Tony Gemignani, the world champion pizzaiolo and pizza acrobat who presides over the International School of Pizza and Tony's Pizza in North Beach, opened Capo's, an intimate Chicago-style joint, on Nov. 16. Gemignani cares deeply about challenging himself and others with his ideas about Italian food and has created a menu that's entirely new and different from that at Tony's Pizza. We snatched up one of the first dinner reservations in order to try the Quattro Forni, a pizza that gets so much love and attention to prepare, only 20 are available to order each night.
A thick, square-cut pizza is baked in four different ovens, including coal and wood-fired beauties. It's an improved variation on a pizza baked in three ovens that won Gemignani an international championship. The fourth and final oven gives the bottom a sizzling fry-up, which results in a crispiness that our server likened to a donut fresh out of the oil. A base of tomato sauce is layered with mozzarella, garlic, and oregano for the basic version ($13), with an option to add prosciutto, arugula, and parmesan ($3.75).
The Quattro Forni arrives on the table cut into four slabs. One piece is plenty if you've got other appetizers or entrees loading you up on glorious cream and carbs, and two will send you into hog heaven (especially with that prosciutto on top). The temptation is to cut it up with a knife and fork, and that might be the best strategy if you don't want to get messy. But be sure to pick it up and take a bite to fully experience the interplay of textures that cooking the pizza in different ovens achieves; it's alternately fluffy, puffy, chewy, crackly, crispy, and oh my God we need another one really soon.