Homemade dough, sauce spice up offerings at Mio Pizza
For those who like a little dish with their pizza, consider that Matthew Porco, owner and chef at Mio Pizza on Freeport Road in Aspinwall, is the same guy who opened the well-regarded Mio Kitchen and Wine Bar, the upscale but unpretentious restaurant on nearby Commercial Avenue. It might seem curious that the chef who served entrees such as Olive Oil Poached Swordfish and Roasted Saddle of Elysian Lamb is making pizzas and paninis.
Porco clearly is tired of talking about the other Mio, which he sold last year. The day-to-day operations simply were too demanding, despite customer raves and plaudits such as being named 2010 Chef of the Year in Pittsburgh Magazine.
"The restaurant was much too stressful," says Porco, who spent several years at the prestigious Veritas restaurant in Manhattan. "You've got to be executive chef. You've got to be the front-of-the-house manager. You've got to be an accountant. You've got to be all that when you run a restaurant of that size."
Mio Pizza represents a return to Porco's roots, in a sense.
"My first kitchen jobs in my teens were all shops, so I have a soft spot in my heart for pizza shops," he says.
It's a simple affair, sandwiched between Sherwin Williams and Med Express in the Freeport Shops near the Highland Park Bridge. Apart from some arty black-and-white photos, there's little decor beyond a red, white and black color scheme. There's no woodburning oven, no prep crew. The business is strictly takeout, although there are three tables that seat a total of six if you want to come in, order and eat. Delivery is available for limited area.
Porco and his staff make their own dough, including a wheat dough, which is $1 and $2 extra for a small and large specialty pizza, respectively. The traditional calzone ($8 for 8-inch, $15 for 16-inch) is made with ricotta, provolone and mozzarella cheeses and packed with fresh basil that this customer, at first, mistook for spinach. The calzone was filling and flavorful, with the basil providing a flavor that begged for a glass of Cabernet.
The specialty pizzas are $8 for a small and $15 for a large. The Mio Blanco proved a good choice. It's made with tomatoes, olive oil, ricotta cheese, mozzarella, provolone, parmesan and fresh basil. It has a chewy crust and a potent garlic kick.
The garlic-infused bread sticks ($6 for five) come with red marinara sauce. Porco says they make their sauce by slow-cooking San Marzano tomatoes, an heirloom variety of plum tomato. Mio Pizza features daily specials Mondays through Fridays.
"We're not trying to change the mold," Porco says. "I'm just trying to give people a really great product at a really affordable price."Additional Information:
Location: 50 Freeport Road, Aspinwall
Hours: 11 am. to 10 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Fridays; 4 to 11 p.m. Saturdays; 1 to 9 p.m. Sundays
Details: 412-252-2393 or www.mio-pgh.com
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Couple taken into custody after 8-hour standoff in Hempfield
- Eagle egg breaks, parents abandon nest
- Rogue Catholics in Society of St. Pius X to reopen West End church
- Cal U women win Division II national title with 86-69 win
- Pirates notebook: Locke makes bid for final rotation spot, Tabata cut
- Players respect coach, refuse to blame Johnston
- Post-it notes: Innovator will share secrets of social media
- Monessen man facing trial for resisting arrest
- Strike planned at ACMH Hospital in East Franklin on Tuesday
- Penguins coach Johnston’s mother dies
- Norwin High School health teacher charged with selling heroin