By Clarissa Buch
On Sunset Drive, find a slate of Neapolitan-influenced pies cooked in large wood-fired ovens, along with a sizable beer and wine list. The newest addition to the family-owned empire, which operates four restaurants and five markets across Miami-Dade and Broward Counties, is named for founder Mario Graziano’s Italian-born mother, Lucia.
“Growing up in Italy, pizza has always been in my blood,” Mario Graziano says. “When I eat it at the restaurant, it’s the same taste I remember having as a child.”
But this isn’t the family’s first foray into pizza. In 2003, they opened a pizza shop on Bird Road, which operated for five years. Now the Graziano clan is back with thin and crunchy crusts topped with the cheese, meat, and vegetables found at their markets.
A peek at the menu reveals a classic Napoli, smeared with house-made tomato sauce and finished with mozzarella, prosciutto di parma, arugula, and a drizzle of olive oil; the Taurano Cheese Us, topped with cream, mozzarella, and Taleggio; and the Dal Nonno Angelo, made with fontina, sausage, and portobellos. Pies cost $18 each.
“Although Graziano’s is known for Argentine flair, making pizza has always been in our DNA,” says Leo Graziano, Mario’s son, who is now Graziano’s co-owner and managing director. “It’s important to us to reintroduce our Italian heritage with a space that celebrates our history.”
As for wine, expect varietals from small, family-run vineyards in Italy and Argentina, along with Graziano house bottles such as Rutini, Las Perdices, and Los Haroldos. Sip brews from J. Wakefield, MIA Brewing, and Funky Buddha as well.
Lucia Pizzeria. 8755 Sunset Dr., South Miami; 305-249-1043; luciapizzeria.com. Daily 5 to 11 p.m.