Old School Pizzeria (Multiple Locations)
Giovanni Mauro earned acclaim and loyal customers at Monzu, which offers a fresh, modern take on Italian cuisine and pizzas made with a dough fermented for five days; crafted with a 300-year-old Neapolitan sourdough starter and local apricots.
The same dough is used for the chef's more casual concept, Old School Pizzeria, which has multiple locations in different corners of the valley. As the name suggests, the menu is more in line with traditional American expectations with large round pies (in a choice of three sizes) and a lineup of customizable toppings. Mauro stays true to his Sicilian heritage, however, using Italian vegetables, cheeses and meats, including house-made sausages and meatballs. Signature creations range from the familiarity of the Classic Combo (pepperoni, sausage, olives, onions, mushrooms and peppers) to fancier, contemporary fare like the Apricot (apricot jam, smoked bacon, goat cheese, pine nuts and arugula).
Old School Pizzeria does heavy takeout business and even offers "monster-sized" slices for those on the go. But stick around a while and discover a few welcome surprises like sausage-stuffed chicken wings, lentil soup and roasted chicken thighs with potatoes. The dining rooms are simple, but charming with overhead Edison light bulbs and chalkboard-style menus above the service counters.