Very few restaurants in Hawai‘i can boast having a resident pizzaiolo, a certified Italian-schooled pizza chef, but Maui’s 2020 Gold winner for Best Italian food is one of them. After years of handson dough-time, owner Michele di Bari has perfected a recipe that corrects for humidity and tropical temperatures. Using 100-percent, imported “OO” flour, he mixes and kneads the dough early in the day and lets it rest nearly eight hours. When it’s time to get cooking, the dough is rolled out and prepared to make what I consider to be the best pizza on-island.
After a spell in the 800-degree oven, a piping hot pizza lands on your table, crisp and bubbly, yet with a nice chew and just the right amount of saltiness from hand-pulled mozzarella (which Michele makes daily). From creamy gorgonzola and pears to prosciutto and rosemary to a classic Margherita with house-made marinara and sweet Genovese basil — whichever pie you choose is sure to satisfy. Andiamo a mangiare!
878 Front St., Lahaina, (808) 667-7667 | IG @salepepemaui