Zach and Amber Faulisi are ready to bring their Neopolitan-style pizzeria to downtown Cary.
Zach Faulisi, the former chef de cuisine of The Durham restaurant, said they plan to open Pizzeria Faulisi Thursday, March 2, at 5 p.m. The restaurant is on the first floor of a building that’s been under construction at 215 E. Chatham St., next to Mid-Town Square.
“We’re opening the doors,” Zach Faulisi said Thursday from the restaurant, where he spends the bulk of his time in anticipation of the opening.
The menu will feature 13-inch classic Neopolitan pizzas with thin crusts. For now, Faulisi said, they will start with classic toppings, like a margherita (tomato, basil and buffalo mozzarella), funghi (cremini and shiitake mushrooms) and white (mozzarella, ricotta, parmesan, pecorino cheeses).
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But they also will have some specialty pizzas that gradually will be added to the menu. One, for example, is spicy and tart, with cherry bomb chili peppers and ports of cherries.
“Off the start, we’re trying to stay classic and keep it simple,” he said.
The pizza is cooked in a 6,500-pound Stefano Ferrara oven imported from Naples, Italy. The pizza is cooked at 800 degrees, which means it comes out of the oven in 60 to 90 seconds, Faulisi said.
“It’s a beast,” he said.
The overall concept for the restaurant is “light,” Faulisi said.
“Everything is airy,” he said. “The atmosphere is light and bright and comfortable.”
There are warm tones of wood and high ceilings. That concept carries over to the food, too.
“You you can eat a whole pizza yourself and not feel so full when you leave,” he said.
Both Zach and his wife have extensive backgrounds in fine dining and opening restaurants. They have worked for chefs like Mario Batali and Andrew Carmellini.
Zach worked as a chef de cuisine at Joe’s Pub at The Public Theater in New York City and as a sous chef at the W Hotel in South Beach, Fla. Amber Faulisi has been a sous chef at Locanda Verde and The Dutch in New York City, as well as at Vivace, an Italian restaurant in Raleigh.
This is their first restaurant they’ve opened that they’ve owned themselves. After traveling the country for work and having their son, they were ready to settle down, Zach Faulisi said. They wanted somewhere family friendly – and somewhere where they could make a name for themselves. Opening in downtown Cary, which has seen a resurgence in new businesses opening, was the right spot, he said.
They already have formed a relationship with nearby Bond Brothers Beer Co., who plans to have the pizzeria’s menus on hand. There also will be an app where people can order pizza online, pick it up and bring back to the Cary brewery.
They have dedicated one wall of their restaurant to their “pizza mentors,” the places and chefs who influenced their restaurant and style of pizza.
“They’re extremely gracious,” Faulisi said. “It’s a small small world. Everyone is doing their thing, but they’re open to sharing. Even though we’re everywhere.”
The 42-seat restaurant will be open 5 to 10 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. It will be closed Monday and Tuesday. Hours may expand in the future.
Reservations aren’t accepted except for a family table that seats up to 14 people.