A famous pizzeria from Abruzzo ventures into street food and invests in a new bakery

May 18 2024, 16:13
Adjacent to the Impastatori Pompetti pizzeria in Roseto degli Abruzzi, a small roadside eatery offers gourmet pizzas and fried delights: it's the handiwork of Francesco Pompetti, who is also about to open a new venue in the city

by Jolanda Ferrara

To the casual observer, it might go unnoticed behind the generic, dated sign “Asporto & Co” on a peripheral street in Campo a Mare, a hamlet of Roseto degli Abruzzi. In reality, for the past year, this 4 by 2 meter roadside locale has been serving up some truly interesting, gourmet street food and drinks. The small eatery is centered around a pizza counter (with pizzas 50 cm in diameter), cut into slices to eat on the spot or to take away (also offering regular pizzas by order). Next to it is the beverage station, where you can order all kinds of mixed drinks.

Impastatori Pompetti’s street food

No seating, just the counter to lean on, to enjoy the gourmet pizza and other creations by Francesco Pompetti, a 30-year-old pizza chef from Roseto who is skillfully writing a new chapter in the Abruzzese art of dough with innovative doughs, leavenings, and toppings at the Impastatori Pompetti pizzeria. There’s the fried mini pizza "Consistenze di Margherita," which marked his breakthrough at the age of 22, with spontaneously fermented dough, tomato, burrata, tomato powder, and basil powder. There are also his more recent recipes: the bombolone alla carbonara (carbonara doughnut), the “cubo” (a pasta fritter) with pecorara sauce, croissants, and savory maritozzi with octopus, braised mutton, provola cheese, and pancetta in chutney sauce. Not just leavened products, as the place also serves the kings of Abruzzese street food, hand-cut mutton skewers, and liver skewers, served in a special thermal takeaway box. Alongside the street food, there's an interesting selection of beverages.

From the classic, with craft beer on tap and a selection of bottled beers, to wines by the glass. A separate mention for the cocktails, crafted by Samuele Pompetti: from the classics, particularly well-made Gin and Tonics, to seasonal and original drinks.

The old sign and continuity with the past

The Abruzzese pizza chef now agrees it's time to update the name of the street food sign (finally!) next to the family pizzeria, but with a separate entrance. Too busy growing and working hard, the sign "Asporto & Co" has remained stuck in the '80s. "The sign is a bit old-fashioned indeed," acknowledges Pompetti, "like the place itself. I need to convince the boss (his father Luigi, ed.) to change it," he adds. "We have always done simple counter eating here; there used to be a bar with takeout, and you could find pizza by the slice on the counter and two small tables in the room, which we later removed." He reflects: "In the era of our Tropical 2, it was fashionable in signs to say ' & company' to mean 'also other things,' in this case meaning food and drink, but without table service. We only made pizza and fried food, all classic stuff; now we have renewed ourselves." Street food avant la lettre, so to speak. And it doesn't stop here.

The new bakery on the seafront

By early July, a new venue is set to open, a bakery on the seafront area, also in Roseto degli Abruzzi. "It will be called Sforna and will be open from 6 in the morning until 10 at night," announces the chef.

Every day the counter will feature 5 types of bread baked at different times, pizza by the slice, and a counter with sweet and savory leavened products, puff pastries, brioche to fill on the spot, the aforementioned savory maritozzi, and classic maritozzi with gelato "from an external but local producer," assures Pompetti. In this new entrepreneurial adventure, he will be joined by Emanuele Barcaroli, a son of the trade (his father is the Teramo master pastry chef Sandro Ferretti).

Who is Francesco Pompetti?

Francesco is the spirited soul of the Pompetti family (but not the only one, as his brother Samuele follows closely). A creative leavening expert and cook, Francesco carries the imprint of his first master, Mauro Uliassi, and embodies the new era of the Pompettis. After finishing his studies with a gourmet cooking approach to apply to/on pizza, the pizza chef revolutionized the quiet bar-pizzeria-gelateria business started 40 years ago by his grandfather Marino and continued by his father Luigi, a classically trained pizzaiolo. Soon after, Francesco started making his mark, launching the historic venue - formerly Locanda Magnacicc and then Tropical 2 - today Impastatori Pompetti, into the upper echelons of gourmet pizzerias, earning the "Tre Spicchi" rating in our Pizzerie d'Italia guide for several seasons. A leap into the future for Francesco, who has brought along his siblings Chiara, 26, responsible for the dining room, and Samuele, 28, bartender. Revolutionizing the offerings and service at the family headquarters.

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