Francesco Panella and Tao Group to Open Feroce Pizza & Bocce Bar at Moxy Chelsea
On Tuesday, September 10, international restaurateur Francesco Panella and Tao Group Hospitality will debut Feroce Pizza & Bocce Bar at Moxy Chelsea, in collaboration with the Roman institution, Roscioli. An extension of regionally-focused Italian concepts Feroce Ristorante, Bar Feroce, and Feroce Caffè, Feroce Pizza & Bocce Bar will serve a traditional Roman pizzeria menu, in an indoor-outdoor oasis on the second floor of the hotel.
The partnership marks the first time Roscioli has prepared their signature Roman tonda-style pies in the United States and is a result of a longstanding relationship between two legendary Italian families, the Panellas and the Rosciolis. Fourth-generation Roman hospitality leaders and brother duos, Francesco and Simone Panella (of Antica Pesa, founded in 1922), and Alessandro and Pierluigi Roscioli (of Roscioli, founded in 1824), have been working on the pizza program for seven months.
“For me, Roscioli perfectly defines the culinary culture I know and love from Rome,” states Francesco Panella. “The scent of their bread floods through the streets of Roma, and as a Roman, with just one whiff, I know it is Roscioli. They are an iconic staple for Roman residents and visitors.” Expanding on the relationship Panella adds, “While growing up in Trastevere and entering into my family’s fourth generation business, I’ve always had a lot in common with Alessandro and Pierluigi and I greatly admire their passion and determination for continuing their family’s legacy from generation to generation.”
The menu, which focuses primarily on the expertly prepared pizza romana tonda, a round pizza with a very thin, crispy crust made from fermented dough that has been leavened for an extended time, will also feature antipasti, crostini, and dolci. All menu items were created to highlight the value of simple ingredients, beloved and shared in traditional pizzerias in Rome.
Pizza selections include Margherita made with Casa Barone Piennolo tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella, and organic basil ($16), and A14 made with DOP San Marzano tomato sauce, prosciutto di parma aged for 24 months, arugula, cherry tomatoes, and imported burrata from Andria ($18). Snacks, such as Feroce’s homemade Cacio e Pepe Chips with pecorino romano cheese and black pepper ($8), and San Gennaro crostini with imported Italian sausage and broccoli rabe ($12), will also be available.
The beverage program, overseen by Pietro Caldarelli, offers an all-Italian wine list, a selection of Italian and American beers, and a negroni and spritz cocktail. The full food & beverage menu has been shared below.
About the decision to bring his family’s recipe to the U.S. for the first time, Pierluigi Roscioli, says, “My family’s bakery has been in Rome since 1824, and as a baker myself, it is very important for me to stay true to my Italian traditions. It’s been an honor for me to watch our business develop throughout Rome, and after many years of being asked to share our operation internationally, we are honored to share a part of our legacy and maintain Italian traditions with Francesco Panella and Feroce here in New York.”
Designed by Rockwell Group, Feroce Pizza & Bocce Bar’s décor is inspired by the Garden of Eden, with hand-painted nature and animal motifs throughout the space. The terra cotta oven, nestled in the corner of the intimate pizza kitchen, serves as an eye-catching statement piece. The pizzeria seats 18 people in the main lounge and an additional 10 guests in a section that features a custom bocce table exclusively made for Moxy.