Pie to Die For
The skinny pizza at Gigi Trattoria doesn’t skimp on flavor
Photograph by Jennifer May
Since 2001, the menu at Gigi Trattoria in Rhinebeck has featured one of their signature offerings: the skinny pizza, or skizza for short. Combining a thin crust and gourmet toppings, skinny pizzas are showing up in restaurants around the country. Made of unleavened flatbread — like a thick tortilla — Gigi’s version is an homage to the classic, and aboriginal, Neapolitan pie. “The skizza is a shell that can be topped with local Hudson Valley ingredients,” says Laura Pensiero, Gigi’s chef/owner and the dish’s creator. So popular are the skizzas that Pensiero has trademarked the name.
Her inspiration for the dish was drawn from the very notion of a trattoria — not a fast-food restaurant, but a restaurant that serves food fast. “People come in and want quick food,” she says. “You can get this to a table in under five minutes. With a wood-fired pizza, that takes time.” The skizza is lighter than traditional pizza, so it can be eaten as a meal or shared with the table as a tasty appetizer.
At Gigi, skizzas are served with a variety of toppings that vary according to the season. On the menu now: the sepia, which is topped with fried calamari, scallions, and pickled jalapeños (the peppers were grown in Pensiero’s garden). For the less adventurous, you can’t go wrong with the classic Margherita: tomato sauce, mozzarella, basil, and oregano. Prices range from $9 to $15.