Two varieties of pizza will spill forth into Somerville’s Union Square on Tuesday, June 25, as restaurateurs Tim and Bronwyn Wiechmann open their newest restaurant, T&B Pizza, at 251 Washington St., just a couple doors down from their neighborhood stronghold, Bronwyn.
T&B is a bit of a passion project for Tim Wiechmann, who developed two different doughs for the pizzas served at T&B. When the restaurant opens Tuesday, customers will be able to choose between round, Neapolitan-style pizzas with thin, crispy crusts, and Roman-style (al taglio) pizzas that are rectangular and thick, therefore well-suited to absorbing flavor and sauces from each of the four options available.
The wood-fired pizza oven used at T&B can heat to 900 degrees, what some say is the ideal temperature for firing Neapolitan-style pizzas, but Wiechmann says he prefers to keep the oven around 700 degrees for his seven Neapolitan pizzas, which also allows the al taglio pies to be cooked at a slightly lower temperature on the side of the oven away from the wood, where it’s a bit cooler.
The dough for the Neapolitan pizza goes through a multi-day fermentation process before it’s shaped into a round and cooked, while the dough for the al taglio pizzas has a shorter fermentation. It’s what Wiechmann calls “ultra-tender,” because it never sees a mixer — the gluten develops on its own over the course of three separate folds and an overnight proof. It’s pre-cooked at a lower temperature before firing in the wood-burning oven. Wiechmann says the finished crust reminds him of a baguette, crispy on the outside and buttery on the inside.
“It works well for toppings that are done outside the oven,” he says, including burrata, crudo, scallop ceviche, and lobster with brown butter sauce that absorbs into the crust.
“I tried to keep to the basics,” Wiechmann says, even in spite of two doughs and varied requisite cooking temperatures. The menu fills the New England niches of seafood and cheese, with a focus on local and seasonal ingredients, like chamomile blossoms and baby bib lettuce. New England cheeses get a big part of the spotlight at T&B Pizza.
For each pie, Wiechmann says there’s an origin out there somewhere: The Neapolitan pineapple pizza is his take on a Hawaiian, but with rum-soaked pineapples and Harbison, a bloomy rind cheese from Jasper Hill Farm. There’s also a classic Margherita and a white pizza with roasted peaches and ricotta, topped with scallop ceviche.
T&B has a classic cocktail list developed by Jason Kilgore (Backbar, Catalyst, Uni). A couple pairings to try: The team expects that a margarita would go well with the scallop pizza, while a Negroni would match well with the al taglio lobster and brown butter pizza.
See below for T&B’s opening menu, available starting Tuesday, June 25. The restaurant will operate Tuesday through Saturday from 5:30 to 10 p.m.