Una Pizza Napoletana's owner, Anthony Mangieri, started making pizzas at the age of 15, then at the age of 19 started up a bakery in Red Bank, N.J., where he sold naturally leavened breads baked in a brick oven. “It was a total failure, but a great learning experience,” he says. A few years later, in 1996, Mangieri opened the first Una Pizza Napoletana in New Jersey, serving the same menu he does now. He moved the business to Manhattan in 2004, then to San Francisco this year.
For all the hype surrounding Mangieri and his purist attitude, when I interviewed him for this week's review I found him to be a pleasure to chat with. Here are a few extracts from our conversation:
SFoodie: So how did you decide on San Francisco?
Mangieri: I wanted to open here before I went to New York. That was my original, original plan. I had been coming out here for mountain-biking, and I really fell in love with San Francisco, one of the cities where the great outdoors is most accessible.