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Pizza Fritta Is the Fried Calzone America Has Been Waiting For

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One of Italy’s best pizzaioli opens in NYC this week

Gino Sorbillo/Instagram
Monica Burton is the deputy editor of

The number of Italian pizzaioli coming to America has reached critical mass with this latest addition: Acclaimed Naples pizza maker Gino Sorbillo is setting up shop in the United States. Sorbillo, famous in Italy as much for his pizza as for frequent TV appearances, is bringing his signature pies and pizza fritta to New York, Eater NY reports. Zia Esterina opens this week in Manhattan’s Little Italy.

At Zia Esterina, which also counts locations in Naples and Milan, Sorbillo will focus on pizza fritta, a pocket of Neapolitan-style dough that’s fried and filled like a calzone. Sorbillo’s classic, wood-fired Neapolitan pies will be available at Sorbillo Pizzeria in New York, opening later this season. Meanwhile, Sorbillo’s light, soft-crust pies consistently draws hours-long lines at his original Naples pizzeria.

A pizza at Pizzeria Gino Sorbillo in Naples
Thomas Duesing/Flickr

Earlier this year, New Yorkers welcomed another Italian pizza star when restaurateurs Luca Vincenzini and Nick Hatsatouris opened an oupost of Stefano Callegari’s Trapizzino on the Lower East Side. The chain known for its namesake trapizzini — triangular pizza pockets packed with fillings — has been a street food staple in Rome since Callegari opened the first location in 2008.

In June, fellow Roman pizza maker Gabriele Bonci is bringing his pizza al taglio to Chicago’s West Loop. Bonci makes this essential Rome dish by baking pizza dough, topped with produce and artisanal meats and cheeses, in rectangular cast-iron pans. He then serves it by the rectangular slice. If the shop, called Bonci, is a success, the Pizzarium chef will open a second Chicago location before expanding to New York, Philadelphia, and Boston.

Zia Esterina Opens Thursday From the Most Famous Pizzaiolo in Naples [ENY]
Rome’s Best Pizza Al Taglio Is Coming to America [E]
One of Rome’s Most Popular Street Foods Is Coming to New York City [ENY]