The Story of Pummarola
The aroma of simmering pomodoro, freshly trimmed basil, and rosemary-crusted focaccia bread wafted through the streets of Naples, Italy every Sunday evening. The oak-paneled windows of Rosa Donna Rummo’s home were left open during her regular Sunday feasts – an invitation for her friends, family, and neighbors to stop by and gather for a delicious meal. She was a staple of the town – traveling through the winding, weathered Italian roads in her crimson Fiat 500. Passersby would comment that the tiny red car looked like a “Pummarola,” which in Neapolitan dialect means “Tomato.” Rosa had an idea. She wanted to share her love of cooking with more than just her family and friends. She was not one to sit still.
Rosa founded Pummarola in 1968, a few blocks from her home in Naples, Italy. For two decades, her restaurant was brimming with locals and tourists alike. The red Fiat 500 was always spotted outside the front doors of the restaurant – a welcoming sign for those who remembered the smell of the Sunday night air. After Rosa passed away, and the doors to Pummarola were locked, paintings of miniature cars and pizzas would appear on the walls outside of the restaurant.
Over 40 years after Rosa’s original Pummarola was founded in Italy, her four grandchildren decided to work together to reopen Pummarola across the world. Fond memories of their Nonna’s small, lively Pizzeria inspired the four to carry on her legacy. Rosa’s signature Fiat 500 can be spotted inside all of Pummarola’s locations as a tribute to their tough and beloved Nonna, along with her favorite cooking utensils and pasta makers. As their Nonna would always announce to her guests, along the walls of every Pummarola are the words, “Qui si mangia bene!”
From the Press
Pummarola: the best pizza I have ever had
When my friends told me there was a new pizza place called Pummarola on Miracle Mile, of course I wanted to try it right away. They said it was good, so I expected good; but what they should have said was mind-blowingly fresh and incredibly addictive.
Pummarola is a small street corner in Italy disguised as a restaurant in Miami. Everyone speaks Italian to you and to each other and greet you like you are an old friend. You can sit at the bar and watch them make your pizza every step of the way: dough, sauce, toppings, oven, done. Their 900 degree wood oven cooks the pizza in about 2 minutes flat and there you have a beautiful, steamy pizza in front of you. The hardest part about going to this restaurant is the 30 seconds of torture from when the pizza comes out of the oven (and my common sense that I should wait to eat it so I don’t burn my mouth) and when I get my first amazing bite.
My favorite pizzas, so far, are the margherita and the rustica. If you can believe it, the personal size margherita pizza is only $6.50, that’s how much I pay for some frozen pizzas! Excuse me, that’s what I used to pay for frozen pizza before discovering this place and going there 3 times a week. One time, when I was leaving, the chef said ‘a domani,’ or see you tomorrow.
If you are a pizza lover, you have to try Pummarola, it will blow you away. If you’re not in the Coral Gables area, they also have a location in Boca Raton, but one way or another, try their pizza and eat your heart out!
+ I went back for dinner last night, and they had a dessert special: cannolis with nutella! I was thinking to myself about how amazing that must taste but that I wasn’t sure I’d have room for dessert, when the owner brought me the dessert to try! I know they sound amazing, but let me know just tell you that they taste EVEN better! :)
Gables Bites: Pummarola Would Make Nonna Proud
By: Patricia Guarch Wise of Miami Nice
Have you noticed a new little restaurant on Aragon called Pummarola? If you’re a pizza fan and you’re wondering if this is the real, authentic deal, here are two little clues that I’ve gathered:
1.) A chic woman with shiny gold sneakers and four girls under the age of ten rolled up on bicycles for lunch while I was there. “Ciao! Come stai?!” she says to Pummarola’s staff as she walks in. Clearly, she’s a regular.
2.) The staff at Pummarola answer her in Italian and they merrily chat away. This is all the proof I need to believe that they know what they’re doing.
It’s just an additional perk that Pummarola is run by a family reviving a concept introduced by their grandmother in Naples, Italy more than forty years ago. Her restaurant had the same name, served the same kind of food and was a great success for more than twenty years.
Pummarola is a pizza, pasta and sandwich spot that toes the line between formal restaurant and fast/casual food spot. You order at the counter off of a menu on video screens mounted on the wall and they bring the food out to your table. But don’t be fooled into thinking that means the food is anything like “fast food.”
Top off your Neapolitan pizza with fresh ingredients like white truffle oil, eggplant, zucchini, arugula, fresh ricotta and more. Pizzas come in both a reasonable personal size, perfect for a quick work lunch, or a large sharing size.
Hopefully, this bright young restaurant on the Coral Gables scene will last just as long as the original Pummerola. We’re sure their nonna would be proud.
Pummarola 'Pizza Bar' Opening in Coral Gables Today
Short of hopping a plane to Naples -- Italy, that is, not Florida's sleepy west coast city -- it's not always easy to find authentic Neapolitan pizza. But at Coral Gables' new eatery, Pummarola, they're all about Italian tradition.
The new lunch and dinner outpost opens today at 141 Aragon Avenue, and their "pizza bar" will be serving up options like rustica pie -- rosemary potatoes, Italian pancetta, and buffalo mozzarella -- along with homemade pasta and other eats.
"Our store is more like a pizza bar where people can sit in front of the chef and order the pizza directly with him," says general manager Stefano Righi. "We have a few homemade pastas on the menu which people can order, or they can create their own homemade pasta and choose the sauce."
The family-owned outpost was started by four siblings. This is their second location -- the first is in Boca Raton. The name and the traditions come from their nonna, a talented cook who owned her own pizzeria in Naples, Italy for two decades.
It was dubbed Pummarola (Italian for tomato) thanks to nonna's tomato-red Fiat 500. In honor of gram's sweet little ride, the locations each have half a Fiat nailed to the wall. Couldn't do that with an SUV, now could we?
Their food is super quick to cook, too, says Righi, and perfect for an abbreviated lunch break. Also, their ingredients are all imported from Italy, so this is the real-deal. "Prosciutto di Parma, spicy salami, pizza flour -- everything is imported from Italy," he says.
Let me start by saying–Pummarola’s food was fabulous.
Just got back from having “lunch” at Pummarola…which is a relatively new Italian fast food joint located in the food-court at Boca Town Center.
The joint’s menu is real simple—personal-sized wood fired pizza ($5.50-$8.50), panuozzo (pizza crust bread with fillings–$8.50), calzones ($8), pasta ($7-8), handful of sides ($3), handful of desserts ($3.50). At this stage of the conversation-you can check www.pummarola.us for full menu/prices/photos.
Now nothing for nothing, over the years- Jeff Eats has literally eaten in tons of Italian fast food mall joints…and I gotta tell you, that Pummarola’s food ranks right up there with the best that I’ve ever had…I’ll even go so far and tell you folks, that Pummarola’s food is as good as most of the stuff served at the best “mom & pop” red sauce Italian joints here in South Florida and elsewhere…I’ll even go on record and tell you, that Pummarola’s food is as good if not better than the stuff served at most of South Florida/elsewhere’s “upscale” Italian joints.
Right about now, some of you guys may-be saying…”Jeff has lost his mind or something.”
Trust me on this one…the “sampled” margherita pizza, chicken milanese panuozzo, fettuccine bolognese, gnocchi alfredo, spaghetti & meatballs, eggplant parmigiana–were absolutely positively delicious. Like Jeff Eats said 14 seconds ago, this joint’s food could easily go head to head with the best Italian stuff out there.