Dear S2pizzabar customers,
Sadly, we will be closing our business on March 17th. While we love the vibrant atmosphere of the 500 block of State St, the neighborhood is not the right fit for our business. Thank you for your support over the past four months. Although our existence was brief we thoroughly enjoyed serving you our delicious sourdough crust pizzas. We will continue with our regular schedule through the 17th, so please stop by for one last pizza and beer.
Welcome to S2pizzabar.
I still remember the first time I ate pizza baked in a wood-burning oven. I was 19 years old and studying in Florence, Italy. On the recommendation of one of my teachers, my roommate, Rino, and I visited a small Neopolitan pizzeria near the iconic Santa Croce church. The restaurant was small and unassuming. In the back of the dining room resided
a big, beautiful wood-burning oven. The "pizzaiolo", wearing a crisp white shirt and white cap, quickly alternated between stretching dough and managing pizzas cooking in the oven.
Rino and I placed our order and within 15 minutes our pizzas arrived. With one bite my entire notion of pizza changed forever. My pizza, a Margherita, was elegantly simple and wonderfully delicious. The crust featured the perfect combination of a supple crumb enveloped by a thin, crispy shell. Great care was taken to top pies with just the right amount of ingredients. The smoky char of the crust, the tang of the cheese, the sweet acidity of the tomatoes, and the fresh, herbal aroma of the basil were balanced so perfectly, we skipped the dessert menu and ordered another pizza.
It would be very convenient for me to write that my career in the pizza industry began right then and there, but the truth is, it took me another two years to decide I wanted to open a pizzeria and one that wouldn't even incorporate a wood-burning oven.
I opened Ian's Pizza on October 31, 2001. The idea was simple – New York style, thin crust pizza, eclectic toppings, all by the slice. My original architectural plans left room to install a wood-burning oven, but as our business grew, the space designated for the oven was quickly needed for other purposes.
Starting in 2005 I embarked on an exciting plan to expand Ian's to multiple locations; however, the desire to open a pizzeria with a wood-burning oven still remained. S2pizzabar could have materialized sooner, but I'm glad it did not. Over the past several years I've had an opportunity to think about and eat a lot of pizza not only here in Madison, but across the U.S. and overseas (***see below for a list of some of my favorite pizza places). These experiences were vital to shaping the S2 experience and this pizzeria would undoubtedly not be the same without them.
Despite the many wonderful experiences I've had enjoying Neopolitan pizza, S2pizzabar is not a Neopolitan pizzeria. We are inspired by the simplicity of Neopolitan pizza, but our goal is to root S2pizzabar in the culinary traditions of Wisconsin; namely, beer, cheese, and sausage. If you are seeking a true Neopolitan pizza experience in Madison, please visit our friends at Pizza Brutta, Naples 15, or Café Porta Alba.
We thank you for your support and hope you enjoy this latest chapter in my pizza journey.
***Pizzarium Rome, Italy – Possibly the best pizza I've ever eaten
Da Michele Naples, Italy – Classic Neopolitan pizza baked in a 140 year oven
Pizzaria Bianco, Phoenix, AZ – Worth the hype
Sal & Carmines New York, NY – Classic NY slice.