Welcome to PEZZO (pay-t-zoh)! Our mission is simple: to unite the great culinary traditions of Italy, New York, and Chicago with the freshest ingredients available, to give you an unforgettable dining experience Pezzo per Pezzo(piece by piece).
In our “from-scratch” kitchen, we carefully combine fresh, locally sourced, and organic ingredients into delicious dishes crafted with care and detail. From our house-made mozzarella to our fresh-daily dough and tomato sauces, we prepare each of our meals with the same love and care you would, in your very own home. This means, it’s more than just about great food!
When you join us for a meal at Pezzo, it feels as if you were getting together with your friends, neighbors, and family. Giving our community a place to eat, drink, and relax is what motivates us to continue creating the best food and environment we possibly can.
Pezzo was the brainchild of Twin Cities native Chef Gary Bougie. Ever since his first job as a teenager in an Illinois pizzeria, he had a passion for creating the perfect pizza experience. He spent years doing just that at his first Chicago restaurant, SLYCE. In 2013, Chef Gary took the opportunity to bring his pizza-making prowess back home to Minnesota and it was then that Pizzeria Pezzo was born, in the suburb of White Bear Lake. The journey was nearly cut short when Chef Gary tragically passed away, just six months after its’ opening.
Current owner and operator, Keri Bougie lead the company following her husband’s passing, and with the expertise of Mac Morrison (director of culinary operations and development), they have moved the company forward in developing the vision of pizza perfection. Keri, a former “New Yorker,” who lived in Chicago for many years, as well as Rome, knows what it means to enjoy pizza that adheres to the classic pizza-making traditions. Keri and the Pezzo Team continue to build the brand, creating a family-oriented company specializing in fresh, delicious offerings.
Here at Pizzeria Pezzo, we continue to carry forth our founding principles – simple, creative, handcrafted pizza that lives up to the great styles of Italy, New York, and Chicago. You’ll taste it in the carefully selected flavors of our coal-fired and deep-dish pies, in our fresh salads, our appetizers, and our pasta dishes. You’ll feel it in the warm, friendly atmosphere, as well as experience it through our selection of craft beer, wine, and cocktails . . . all carefully selected and prepared to perfectly complement your meal.
Don’t just read about it — stop in and visit us today at our original White Bear Lake location or at our newly-opened Woodbury location, and enjoy a classic pizza experience pezzo per pezzo..
Pizza was originally introduced to America beginning in the late 19th century, with the expanding population of Italian Immigrants. Specifically, its’ introduction happened in 1897 in New York, when a gentleman by the name of Gennaro Lombardi, an Italian immigrant, opened a local grocery store called Lombardi’s. In an attempt to satisfy his customers, he began offering slices of pizza to his patrons as they patiently waited in line at his grocery store. Gennaro’s version of “pizza” consisted of a touch of tomato sauce, lightly layered on top of dough, with a light dusting of Romano cheese on top, which was then cooked to perfection. These particular pizzas became so well known that Gennaro Lombardi decided to open Lombardi’s as a restaurant – serving pizza. To this day, Lombardi’s restaurant is considered by many to be the very first “pizzeria” in the United States.
America’s adoption of pizza as a favorite food quickly grew and resulted in the development of differences from the original Neapolitan pizza. Along with the different cheese and flour used in a Neapolitan pizza, one of the other largest differences was the heat source used to cook the pizzas. Given the abundance of coal in the 19th century, and its’ use as a major heat source, coal began being used as the primary source of heat for cooking, such that coal began replacing wood altogether. Today, for many pizza connoisseurs, coal-fired pizzas are still considered to produce the very best pizza.
Pezzo therefore considers our own pursuit of the perfect pizza, as a tribute to all those who have made pizza what it is today. Pizzeria Pezzo’s menu is steeped in age-old traditions, cooking methods, as well as the best quality ingredients possible. With our unique ambiance, use of finest ingredients, made-from-scratch daily offerings, and best-in-class guest service, we hope that your dining experience with us is truly amazing!