Panelli’s Pizza & Parm Opens in Brookline
Coolidge Corner is becoming a carb-lover’s paradise. Joining Otto, The Upper Crust, and Pizzeria Dante is newcomer Panelli’s Pizza & Parm, which has taken over the space that used to house Ozzie’s Pizza & Cafe.
Like its predecessor, Panelli’s is a by-the-slice operation with counter service. The sleek new outfit, with its black tile backsplash, dangling Edison bulbs, and Scandinavian wood furniture, is run by David Iknaian, previously of Mark & Toni’s in Belmont and Stella Pizza in Watertown.
Panelli’s specializes in sandwiches and mammoth New York-style slices with toppings sourced from standout artisanal purveyors. Hand-pulled mozzarella comes from Fiore di Nonno in Somerville, chewy ciabatta rolls are purchased from Iggy’s, and all the bacon, pork, sausage are sourced directly from Joshua Smith at Moody’s Delicatessen in Waltham. Cured meats are purchased from Italian specialist Ezzo, but Iknaian is currently in talks with Smith to have Moody’s produce those as well.
The first-time owner credits much of his pizza training to the site pizzamaking.com, where Stoked Wood Fired Pizza’s Scott Riebling often contributes advice and insight. Those mentors and pizza making-gurus show up often on Panelli’s menu, with pizzas named after culinary stars like Chris Bianco, of the renowned Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix.
“We use a deck oven, so what I tell people is that our pizza is kind of like a New York-style pizza combined with Neapolitan and New Haven coal-fired pizza,” Iknaian says. “I took the best things from all three and pulled them all together. The mixer that we have is imported from Italy, which helps make a real delicate dough. The temperature that we use, around 680 degrees, is fairly close to what you would use when making a New Haven-style pizza. And then the size of the pizza is extremely big like a slice you would get in New York.”
In addition to the 20-inch pies, Iknaian’s menu has a section of salads with house-made dressings and vinaigrettes, sweets like fried Oreos dipped in pancake batter, and several types of fried parmesan sandwiches (chicken, meatball, and eggplant). Yes, even the meatballs—made with veal, pork, beef chuck, and Clear Flour bread crumbs—are thrown in a deep fryer before being slathered in house-made marinara.
Panelli’s Pizza & Parm is open Monday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Delivery could soon be on its way.
Panelli’s Pizza & Parm Menu
415 Harvard St., Brookline; 617-232-0512