Penticton’s newest pizzeria had its grand opening on Nov. 8.
“I discovered the cooking of southern Italy and, in particular, Campania and the Amalfi Coast,” said Royal, who also operated the pop-up Pie Face at JoieFarm Winery over the summer. “We came to Penticton and thought it would be a perfect opportunity to do something like that.”
The other owners are Frank and Dom Morra, the brothers behind Vancouver’s popular, Via Tevere Pizzeria.
Royal said he spent much of his career working at fine-dining restaurants in Vancouver and Toronto. As an Italian wine expert, he took over the wine program at the Italian restaurant Nook in Vancouver.
Pizzeria Tratto is set up so that diners can see their food being made and be a part of the process, he said. The idea is to be Italian-based cooking with a farm-to-table element.
“We want people to figure out where their food is coming from.”
Royal described his pizza as an affordable, people’s food, with elevated qualities.
“The quality of the ingredients is very high. The skill level behind preparing it is quite high. It cooks in 90 seconds once it’s in the oven —but leading up to that takes a lot of time,” he explained.
In addition to Neapolitan style pizza, the menu features appetizers, gluten-free pasta and desserts as well as beer, wine, cider, cocktails, coffee and kombucha.
Royal explained the wine list consists mainly of Italian and Southern Italian wines. Selections from the South Okanagan-Similkameen also made the cut.
“The concept behind the service of our restaurant is everything about it is casual — except the knowledge,” he added.
“We don’t take ourselves too seriously. We take what we do quite seriously. So, the information behind what we have. The information behind the wine lists. The food and where it comes from. How it’s made. We want to impart it as comfortably and casually as possible.”