Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Coming soon: Pizza boom in Wayne

Vecchia from Phoenixville is setting up on North Wayne Avenue, across from the forthcoming Ardè, from the crew at Pizzeria DiMeo in Andorra.

Coming soon: Pizza boom in Wayne


There is no shortage of pizza in Wayne.

Early this summer, things will get interesting as two of my favorite Neapolitan parlors set up second locations on the Main Line town's restaurant row on North Wayne Avenue near the train station.

Ardè Osteria & Pizzeria - a new concept from the crew at Pizzeria DiMeo's in Andorra Shopping Center - and Vecchia Pizza Napoletana - a second location of the Phoenixville gem - will be directly across the street from each other. (Arde was known as Mozzeria when the letter of intent was made known last September.)

Here's what's what:

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Vecchia at 134 N. Wayne Ave., between Great American Pub and Paola's pizza. Frank Nattle has imported a Neapolitan craftsman, Giuseppe Foglia, to work with bricks, stone, volcanic ash, and sand to construct his wood-fired oven.

Peppe Foglia, who wrapped work last week, is the real deal - a cranky artisan who has built ovens for the Miami Beach location of Fratelli la Bufala and for A Mano in Ridgewood, N.J. (Nattle says he also hired a translator, who declined to relay certain questions to Foglia because the translator feared Foglia's reaction.)

Nattle also hired Berzinsky Architects of Philadelphia to design the space, which will have an Old World look.

Nattle also now has a partner, Tim McGowan, a lawyer and partner at Kelley, Jasons, McGowan Spinelli & Hanna. The hook-up was simple, McGowan explained.

McGowan lives in the Valley Forge area, is a customer, and told Nattle that he really should expand.

"I told him to put his money where his mouth was," Nattle said.

The menu will be pretty much the same as Phoenixville's - as in, pizza, pizza and pizza.

Ardè Osteria & Pizzeria at 133 N. Wayne Ave. This restaurant from DiMeo's - now at about the same stage of doneness as Vecchia - will be a touch more ambitious than Vecchia and, for that matter, the original DiMeo's.

Arde will serve its own salumi, which will hang in the dining room, and will import a multitude of cheese.

Owners Pino DiMeo and Scott Stein have installed a wood-burning Stefano Ferrera oven. DiMeo also sent his son Antimo to cook in Italy with Gennaro Esposito.

They retained the design services of up-and-coming designer Todd Womelsdorf, who is helping Tommy Up with The Yachtsman, the tiki bar in Fishtown.

Womelsdorf will retain the brick walls and add reclaimed wood as he goes for a shabby industrial look for Arde's dining room, which will look out at North Wayne Avenue on one side and at the Wayne train station on the other side.

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About this blog
Michael Klein, the editor/producer of philly.com/Food, writes about the local restaurant scene in his Inquirer column "Table Talk." Have a question? Email it! See his Inquirer work here.

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