This month, celebrated Scottsdale, AZ chef and restaurateur Gio Osso of Virtù Honest Craft opens a casual yet elegant spinoff concept called Pizzeria Virtù right down the street from Virtù Honest Craft in Old Town Scottsdale. The focus of Pizzeria Virtù is Neapolitan pizza, and the menu will also feature Italian small plates and a selection of salads, as well as Italian cocktails and wine. The pizzas will be authentically Neapolitan, as Osso is a certified Pizzaiolo by the Accademia della Pizza Napoletana – a denomination of control (DOC) established by the Italian government – a legal entity able to give special designation to individuals who meet strict requirements that respect the tradition of the art of Neapolitan pizza making. At Pizzeria Virtù, Osso channels his Italian heritage and frequent travels to the region to offer diners a true taste of Naples in the Southwest.
Osso’s newest restaurant concept inhabits a space that was formerly occupied for the last 18 years by a local pizzeria, which coincidentally was the first restaurant he worked at when he moved to the area 17 years ago. When the opportunity presented itself—complete with a well-seasoned Valoriani pizza oven—Osso jumped at the chance to revive the space with a pizzeria of his own design, and Pizzeria Virtù was born.
“The opening of Pizzeria Virtù really brings me full circle in my career,” Osso says. “The Scottsdale dining community has been incredibly supportive of my culinary endeavors over the years, so I’m thrilled to offer a new restaurant experience in the Old Town neighborhood to longtime patrons of mine as well as to newcomers.”
All photos by Debby Wolvos
The Neapolitan pizza offerings at Pizzeria Virtù highlight both traditional preparations as well as seasonal and local influences, pulling from Osso’s training as well as established relationships with farmers and purveyors in both Arizona and California. Guests can select from over a dozen pizza options including:
• Salsiccia Bianca |cacciocavallo, sausage, broccoli rabe pesto
• Milano | stracchino, pancetta, onion, chestnut honey drizzle
• Calabrese | n’duja, cacciocavallo, Calabrian chiles
Pizzas are complemented by small plates and salads like Polpette (meatballs, pomodoro, and parmigiano) and Orto Insalate, made with wood fired vegetables, fregola sarda, and pine nuts.
The Italian beverage program at Pizzeria Virtù, curated by Virtù Honest Craft’s accomplished bar managers Fernando Bambaren and Jeremy Key, spotlights traditional Italian cocktails like the Negroni and the Americano, which are complemented by non-traditional cocktail innovations. The tight wine list leans heavily on Italian wines, offered both by the glass and the bottle. Examples from Pizzeria Virtù’s cocktail menu include:
· Amaro Viale | bourbon, sweet vermouth, cappelletti, amaro blend
· Miele Liscio | tequila, grappa, honey syrup, lemon, amaretto
· Metropolitano | sweet vermouth, cioco, ciociaro, rye, triple sec
The design and atmosphere at Pizzeria Virtù draws its inspiration from sister restaurant Virtù Honest Craft in a number of ways, including the custom-made copper bar top. An elegant color palette of black and white encapsulates the space, which includes indoor seating and an expansive, inviting patio.
For more information and to make reservations, please visit www.pizzeriavirtu.com.