At nearly every pizza place, I have a set order or a few go-to specialty pies. I’m sure you can relate. This also applies to the legendary—and ever-expanding—Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana. My usual suspects at Pepe’s are the tomato pie, occasionally a white clam (with bacon, obviously), or their still sort of new Margherita with thick-cut pepperoni as an added topping.
Every summer, I’m willing to make drastic life changes for Pepe’s fresh tomato pie, so based on mood, one of those other pies gets dropped as fast as a failing relationship. After all, those other pizzas will still be there waiting while you explore other options.
The fresh tomato pie isn’t saucy like Pepe’s original tomato pie. It’s quite different. It’s a white, sauceless pizza, with a light layer of mozzarella, a dusting of parmesan, pungent garlic, a fresh pop from basil leaves, and the kicker…locally grown chopped tomatoes that almost cover the entire pie right up to Pepe’s famously charred crust.
This spectacular seasonal pie won’t last long, as it’s only around from July – September. Pepe’s offers it into September and they’ve been known to stretch it out depending on the local tomato crop. It’s available at all locations in Connecticut, and in their restaurants in Chestnut Hill, MA and Warwick, RI.
If your nearest Pepe’s get slammed busy, go stand in line, or do the smart thing and show up early. Either that or plan an obscure 3 p.m. lunch.
Whatever you do, don’t wait too deep into the summer to crush a fresh tomato pie. Get there. Like now!