the tang and oregano of a good sauce or the bite of a proper crust.
Recently, however, there's been a movement of NYC pizzerias opening outposts in Miami.
Numero 28 Pizzeria has opened its doors at 432 Española Way in South Beach. The small pizza chain, owned and operated by the Biamonte family, has several locations in New York, including the West Village, the East Village, the Upper West Side, the Upper East Side, and Brooklyn, with celebrities like Sarah Jessica Parker frequenting the spots for a hot, fresh pie. The first New York Numero 28 opened in 2006, but the family has been making Neapolitan-style pizzas in Italy for five generations.
The pizza-making process begins with select Italian imports, including tomatoes grown in the rich volcanic soil of Mount Vesuvius, extra-virgin olive oil, and D.O.C. mozzarella di bufala from Battipaglia in the Campania region of Italy, the birthplace of pizza. The dough is cured for 48 hours to give it the restaurant's signature flavor before the pizza is fired in a custom wood-burning oven, the restaurant's focal point.
At the restaurant, you can watch master pizzaiolo Maurizio Procopio in the open work area while he tosses and finishes the pizzas before placing them in the oven.
Owner Gianmarco DiMichele, who is part of the Biamonte family, says he's been looking for the right time and place to open a South Florida location. “We’ve been exploring the Miami area for some time now to introduce a concept that’s authentic yet defining."
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Number 28 offers more than 30 varieties of pies in three sizes, including a 14-inch round personal pizza, an 18-inch rectangle that serves two, and a 29-inch rectangle that can feed up to four people. The larger pizzas can be customized up to three ways, so everyone can have their favorite toppings. Options include a traditional Margherita, with tomato, mozzarella, and basil ($13, $25, $36); tartufo, with mozzarella, mushrooms, and truffle oil ($16, $31, $45); Giulietta, with buffalo mozzarella, pumpkin cream, Pecorino-Romano, and pancetta ($18, $35, $51); and the Numero 28, with buffalo mozzarella, speck, truffle cream, and mushrooms ($18, $35, $51). There's also a papillon Napoletano, a bow-shaped pie with ricotta filling. For dessert, there's Nutella pizza ($17).
The menu also features a cucina selection of appetizers, salads, and pasta, along with a mozzarella bar. Numero also has a good selection of Italian wines and desserts.
Numero 28 Miami is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner from noon to 11:30 p.m.