We stumbled on Rione (rió-ne) pizza after a shout out from our chef and dear friend, Justin Naylor of Old Tioga Farm (https://www.oldtiogafarm.com/about/). Justin and his wife Dillon run an amazing 18-seat restaurant on a farm in Stillwater, PA. Justin and Dillon have spent years perfecting great Italian food and recipes at their farm and first hand in Italy. It is this love and constant exploration of Italian food that Justin found Rione and shared the recommendation with us.
Valarie and I first experienced the unmistakeable taste of Rione during a foodie trip to Philly to celebrate our anniversary in October 2017. It was so amazing we took our family visiting from England and then friends and other family on subsequent trips. It is without a doubt the best pizza we have ever tasted.
In the famous movie Garfield, this infamous and lazy house cat, talks about the wonders of lasagna and says it is the most perfect food in the world. I beg to differ. Pizza is without a doubt the world’s most perfect food. Pizzahas its origins as a peasant food, but has morphed into a go to food for so many foodies. Living in northeastern PA which includes Old Forge, the self proclaimed pizza capital of the world, we were no strangers to great pizza.
We were stopped dead in our tracks, once we experienced roman style pizza prepared at Rione. They brought authentic pizza al taglio (pizza by the “cut” or slice) to Philadelphia, just off Rittenhouse square. Rione refers to the Italian term for districts or neighborhoods of Rome.
Rione was started by the husband and wife team, Francesco and Alison Crovetti. When we first met Alison, she joked I went away to Italy and came back with a Master’s degree and Italian husband. Aside from the warm hands-on greeting we received, she brought us out additional complimentary slices after we ate through our first tray of amazing pizza combinations. Aside from the amazing quality ingredients on each slice, it is the 72-96 hour time period of the dough rising that produces the incredible “airy” pizza crust. This airy crust as light as it tastes, is the perfect foundation to stack sauce, cheese and the amazing Italian combinations of prosciutto, pepperoni, sausage, potatoes, rosemary, garlic, eggplant, porcini mushrooms, ham, parmigiano reggiano, basil, and other combinations as found on their menu.
As you can see by the slices sitting in the tray’s inside the counter as soon as you walk in, this peasant food has been elevated to the most sophisticated level of culinary delight. After years of chasing the “perfect slice”, Rione has won our hearts as the best slice of best ever and one of our favorite stops in Philly.
Our perennial favorites are the Diavola (hot sopressata, tomato mozzarella), Carbonara (pancetta, egg cream, pecorino, black pepper), Trufolata (mushrooms, porcini truffle cream, mozzarella) and the Parmigiana (eggplant, tomato, parmigiano reggiano, basil).
You can see by their “Press” tab Rione PRESS on their website, they are featured in Philadelphia Magazine, Food & Wine, Zagat’s, Food Network, among other notable publications.
More important than any publication, is the “word of mouth” referral you are receiving here, just as we received from our friend Justin. Referrals never really mean anything until you experience the smells and tastes and friendly atmosphere yourself. There is always a proper soccer or futbol match on when you are enjoying their pizza. Please tell us how you enjoy your food journey to Rione!