Mattei Family Pizza has been getting into its groove for the last couple of months now and is finally ready for a housewarming party. The Point Breeze pizzeria (1260 Point Breeze Avenue) is calling this weekend its official grand opening, with a party running Friday, April 28, to Sunday, April 30, with live music and deals on pies and wings.
Mattei is owned by musician/producer Mariano Mattei, who also co-owns Philly Sound Studios, and his father, Angelo.
“I started a food blog many years ago recreating my nonna’s recipes, and that got me started cooking for musicians at festivals, to ending up on [the Food Network’s] Cooks vs. Cons last year, to this,” the younger Mattei says. Angelo, a builder, hand-built the brick pizza oven, he adds, and the recipes are a combination of both father’s and son’s.
Angelo used to be a butcher, working out of “a little family-owned corner deli and butcher shop” named Rachel after his wife, Mariano says of his parents.
The Matteis are from Molise, Italy, and Mariano says they cook their pizza in the Molise style, with a crispy crust and a thin center. During the grand opening weekend, margherita and Americana pies will be discounted to $10. There will also be 69-cent wings. Or go for one of the more unusual pizzas, like the pie with fontina cheese, pear, and sage, or the arrosticini: lamb skewers served with house-baked bread. Rachel’s family is from Civitella Casanova in Abruzzo, where “it is said that arrosticini were invented by a sheepherder, who took a gutter and filled it with coal to cook the lamb meat on wooden skewers,” Mariano says.
On Friday night, from 7-10 p.m., musicians Jacopo de Nicola, Nicole Zell, and Clarabell will be playing at Mattei. Saturday is kid-centric, with face painting and balloon art from noon to 2 p.m., and on Saturday night, from 7-9 p.m., singer-songwriter Marion Halliday will be performing.
Take a look at the food: