Mark Murphy -Executive Chef, Regina Pizzeria: “Regina Pizzeria is one of the oldest restaurants in Boston’s North End. Originally the building was a bakery in 1888. And then in 1926, it switched over to Regina is from here. There we’ve been making Regina pizza for close to 100 years.”
Now as you can see there is pretty much always a line to get into this place because it’s small. It’s a little cramped in there.
This place just has such an old school fun vibe with the police patches and the celebrity photos and the Formica they even have a radiator.
So what is it about Regina that makes this place so special? I think it starts with the oven.
This is an absolutely classic antique original brick oven.
Mark Murphy -Executive Chef, Regina Pizzeria: “This oven’s a century old oven. You see that nice golden brown. Little bit crispiness.. And you can just tell like, you don’t even have to look underneath you. Like, you know, it’s a perfect Regina pizza.”
Legend has it that this oven maintains and retains the flavor of millions of pizzas cooked over the last 100 years.
It’s just controlled chaos in this small kitchen. They put eight pies in at one start cooking those then there’s a rotating system where they put another eight and so they’re always putting in eight taking out eight.
Dough is the foundation on which all great pizzas are built and here the foundation is super rock solid.
Somehow this crust does the impossible. It’s light and airy and then through the brick oven that results in these air pockets and the char on the outside. So it’s a filling pie but at the same time, it’s a light pie.
This sauce is a little bit sweet, little bit spicy, and they put it on the pie lightly.
The cheese is probably the most distinct ingredient here at Regina. They have their own proprietary blend of cheeses including an aged mozzarella.
They grate the cheese fresh every day great the cheese every day that keeps it fresh so when it goes in the brick oven it doesn’t burn.
Mark Murphy -Executive Chef, Regina Pizzeria: “I think it’s all in the aging process. We age it seven to 10 days. We get that perfect dough. Our sauce is sweet yet a little spicy and then our aged cheese and we get a perfect pizza.”
The most popular pizza of course is a traditional cheese and tomato pie. A classic done exceptionally well.
Look it’s the litmus test of all pies right and this one is one of the best out there the dough is light, the sauce is perfect. The mozzarella cheese is what puts it over the top.
Here’s how to spot the difference between a local and a tourist that Regina. When the pizza comes out, the tourist will look at the oil that has settled on top of the cheese and they’ll start to sop it up with a napkin. Whereas the local they’ll ask for more oil either a garlic oil or a hot pepper oil and they’ll actually put more on top.
Yeah, Boston’s a tough town. Don’t be dabbing your pizza, because the people around here sense you’re a tourist and you’re doing that and they feel insulted, they’ll just throw you in the nearby harbor. So instead of the Boston Tea Party, it’ll be like the Boston Pizza party.
This pepperoni pie could be the postcard for Boston food. It is beautiful. The pepperoni is delicious and the grease drips off it onto the pie bringing out even more flavor and it’s completely not uniform. One slice will have 19 pieces of pepperoni, one slice will have 7.
Mark Murphy -Executive Chef, Regina Pizzeria: “So we use a lay flat. Pepperoni, small discs…. it’s not as oily as other places. It gives us that nice spicy pepperoni flavor, it’s perfect for our pizza.”
Now this is the pizza for big eaters. It’s known as the Giambotta.
It’s almost impossible to pull off a pie with this much meat and vegetables. But these pizza professionals pull it off.
Mark Murphy -Executive Chef, Regina Pizzeria: “It’s a heavy pizza. It’s got everything on it. You got pepperoni, salami, sausage, peppers, onions, mushrooms…. put that down on the table, and they’re like, Wow… that’s a little bit of everything.”
Here’s a pizza you won’t find anywhere else but Regina, the St. Anthony’s pie.
This is a white pizza. So instead of the tomato sauce, they’re using a garlic cream sauce as the base. Then they throw on two different types of sausage both crumbled and links… little bit of basil and you end up with one of the finest most fragrant pizzas in America.
Different sauce, different flavor, but you get the spiciness from the peppers and onions because they’re roasted with our… spicy oil.
And on the sliced sausage you get a bit of a sweet.. fennel flavor and then on Regina crumbled sausage, you get kind of a spicy… little bite.
I love the imperfection of this pie because it shows me that it’s old world artisan craftsmanship. The charring, the air pockets, the only even crust, the toppings differently placed on every slice. It’s beautiful.
As for the menu. You’re pretty much looking at it. All they have is pizza. No appetizers, no sandwiches, no salads, just pizza, a couple of beers, a couple of wines and honestly, do you need anything else?
This is a one of a kind experience only in Boston, Regina Pizzeria.