Pizza Luca: Neopolitana Pizza Truck Debuts at Beer Garden @ Harbor Point in Stamford

Jeff "jfood" Schlesinger

How cool is it to walk up to a 1952 Chevy Pick-Up truck and order a perfectly prepared Napoletana pizza, with great ingredients imported from Italy, prepared by a classical trained Italian chef, and baked in under two minutes in a blazing hot, wood-fired oven. Pizza Luca, the brain child of Chef Dean Medico, creates pizza masterpieces that are steeped in the tradition of Italy, using only the best ingredients from Italy to create three distinctly southern Italian pizza delicacies, the Marinara, the Margherita, and the sauce-less Bianca.

When CTbites sat and discussed Chef Medico’s pizza, he passionately explained that great pizza is “all about balancing the flavors including sweet, salty, sour and bitter” and Chef Medico takes his ingredients and baking methods seriously. He completely adheres to the guidelines set by the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana (the association of true Neapolitan pizza), creating his dough from Caputo 00 flour, and topping each with imported San Marzano D.O.P. certified tomatoes and buffalo milk mozzarella from Capagna. The San Marzano tomatoes create the essence of the pie with the perfect balance of acidity and sweetness and the mozzarella di buffalo adds a delightful creaminess.

As Chef Medico explained, “it’s all about the dough.” When asked what separates the Pizza Luca dough from others, Chef Medico was very specific, “the lightness of the dough is the first aspect; it has to be airy. Right behind airiness is the taste, and that has to do with the complex taste of the wheat, and finally the wood fire adds just a little bitterness…all the flavors need to linger.”

But it’s more than the dough, the pizza must be baked in the perfect environment and Chef Medico uses two different ovens...his first oven from California and his latest purchase from Italy, a Stefano Ferrara. Weighing over five-thousand pounds, each oven is first cured for 10 days to remove any residual moisture from the bricks and then the two month settling process begins. “During the course of the day the process of baking the pizza changes,” with three separate heating processes, direct from the burning oak, convection from the circulating air and direct, from the 750+ degree oven floor. With less than two minutes in the oven, care must be taken to ensure just the slightest char on the edges, a crisp bottom and perfectly melted cheese. “Oak is my wood of choice, it gives the pizza what the Italians call ‘the kiss of smoke.”

The menu currently includes three varieties including its simplest Marinara that includes D.O.P. San Marzano tomatoes, extra-virgin olive oil, oregano, fresh garlic, fresh basil and Sicilian sea salt; the Margherita that adds mozzarella di buffalo, plus a Bianca, a tomato-less pie with Mozzarella di bufala, extra-virgin olive oil, fresh garlic, fresh basil, Sicilian sea salt. When a fourth option is added to the menu look for the Filetti, another sauce-less pie but brings tomato sweetness with the addition of fresh cherry tomatoes to the Bianca.

Pizza Luca is currently dividing time between the Katonah and Bronxville Farmers’ markets, but this rolling pizzeria is available for private parties in Fairfield County and Chef Medico is discussing a third truck that may bring his creations to Fairfield County Farmers’ markets next year. And for those looking for a sneak peak / taste, CTbites is pleased to announce Pizza Luca is now making appearances at the Harbor Point Beer Garden in Stamford. 

Find Pizza Luca on Facebook for location on where to find the truck and general information. 

Pizza Luca on Urbanspoon