STREETERVILLE — Where Pompei once stood, Rome will rise again. Make that, Roman-style pizza.
Tre Soldi, the newest project from Coco Pazzo owner Jack Weiss, is taking over a former Pompei Pizza at 212 E. Ohio St. The 85-seat space is just a few blocks from Weiss' second spot, Coco Pazzo Cafe at 636 N. St. Clair St., though it will be nothing like its siblings in terms of food, Weiss said.
While Coco Pazzo and the cafe specialize in Tuscan cuisine, Tre Soldi will focus on the food of Rome and the surrounding Lazio region. The trattoria is slated to open in May.
Classical Roman dishes will include pasta carbonara, all'amatriciana and cacio e pepe; ricotta gnocchi and papardelle with lamb and fava beans, said executive chef Federico Comacchio, who will oversee the kitchens at all three restaurants. There will be porchetta in the colder months, fish stew and a few other seafood dishes.
And then, the pizza. Roman pizza is thinner with a crispier crust than Neapolitan and other styles that are so popular around town.
Weiss has turned to baker Pamela Fitzpatrick, who made her name as Fox & Obel's chief breadhead, to develop the pizza dough and signature breads for Tre Soldi. Imported Italian "00" flour, the gold standard for pizza, will be a key ingredient.
The menu will feature at least five varieties of pizza at any given time, Weiss said.
For guests dining in, the pizza will be served round. But Weiss said he also will offer pizza for delivery in the large, rectangular shape that is standard in Rome's takeout pizza shops.
Weiss plans to keep the check average around $16 a person for lunch and $25 for dinner.
"In the neighborhood, there's Uno's, Due's, Gino's, but there's no real artisan pizza, and that's what we're going to present," he said.
Wine director Tamra Weiss, Jack's wife, is building that list, which will offer at least 20 wines by the glass starting at $6. They won't be exclusive to Rome, though.
"There aren't a lot of wineries in Lazio," she said.