Throw a Posh Pizza Party

Good friends, wine and fresh, local ingredients: This is summertime at its most delicious!

All the fixings: When the highlight of your backyard is a wood-burning pizza oven, the party comes to you! Simply stock up on wine, Italian sodas and an array of lagers; accent sleek outdoor furniture with warm-hued pillows, placemats and candles; find fresh, local pizza ingredients and toppings; and call up your friends. The bash gets even better when two of Madison’s best chefs are your pals!

Foodies having fun: Alessandro Monachello and Francesco Mangano (who’s also executive chef/co-owner) of Osteria Papavero were the pizza experts at our party. They whipped up five types of traditional Bolognese- and Sicilian-style pies with a bevy of fresh ingredients. Pizzas are an ideal treat for a fun outdoor gathering because they don’t take long to make (Roll dough, top with ingredients, cook. Repeat.) and each pizza only has to cook for ninety seconds in the outdoor oven. Stop by Fraboni’s, Gino’s or the farmers’ market to pick up ingredients to craft your own favorites.

Feels like home: East sider Tom Bergamini invited a few friends over to join our pizza party fun. He frequently throws casual pizza parties at his home during warm weather and whips up his own pies using Mangano’s dough recipe and ingredients from Fraboni’s. His sun-dappled patio has lush green plantings punctuated with natural stone ledges and accents and chic design pieces. The centerpiece of any backyard bash is inevitably the pizza oven, which holds court in the corner.

Party central: A good party space has multiple areas for guests to congregate and chat in smaller groups. Bergamini’s backyard has three sitting areas as well as a bonfire space with natural stones for seating. His enviable outdoor space took over a month to design and construct: Andy Albright of Plandesign designed the space and Nicholas Solutions did the design execution, hardscaping and landscaping. Madison Block and Stone’s natural stone used throughout the yard provides ample seating and ingenious lighting installed underneath the stone ledges is from Reinders Inc. Plants are from Klein Floral and Greenhouse.

Special thanks to Tom Bergamini and Nicholas Tomkins (




Slideshow: Posh Pizza Party

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