The developers of R. House have announced the food hall’s 10th permanent stall will open in mid-October. The entrepreneurs behind Urban Pastoral will be expanding their ecosystem with the introduction of its second hospitality concept, Molina Pizze & Polpette, a New Haven, Connecticut–style pizza and meatball shop. Molina will feature handcrafted New Haven–style pizza, sold by the slice or the whole pie, all made with house-fermented dough and sustainable ingredients baked in an Italian-made stone hearth oven called a Pavesi, which can fire a pizza in less than three minutes.
The concept itself is inspired by European immigration to the U.S. at the turn of the century, and literary influences from Hemingway’s, A Farewell to Arms. Urban Pastoral partners, J.J. Reidy and Christian De Paco, are greatly influenced by their family’s heritage and food traditions. Reidy’s grandfather, Raz, immigrated from Naples, and DePaco, originally from Costa Rica, grew up in a rich multicultural family with influences from Europe and Latin America. Molina’s menu reflects the rustic food culture influences of Italy, with the nuances of urban grit that immigration to port cities like Baltimore and New York brought about. Molina’s menu development will be directed in collaboration with celebrated Baltimore chef, Melanie Molinaro.
Urban Pastoral’s established relationships with a network of urban and rural farmers, and the technologic nuances of its own indoor growing operation, will enable Molina to feature locally sourced and farm pastured ingredients.
Its menu will feature cicchetti (small bites) and boards, like Mama’s Meatballs, made from ground short rib and Calabrian chili; Crispy Brussels Sprouts with aged balsamic; and aperitivo inspired collaborations with R. Bar, such as olives and charcuterie plates paired with classic Milanese cocktails.
The eatery also will offer a rotating selection of pizza options including classics like the Originale, made with tomato sauce, mozzarella, and fresh herbs; Parma, a pizza adorned with parmigiana reggiano, pecorino romano, post-fire arugula, lemon juice, and prociutto di parma; and more creative pies like the Terra, a gluten-free vegan pizza, brushed with lemon basil sunflower seed pesto, topped with shallot, cherry tomatoes, squash, and crispy kale.
“I am a native New Yorker and I really struggled finding a place where I can just get a good slice in Baltimore—and I know I am not alone,” Reidy says. “R. House is conducive to culinary exploration, family, and sharing, so we felt that this concept would be perfect for the vibrant community in Remington. Pizza is comfort food, and our menu will reflect the simplicity of our childhood favorites and family recipes. True to our ethos as a company, we will work with local farmers, purveyors and hire local team members to bring our vision for a local food economy to life.”
“Don’t worry vegan and gluten-free friends, Molina has you covered. Our culinary team perfected a gluten-free dough, and will have delicious plant-based options as well,” he adds.
Guests can purchase a slice of pizza or an entire pie. Molina will also offer “Grandma Slices,” which are square pizza slices served at room temperature on a thicker crust akin to Focaccia. Like its sister space, Molina also will offer event and wedding catering.