Pizzeria Vittoria Napoletana

Pizzeria Vittoria Napoletana

For several months the foodies of Savannah have patiently waited to see Chef Kyle Jacovino’s next move. Some were even scared he might take pack up his chef knives and take his genuine food far away from Savannah. Those same foodies—including myself—were ecstatic to learn that Chef Jacovino opened the doors his very first restaurant, Pizzeria Vittoria Napoletana, last week. Just look for the line around the shipping containers of Starland Yard, and you will find his new spot.

Instead of taking a deep dive into the nuances of Jacovino’s superiorly crafted and cooked pizza, I wanted to get his perspective on the culmination of his dreams coming to fruition. Because it goes without being said Chef Jacaveno puts out the best pizza in our Ghost City.

The true sign of an authentic pizza craftsman is when you look around a pizzeria and see that patrons have not left a single piece of the crust behind on their finished plate. When the base that holds the sauce and cheese taste just as good as sauce and cheese, you have a product created by a master.

The menu features a few favorites from Chef Jacavino’s days at The Florence, and is the only local pizza spot that is hand tossing dough made with dough created with handmade yeast starter. By the way, his pizza has sold out every night since opening last week.

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Q: Why did you want to open a Pizzeria?

“After The Florence, the idea was always to try and get the pizzeria open. It took a lot longer than expected. Originally I was going to try to do it in the Starland Dairy and that fell way behind, timeline wise. I didn’t see any real opportunities coming my way,so that is when I started shopping around in San Francisco, the Atlantic, and eventually back to Philly. That is when Pila [Sunderland] caught wind of that, and he approached me about Starland Yard. At first I was like nah, I don’t do food trucks I do brick and mortar, and they told me we will build you brick and mortar out of shipping containers.”

Q: After your menu at 1540, why open a pizza spot?

“Everything about The Florence was my dream restaurant. From handmade pastas and pizzas—those were always my two favorite things. You can find interviews with me way back in Atlanta. There is an interview with me that I did when I was twenty-three and the question was, what do you want to open? And it was only about a pizzeria and pasta. When Florence was going good the first year, I was like let’s follow up with a dope pizzaria. We were selling so much pizza at the Florence it was insane.”

Q: What is the mission?

“To make great pizza, and make everybody happy, and myself happy. I think the mission is to be excited about food again. To be really excited about the neighborhood I am in. Like I said, I always wanted to be back in Starland, and I think the mission is to let people know that I finally have a real neighborhood spot that they can come to and hangout. It is one of those spaces where I want to be able to cook pizzas and also be able to go out and talk to customers.”

Q: How did you pick your oven?

“That was a no brainer. The one at The Florence was a Neapolitan builder, from Naples as well. The original oven that I wanted at The Florence is the one I have now, but back in the day, about six or seven years ago, the guy that I have now, he did not have the right licensing to sell in America.”

Q: How did you create the menu?

“It was pretty simple. It was a lot of stuff I made at The Florence and spruced up. A lot of the stuff that has been close to my heart for a long time. It is everything I love about food.”

Q: What sets your dough apart?

“We are the first ones, for sure, in Savannah. We do all natural fermentation so there is no commercial yeast in our dough. It sounds kinda nerdy, but I compare it to why kombucha is kombucha and why everyone loves kombucha; because of the probiotic in the fermented tea. If you take that same idea and put into what we do with our yeast. That is how we make our yeast. It is pre-fermented flour.”

Q: Are you using a certain ratio of flours to create your starter?

“Yea, spelt and 00 flour”

Q: Where are you sourcing your ingredients?

“We are doing flour from King Arthur as well as Anton Mills in South Carolina. We are also trying to seek out another awesome mill outside of Utah but we do not have that yet.”

Q: Can patrons expect any events?

“I would like to do some sort of family meal like I did at 1540. I think the inside would be awesome for that since it is only fifteen seats. To be able to do a one seating at fifteen people. I can still do some of my pastas. I will be able to do homemade manicottis and all that kind of stuff, and bake it in the oven and serve it family style. I would really like to do something like that, but that is going to take a little but of time.”

“I would love to do some beer diners down the road. We have probably the best neighbors in the world, Two Tides. Their beer is so good. I would love to do a beer dinner with them.”

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Chard, Bacon, & Corn Pizza

Chard, Bacon, & Corn Pizza

My mother and my uncle (her brother) have an extremely green thumb. If a green thumb is something you can inherit, they definitely got it from my great grandmother.

As for me—well, my thumb is probably kind of that weird color in-between yellow and light green.

For the last couple of years I have been planting a summer garden. I have done okay, but I would dub my prowess less than masterful. Each year has yielded different bounties with some crops more successful than others. I will add, the heat of Savannah makes it much more difficult to be successful. I am practically watering my garden twice a day.

This year I added Swiss chard to my list of plants, which have always included tomatoes, peppers, and squash. As it turns out, Swiss chard is rather easy to grow other than having to water it a bit extra that most of the other plants.

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Once one of my chard crops was too large for its spot, I decided it was time to cut it and cook it. I have found that my favorite part about summer, aside from the ample time at the beach, is the summer bounty that is available. Every single fruit and vegetable at the store tastes so delicious and fresh.

This recipe takes a plain old pizza dough and spruces it up with bacon (because everyone loves bacon), fresh summer corn, and swiss chard from my garden.

I use bread flour for this recipe because it creates a thinner, crispier crust. If you do not have bread flour you can use regular all purpose, but be aware your crust will be slightly chewier…but still delicious.

If you do not want to make your own dough, pop by your local pizzeria and buy a ball or two from them (it is better than the frozen version).

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Pizza Dough

Ingredients:

  • 2 Teaspoons of Active Dry Yeast
  • 1 and 1/2  Cups of Room Temperature Water
  • 4 1/2 Cups of Bread Flour
  • 2 Teaspoons of Salt
  • 3 Tablespoons of Olive Oil

Directions:

1. In a small bowl, combine your yeast and water. Let sit for 3 minutes to allow yeast to bloom.
2. In your stand mixer, combine flour and yeast mixture. Mix to combine.
3. Add your olive oil and salt, then mix to combine.
4. Attach your dough hook, and knead the mixture on medium-low for 4-5 minutes or until dough comes together and looks smooth. If mixture absolutely does not come together you can add a tablespoon or two of olive oil.
5. Place your dough in an oiled bowl, and cover with oiled plastic wrap.
6. Let sit on the counter for one hour, or until doubled in size.
7. Gently turn out the dough and divide into two balls for use.
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Swiss Chard, Bacon, & Corn Pizza

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Package of Thick Cut Bacon
  • 2 Ears of Fresh Corn
  • 2 Cups of Swiss Chard
  • 1 Clove of Garlic, minced
  • 1/2 Cup of Mayonnaise
  • Juice from 1/2 a Lemon
  • 2 Cups of Shredded Mozzarella
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper

Directions:

  1. Prepare your bacon first. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Place bacon in an even layer on a baking sheet.
  3. Bake the bacon for 30-45 minutes or until it has reached your desired doneness.
  4. Remove bacon from oven and drain on a paper towels, set aside.
  5. Turn oven up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit or preheat your grill.
  6. In a small bowl combine mayonnaise, lemon juice, and minced garlic. Stir until fully combined. Set aside.
  7. Rinse, remove the stems, and coarsely chop your Swiss chard.
  8. Heat a small skillet over medium with one tablespoon of olive oil.
  9. Cook Swiss chard in the heated skillet until very lightly wilted. Remove from heat and set aside.
  10. Rinse your corn, then cut kernels away from the core. Set kernels aside.
  11. Prepare your pizza paddle or baking pan with a heavy amount of flour or semolina flour to allow dough to slip off easily.
  12. On a floured surface, turn out one of your pizza dough balls.
  13. Stretch, toss, or roll your pizza dough to your desired size. Each dough ball could fairly stretch up to 8×8.
  14. Place the stretched dough onto your prepared pizza paddle or baking sheet.
  15. Lightly drizzle your dough with olive oil.
  16. Spread two tablespoons of garlic mayonnaise over your prepared pizza dough.
  17. Sprinkle dough with salt and pepper.
  18. Spread 1/4 cup of your mozzarella over the pizza dough.
  19. Next, spread 1/2 of your corn, 1/2 of your Swiss chard, and 1/2 of your bacon over the pizza dough.
  20. Top the pizza with 1/4 cup of mozzarella.
  21. Repeat the process for preparing the pizza with the second pizza dough ball.
  22. Once you have both pizza prepared, cook on the grill or in the oven until the edges of the crust are golden brown and the cheese is bubbling.