Many more details to share today on the outpost of Berkeley's beloved Gioia Pizzeria coming to Polk Street. While the original East Bay location is mostly for take-out orderers, the San Francisco branch will have fifty seats, serving in a quick service format by day and full table service by night. The owners, husband-and-wife team Karen and Will Gioia cooked at Oliveto's together and both worked at Chez Panisse, so they've certainly got the chops to do more. Expect pizza, salads and sandwiches to be offered from 11 a.m. onwards, with the addition of appetizers (housemade charcuterie, pickles) and "comforting" plates (guinea hen with radiatore, Bellwether Farms cheese-stuffed shells with nettles and tomato conserva) on the evening menu.
Interestingly, the couple spent the greater part of 2011 in New York where Karen worked at Brooklyn pizza heavyweight Roberta's, and Will did consulting work. Karen, a self-professed lifetime design junkie, says the decor at Gioia marries a New York aesthetic with a contemporary NorCal sensibility. Think long marble bar with reclaimed oak wainscoting, Subway tiles, and concrete floors. Karen also spent a lot of time gathering vintage milk glass, mercury glass, and old Marine lights to create an eye-catching array of lighting. Gioia Pizzeria is hoping to open for business the second week of April, with some soft-opening action coming the week before. With the recent addition of Square Meals/Batter Bakery and a bigger Blue Barn on the way, Polk Street is shaping up quite nicely these days.
· All Gioia Pizzeria Coverage [~ ESF ~]