LAKEVIEW — A pizzeria serving New York-style pies with unique toppings is now open in Lakeview.
Zazas Pizzeria, 3037 N. Clark St., opened Friday, offering a selection of pizzas by the slice for lunch and whole pies for dinner.
Chadd Nemec, who opened the restaurant with his younger brother, Brett Nemec, said the store is inspired by their travels to New York City and Brett Nemec’s nine years of experience working in fine dining.
In New York, the brothers grabbed a slice at every pizzeria they could and spoke to restaurant owners for advice before opening Zazas. Brett Nemec, who previously worked as head chef of restaurant Santo Cielo in suburban Naperville, also drew on his years of experience to create the pizzeria’s menu.
“These are high-quality recipes that took some time to develop,” Chadd Nemec said. “I’m really proud of my brother because this is a dream of his to develop and open his own restaurant.”
Zazas offers nine specialty pizzas, Nemec said. Among the most popular are the White Pie, topped with garlic, olive oil, whipped ricotta, mozzarella and basil on sesame seed crust; and the Bacon Jam Pie, which has red onions, Calabrian chili, cotija cheese, Szechuan garlic oil and scallions.
All pizzas are made with a brushed crust containing olive oil infused with garlic and rosemary with finishing salt on top.
“We have a lot of people raving about our crust,” Nemec said. “Instead of creating a thick-crust pizza where people generally will leave the crust on the plate, we wanted to create something where people absolutely want to eat the crust and enjoy it just as much as the rest of the pizza.”
Nemec said it was exciting to finally be opening the restaurant after months of late nights preparing for its grand opening.
“We made it happen, and it’s so cool to see a dream come true or idea you have come into fruition into something that’s really special,” Nemec said. “The place looks great, the menu is solid and everyone seems to love the food.”
Jake Wittich is a Report for America corps member covering Lakeview, Lincoln Park and LGBTQ communities across the city for Block Club Chicago.
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