With the rise in fast-casual restaurants, MidiCi Neapolitan Pizza in Desert Ridge wants to provide a more upscale experience with the same minimal time commitment. They call it “fast-fine.”
What, exactly, is MidiCi? You tell me. I’m not starting an old-timey comedy routine, that’s the translation from Italian. MidiCi wants their restaurant to be a place for people to get together, have a conversation and be social.
MidiCi started in Sherman Oaks, California in 2015 and their first Arizona location opened in August in the southwest corner of Desert Ridge. The first thing you notice upon entering are the two giant wood-fired ovens in the rear center of the restaurant. The combination of art and functionality is a big part of what MidiCi tries to create. Similar to most restaurants where speed is a main priority, you order first at MidiCi. You are seated after ordering and soon after, your food is delivered to you. If you would like a more relaxed process, full service is available at the bar and it gives you a bird’s-eye view into the inner-workings.
The beer and wine selections at MidiCi are sure to please discerning guests. Craft and domestic selections on tap and in cans/bottles include local favorites and nationally-known choices. The wine options have something for everyone and there are pleasant Italian surprises like vermentino and aglianico.
MidiCi has a couple standard appetizers, a selection of burratas to choose from and an array of salads. The Housemade Meatballs with Fresh Mozzarella are made with bread crumbs which added a traditional touch and texture. The mozzarella is noticeable but doesn’t overpower the meatballs or the sauce. The House Meat and Cheese Plate is similar to the wine selection in that you are able to enjoy cheeses normally reserved for high-end Italian restaurants. The black truffle cheese steals the show here. The salads are big enough to be a meal on their own and you may not want to share. The Italian Salad is pretty close to perfection. The ingredients are fresh and well-balanced and the dressing is addictive.
On to the pizzas. Phoenix is low-key, one of the best cities in America for Neapolitan wood-fired pizza. Chris Bianco, Justin Piazza and other chefs throughout metro Phoenix have put us on the map as a destination for fans of the traditional Italian pie. MidiCi uses top-notch ingredients all the way from the dough to the last topping. The slight char on the outer edges and the chewiness underneath is what you’re hoping for from a Neapolitan pizza. Yes, you’re aware you aren’t at La Piazza Al Forno or Pizzeria Bianco – but you’re paying half the price and you didn’t have to wait an hour for a seat or thirty minutes for the pizza. It’s a darn good pizza. If you like a spicy pie, The Devil’s Pie with multiple spiced meats and Fresno chiles will give you the kick you desire. Another specific pie deserving of a mention is The Chicken and Pesto Pizza. The ricotta cheese is lighter than most ricottas and the chicken is tender and juicy.
To finish your meal, some of the dessert options are two different versions of a Nutella calzone as well as gelato affogato. A full coffee bar or a Ruby Port complement the dessert selections. MidiCi – The Neapolitan Pizza Company manages to walk the fine line between fast dining and fine dining with grace and aplomb.
They are open seven days a week, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and until 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
For more information and to view the full menu, visit mymidici.com.