Paesano’s was located at 1724 Duke St. for just over 12 years. Then came development, and the building in which Paesano’s was located was sold and torn down. For more than a year, inhabitants of nearby offices longed for the taste of gourmet pizza and pasta. Their wait is over. Paesano’s is back — with a new name, Quattro Formaggi, but the same menu.
“The pizzas are the best,” said Donald Martin, apparently a regular. “I’m so glad they’re back.”
Zak Driouche is the owner and chef. “Some of our old customers know we are back, but we want everyone to know,” he said. “We have just moved across the street and have a bit more space. Our menu, though, is the same.”
AND WHAT A MENU. There are appetizers, salads, soups, cold and hot sandwiches, calzone and stromboli, pasta, special dinner entrees, homemade desserts and, of course, those gourmet pizzas.
“Our pizzas are really our specialty,” Driouche said. “The secret is fresh organic herbs and the freshest vegetables. Also, we make our crust daily with the highest-quality flour. The ingredients are more expensive, but it’s worth it because our pizzas are so much better than those that are made with inferior ingredients.”
The array of toppings is extraordinary. Diners can have everything from pepperoni to turkey, black olives to eggplant, spinach to zucchini, pine nuts to capers, and anchovies to seafood. The organic herbs do make a difference in the taste of the sauce.
For those who don’t fancy pizza with tomato sauce, there is white pizza. These pizzas are made with olive oil, garlic and oregano.
Driouche learned to cook in Italy, although he is from Morocco. “I was in Italy studying to be an engineer,” he said. “I worked in restaurants to pay my tuition and really enjoyed Italian food and cooking it.”
When he came to this area, he decided to forget about engineering and open a restaurant. “That was more than 13 years ago,” he said. “I really love what I do.”
Quattro Formaggi, like Paesano’s, is a family business. Driouche’s wife, Karima, joined him 10 years ago. “I really enjoy working with the customers,” she said. “I cook sometimes but mostly work with people.”
Everyone at Quattro Formaggi does everything. “We only have eight employees, so everyone has to learn how to do everything,” Driouche said. “That’s the way we do things here.”