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di Mio
Pizza with panache
BY ATTICUS FISHER

  PREVIOUS COLUMNS

Leonard Adelson sold his Brookline pizzeria, Vici, last September, but by then his son had already been bitten by the restaurant-biz bug. After returning from Denver to help his father, " I fell in love with the business, " Dan says. The torch was officially passed on the evening of January 22, when Dan quietly opened di Mio near Porter Square to a handful of friends, family, " and six walk-in customers. "

Donít expect a cheap, greasy cheese wedge here: di Mio upholds the Vici tradition with Neapolitan-style gourmet pizza, panini recipes from the elder Adelson, and creations of Danís own making. The specialty pizzas push On the Cheapís envelope ($15.95Ė$23.95), but offer much for the price. A good place to start is the 14-inch Basic Red ($9.95), with chunky tomato sauce, mozzarella, and basil. We added build-to-order options ($1.75 each), including julienne leeks and wild mushrooms; the marinated shiitake, portabello, and oyster mushrooms were fresh, the sauce had just enough garlic undertone, and the thin crust was perfectly crispy. Jalapeño and bell peppers, onions, pineapple, grilled chicken, and chipotle fill the 18-inch pollo diablo ($17.95) with as much color as zing, although there was some debate about whether the sweetness of the pineapple and chipotle sauce competed too fiercely for mouth time. The insalata verdure ($5.75) was big enough to feed a party of four, with fresh field greens, caramelized onions, fennel, peppers, and cherry tomatoes to spare.

Di Mio makes the most of its typically narrow Cambridge space with table seating for 20, and copper accents in the ceiling and counter area lend warmth to the interiorís otherwise subdued umber tones. A liquor license is pending and online ordering is available at www.dimiopizza.com. If Danís able to maintain the high standards heís set for himself, di Mio wonít go quietly into the night, and might even make some noise.

Di Mio, located at 1782 Mass Ave, in Cambridge, is open daily from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Call (617) 492-1111.

Issue Date: March 20 - 27, 2003
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