Experience “LA DOLCE VITA” with a Taste of Southern Italy
By Rose Bud
If the golden, wood-fired ovens in the open kitchen don’t catch your eye as you are walking in, then it has to be the natural black olive tree rooted in the center of the spacious restaurant that does it.
Now in the city of Riverside, California is MidiCi…The Neapolitan Pizza Company, located at Galleria Mall , underneath the AMC Theater.
This California based pizzeria forms part of a franchise that is steadily growing throughout the Unites States. The name might say it all, however, let me clue you in on how they achieve to bring us a taste of Southern Italy.
It is clear to me that authentic food, tradition and quality is important at MidiCi. Most of the ingredients used to create their masterpieces are labeled non-gmo or Protected Designation of Origin (DOP).
The kitchen’s staples such as: flour, meat, Parmigiano-Reggiano, extra virgin cold-pressed olive oil and peeled tomatoes for the sauce, are imported right out of Italy.
Also imported are the stunning ovens that capture the hallmark of Neapolitan Pizza. Hand-built in Naples by a third generation family company—no two ovens are exactly alike. The heat reaches temperatures up to 1000 degrees Fahrenheit baking the pizza in just 90 seconds.
The dough is made in traditional style with four simple ingredients: non-gmo double zero flour imported from Naples, pure water, sea salt and live yeast.
The pizza is made to order and ranges in price from $10.50 to $16.50. Select from a large menu that includes six Classic, thirteen Gourmet or create your own, if you are feeling wild. The menu also indicates which items are best sellers.
The room is naturally scented by the aroma of freshly baked bread. The personal size pizzas and calzones have a relatively light, thin crust and a 12 inch diameter. I can see that my pizza is hot, bubbly and slightly charred.
It is suggested that the pizza be eaten the Italian way, with knife and fork. Let’s face it, I am a savagette and prefer to use my hands. I hold the pizza with my right hand and use my left hand to express how amazing it is.
One of my favorite Gourmet pizzas is The Devil’s… because it’s fire. The base is layered with Italian tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, house made spicy sausage, spicy Italian salami and red chilies. It is a good ratio of crust to toppings and has a nice chewy center.
There wasn’t a pizza I did not like. I mostly prefer the spicy kick that this particular pizza offers.
All the restaurants display a natural olive tree rooted in the ground. It is cared for properly and is a symbol of tradition, peace and bearer of legacies. The tree enhances the mood with feelings of serenity and tranquility which helps in creating close bonds.
Midici prides themselves in bringing friends together as their slogan states, “People. That’s our passion”. Plastered on the wall is, “People are the best thing that can happen to anyone.”
This restaurant is different from what I am used to seeing in the area. It has the hip style of something I would find in San Diego. Although it is fast-casual; I would categorize it as “fast-fine.” It is a fine place without the pretentiousness and hiked prices.
Moreover, the restaurant carries additional hand-built Italian machinery in order to bring us the best of Naples. Just like in the 1900’s, the meat slicing is accomplished through “Vittoria,” the flywheel prosciutto manual slicer.
Other hot drinks include a nice selection of fire-roasted coffees, tea and hot chocolate. Italian Cream Soda, Housemixed Lemonade and soft drinks are available.
You can also pair your dish with adult beverages—take your pick from beer, wine or cocktails. I enjoyed a red from Robert Mondavi. Ask about happy hour and other specials.
MidiCi’s extensive menu includes an array of sublime appetizers, salads and pastas. On this episode of RestauRanting, I will not cover them in great details as I normally do. I will just leave you with the thought that it is as good as it looks.
The Signature Nutella Calzone is garnished with berries, powdered sugar and finished with a balsamic reduction. You can add ricotta for only $1.
There is a total of seven classic Italian desserts on the menu. My party and I are very impressed.
Find out if there is a MidiCi near you! The one we went to was located at 3773 Tyler Street #3B in Riverside.
The telephone number for reservations is 951.299.7009.
Photos by @TastefulEscape
Press Release Provided by Midici