When beloved New Haven pizzeria Frank Pepe opened its first Boston-area location in December 2015, it was known for two things: crackly, chewy pies and enormous waits.
The fervor has died down a bit, but now there’s a new reason to line up. The restaurant has introduced a fresh tomato pie, which debuted at its New Haven locations five years ago as a seasonal summertime treat. Customers loved it, and now it’s an annual tradition. This is the first time the pizza is available here.
It’s a simple, humble creation: local tomatoes, basil, and garlic marinated in olive oil for 12 hours and placed with sliced mozzarella atop that signature blistered crust. No sauce, no fancy toppings, just coal-fired crackle and tartness.
“Sometimes people want to add sausage or whatever, but it’s really good just the way it is,” says Pepe co-owner Gary Bimonte, whose grandfather launched the business in 1925. He also admits that crowds were a little bit frenzied when the shop first opened in Chestnut Hill.
“The first few months, we were a little overwhelmed,” he says. “We didn’t want to disappoint anyone, but we couldn’t handle the phone orders.”
Luckily, things have settled down a bit, and summertime is somewhat quieter. In that spirit, get the limited-edition pizza now through September in 12-, 16-, or 18-inch portions, ranging in price from $12.50 to $26.75 — and maybe even skip the lines, too. Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana, The Shops at Chestnut Hill, 199 Boylston St., Chestnut Hill, 617-964-7373, www.pepespizzeria.com .