Carroll Gardens’ most famous, and well beloved, restaurant, Lucali, is closed until March 1, according to a sign on the Henry Street pizzeria. Owner Mark Iacono tells South Brooklyn Post that he’s down in Miami and is opening his new South Beach pizzeria shortly.
Last week, Iacono said the South Beach pizzeria would “maybe” open within days – about “99 percent maybe,” says his wife, Valerie Cabezas.
The Miami pizzeria – at 930 Bay Road — has been in the works for months. Early photos show that it looks a lot like the Carroll Gardens Lucali, on Henry Street between Carroll and 1st Place, except that it’s bigger, and has a wine bar next door that’s connected with a secret door between the two. It’s the second location for Lucali, and locals are hoping the new restaurant doesn’t take the pizza chef away from his beloved Carroll Gardens eatery too much.
Iacono, a former marble mason, designed the Miami location to mirror his beautiful little slice of heaven in Brooklyn — for which he designed everything, including the flaming-hot pizza oven. In design, as with each pizza and calzone, Iacono pays meticulous attention to detail. So it’s been a lot of work to get the Miami location open.
“I’ll be relieved when we start serving pies,” Iacono says.
Iacono has become a food world celebrity of sorts for his transcendent Carroll Gardens pizzas – with three types of imported cheese and crust that is just perfect enough to be ranked the No. 2 best pizza in America by celebrated food writer Alan Richman. Lucali serves pizza and calzone, and that alone, in a romantic, candle-lit room that makes you feel like you stepped into a classic old film. Fans including Jay Z and Beyonce flock from far and wide to endulge.
Iacono says he held a taste-test for his Miami pizza and it was “pretty good” (Iacono is always understated about his pizza and calzone – which leaves reviewers nearly in tears, but for which he always says, “Are they really good?”)
Folks were wondering about the differences in taste between Miami and Brooklyn due to the different water supplies, Cabezas says. It’s a long-held saying in New York that the pizza here is so good because of our water – Iacono has even mentioned that brass plumbing may have played a roll.
No matter, the South Beach water is doing the trick, he says.
“I might even like them better,” Iacono says of his Miami pizza. The crust is a little different, but in a good way, he says.
No doubt, Miami is in for a treat.