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The Pasta Pros Behind Villeray’s Moccione Open a Neighbourhood Pizza Joint

Moccione is scooting over to St-Denis, making way for the pizzeria at its original location

margherita pizza on white counter Moccione Pizza/Facebook

Villeray’s premier pasta destination Moccione reopens its doors after a short autumnal hiatus today — except the location has morphed into a neighbourhood pizza joint.

Going by the name “Moccione Pizza,” the Villeray Street spot starts slinging pies for takeout and delivery today, November 3, with nine topping options ranging from the “Fungio Finochio,” featuring mozzarella, fennel, mushroom, and basil, to the “Mela Smokey,” with eggplant, smoked mozzarella, bread crumbs, and pecorino. Moccione regulars will recognize some of the appetizers and desserts that round out the menu, including its asiago arancini, juicy, tomato sauce-slathered meatballs, and ricotta and pistachio cannolis.

Fear not: Moccione proper isn’t leaving us. Having stationed their new pizza project in the space that’s until now housed their small, homey Italian restaurant, owners Luca Cianciulli and Maxime Landry are moving the original operation to St-Denis. They’re planning for an early 2022 reopening.

Cianciulli and Landry, both ex-staffers from Normand Laprise’s acclaimed Toqué!, opened Moccione back in December 2018. A table in the restaurant’s 24-seat dining room quickly became one of the most sought-after for Italian cuisine in the city.

Though well-known for dishing gorgeous plates of classic pastas and other seasonal Italian fare, Cianciulli also studied pizza-making early on in his career during a stage in Naples at 18 years old. A social media post announcing this latest project's debut confirms that opening a pizzeria is “a childhood dream come true.”

Moccione Pizza is open Wednesday to Sunday, from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., at 380 Rue Villeray. Moccione will reopen at 7495 St-Denis early next year.