In Italian, the word ‘midici’ means ‘you tell me’.
“You tell me. That’s the way we want people to do it.”
“We have signature pizzas; about a dozen of them. However, we have so many different ingredients; really good-quality ingredients.”
“Tell us what you want on it.”
“We want you to tell us how you’re gonna do it.”
And that’s exactly how they roll at Midici in Somerville.
New to Assembly Row, Midici Neapolitan Pizza Company is a big, stylish spot where pristine pies are the focus, according to owners Sean Olson and Paul Cimino.
“Neapolitan pizza is the better pizza. That’s for sure. We do it the best. We call it the best pizza. The true, original pizza. Neapolitan pizza starts with a very, very light, airy, but also crispy crust. A very thin crust so that the dough is not the thing that weighs you down.”
“Just flour, salt, yeast and water. Four things. That’s it. The sauce, two ingredients: tomatoes and salt. That’s it. It’s hand-stretched by our stretchers to a 12-ounce round, and then it’s passed on to what we call a pizzaioli, who the person’s job is to actually build the pizza depending on what you order. Sauce, toppings, et cetera. It is then passed over to the fornaio, who is the baker. That pizza goes in the oven, wood-fired, 800 to 1,000 degrees. Now, the interesting thing is the pizza cooks top and bottom at the same time because the oven is so hot and the dome is shallow. Anywhere from 90 seconds to two minutes, it’s back out, it’s ready to go. Very fresh, very quick. We slice it up and it’s right there, ready for you.”
“It’s just a beautiful golden-brown on the outside. Maybe a little bit of char on it but it’s a very light, light crust.”
“It’s got a beautiful rim around the outside. It’s soft but chewy, and the center tends to be a little bit crispy. ”
“Our pizza, you eat a whole pizza, it’s a personal 12-inch pie. At the end, you’re not going, “Oh, my God, I’ve eaten too much.”
The space here is stunning, with high ceilings and big windows overlooking a beautiful patio. There are old movies projected on the wall, a live olive tree that grows right in the dining room, and Polaroid cameras so customers can become part of the decor.
“What we do is, on the bar, we have a couple Polaroids that are welcome for our guests to come and pick it up and take pictures of themselves or whoever they’re with, to show that they’re enjoying themselves at MidiCi’s. Then we invite them to either take it home with them or please post it on our wall.”
But the real showcase of this restaurant is the dueling Acunto ovens pumping out those pies. There’s the classic margherita, a simple but satisfying slice. And for a little bit of spice, get the Double Pepperoni.
“Double the pleasure and double the happiness, I think. It’s a real spicy pepperoni. Another one’s traditional. But together, they just make a great, great pizza.”
That classic Margherita can also be enhanced with prosciutto.
“It’s not cooked in the oven, so it’s just layered on top. This prosciutto is like butter when you eat it. The flavor from that it’s just out of this world if you like prosciutto.”
From there, the options get deliciously interesting whether you go for the garlicky Shrimp Scampi pizza, the Forrest, layered with rosemary ham, mushrooms and black olives, the salty sweet Hawaiian topped with charred pineapple and ham or the Eggs n Bacon- for breakfast anytime of day.
“We don’t call it a breakfast pizza, because, of course, we sell it all day and people order it all day. It has lots of cheese, bacon, and then the signature element of that pizza is that we crack a raw egg on the pizza just before it goes into the oven. It’s really a nice element.”
Beyond pizza, Midici offers everything from beautiful salads to start with, to big plates of charcuterie, and housemade meatballs with fresh mozzarella.
“These meatballs are fantastic because they’re not super, super dense. They’re very light. In the mixture, besides our spices, is some of our ciabatta bread that’s been soaked in fresh eggs and cream, so that gives you a really light, fluffy texture.”
And it’s a good thing those meatballs are so light, because you’re going to want to save room for dessert, with options like Italian gelato and Midici’s signature Nutella Calzone baked right in those wood burning ovens.
“It’s baked in our oven so it gets nice, and hot, and gooey on the inside. Then, when it comes out, more Nutella, chocolate sauce, powdered sugar, coconut. It’s a good size for two or three. Definitely a fork and knife, ’cause as I say, it’s quite gooey and messy on the inside, which is really where the flavor and the fun comes from.
And for these two owners, the goal really IS fun.
“We think pizza’s round for a reason: so people can sit around it, and linger, and have great food and great drink. If you come in by yourself, then you’ll be our friend. We really wanna make this an inviting place day, night, weekends. Any time you drop by MidiCi, you’re gonna have a good time and you’re gonna leave happy.”