Stefano Chinappi, back to pizza

The historic Roman restaurateur remains faithful to fine seafood cuisine. But has added a new delicious offer...

Chinappi’s pizza with tomato, garlic, oil and ch

Chinappi’s pizza with tomato, garlic, oil and chilli pepper 

In Rome, Chinappi is a synonym of seafood cuisine and high quality fish – which also refers to attention to seasonality and ethics when it comes to raw materials. In this he is almost unmatched. Among those who know him better, Stefano Chinappi is also known for his energic, lively and warm hospitality (10 years ago he opened in Via Valenziani 19, off Porta Pia, with his wife Elena. Tel. +39 06 4819005, and for his passion for champagne.

But perhaps not everyone knows that his family’s cooking history started with pizza back in 1956 in Formia, a town on the coast of Lazio from which most of the seafood supplies for his restaurant arrive. His grandfather Antonio, a baker, opened a small restaurant with his wife Vincenza where they served simple dishes in the shade of the orange trees. His son Franco, father of Stefano and Michele (who now runs the restaurant in Formia), stood out as a great pizzaiolo, and together with his wife Anna, transformed the place into a point of reference on the coast; to this day, pizza is served along seafood specialties at the restaurant in Formia.

Stefano Chinappi and his pizzas 

Stefano Chinappi and his pizzas 

Now, Stefano Chinappi has decided to offer it in his elegant restaurant in Rome, next to family classics such as Polpo verace orSpaghetto con le telline sgusciate, and to his fabulous raw seafood. Not that Chinappi is going to turn into pizzeria: «I liked the idea of bringing some of our history to Rome, with my family recipes. We want to serve it in the middle of the table, to be shared between one dish and the next, and I also include it in the tasting menus», says Stefano; but you must request it when booking the table, so they have time to mature the homemade dough.

On top of the classic Margherita with buffalo milk mozzarella, the menu includes the very first pizza created by Franco – the historic one with tomato, garlic, oil and pecorino - and the one with mozzarella, olives from Itri and rosemary, really perfect, with a base that’s not too thin and crispy, but doesn’t melt either, made colourful and aromatic thanks to the dough made with multi-cereal flour, and baked with a state-of-the-art oven with rotating gas. «The slice must stay straight when you pick it with your hands, but the edge must bend», Chinappi explains, showing how this works in practice, inviting to follow the good manners of eating pizza [with your hands] despite the elegant mise en place in his restaurant. In other words, it’s a pizza half-way between Naples and Rome, just like Formia.

Translated into English by Slawka G. Scarso


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