Pizza Rustica: Iconic Miami Pizzeria Signs Leases In Middle East

Pizza Rustica is a Miami original. First opened in South Beach, the popular pizzeria made a name for itself with large rectangular slices packed with toppings. Success spawned expansion to 20 locations worldwide, and now under a master franchise agreement, Pizza Rustica has signed its first two leases to open stores in the Middle East.

"We have taken the first steps of our expansion into the Middle East," Pino Piroso, founder of Pizza Rustica, said in a press release. "We are so pleased to

introduce our fresh, high quality pizza to these incredible new


The agreement avoids war torn areas like Syria and Palestine, instead opening in fairly peaceful cities of Amwaj isalnd in the Bahrain and Sabeh Al-Salem on the Kuwaiti coast. The first new restaurant will be in a retail development called The Lagoon in the heart of Amwaj Island, a 30-million-square-foot, man-made island near the coast of Muharraq Island in the northeast of Bahrain. The second in the suburb Sabeh Al-Salam opens several kilometers south of the capital of Kuwait City. Both should be open by the start of 2013.

Eggplant and goat cheese make for an interesting combination. The original Rustica (pictured) comes with plum tomato sauce, mozzarella, artichoke hearts, kalamata olives, diced tomatoes, prosciutto, ham and fresh basil. It costs $4.95 but is good for nearly two meals, it was featured in Short Order's top five dishes for under $5. The pizzeria has also been rated excellent by Zagat and featured in the New York Times, Food Network and E! Entertainment Television.

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