By Shannon Edinger
A popular Wesley Chapel pizza place recently branched out with a similar location in Lutz.
Fresco Pizza, located at 18853 SR 54 in Lutz, is an extension of Wesley Chapel’s Pizza Mania, located at 1734 Bruce B. Downs Blvd., is family-owned and has been open for eight years.
Due to the restaurant’s success, owner Anthony Parascandola and his uncle/co-owner, Lenny Schiano, opened Fresco Pizza to serve two pizza-hungry areas of Pasco County.
The family moved from Naples, Italy to New Jersey, then to Florida eight years ago. Parascandola’s father, Ray, has been in the business for 45 years now, and some of the recipes date back 56 years.
Fresco Pizza and Pizza Mania share the same menu. The pizzas are hand-tossed with fresh ingredients including mozzarella, ricotta, pepperoni, sausage, bacon, spinach, garlic, basil, mushrooms, onions, and peppers. Gourmet pizzas such as the pizza Italiana and the meat lovers are two customer favorites. The pizza Italiana is a white pizza with spinach, tomatoes, and fresh garlic that show off the colors of the Italian flag. Its crispy crust and fresh toppings make it a top choice. The meat lovers pizza has pepperoni, sausage, bacon and extra cheese piled high atop the crispy crust, making it another customer favorite.
“We have a unique pizza at Fresco Pizza called grandma’s pizza,” Schiano says. “It’s an upside down pizza with the cheese on the bottom and fresh tomatoes and onions on top.”
Schiano says some other popular menu items are the antipasto mania salad and the chicken Napoli sandwich. The antipasto mania salad contains crispy green lettuce, auricchio cheese, salami, black and green olives, artichoke hearts and sundried tomatoes. The chicken Napoli sandwich has grilled chicken, lettuce, tomato, balsamic vinaigrette, and fresh mozzarella.
Menu items range in price from about $2.75 to $20.95. Schiano says Fresco Pizza is busiest on Friday nights. “About 90% of our customers are regulars,” Schiano says. “Creating pizzas and pleasing customers is what I love most about working here.”
Fresco Pizza does not serve alcohol or deliver orders, but does cater events. Fresco Pizza is open from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, and noon to 9 p.m. on Sundays.
Pizza Mania: (813) 907-0005. Fresco Pizza: (813) 949-7400.
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