Pizza Party

S2pizzabar brings wood-fired pies to State Street

Editor's note: S2pizzabar is now closed. 

Although Ian Gurfield lists pizza places from Naples to Phoenix as inspiration for developing his new S2pizzabar, ultimately Wisconsin is at the root of everything in his second pizza business after his eponymous restaurants on Frances and State Streets.  

“Although we are making pies in our wood-burning oven, we’re not a Neapolitan pizza place,” Gurfield says. “Our interest wasn’t to try to root us to an experience 5,000 miles away, but rather to try to do something rooted in our traditions here.”

The main ingredients are indeed grounded in the dairy state. Naked Elm Bakery in Blue Mounds developed the crust, thin with a light sourdough flavor, and the whole wheat flour comes from Lonesome Stone Milling in Lone Rock. The mozzarella cheese hails from Grande in Brownsville. 

Customers can choose from eight kinds of twelve-inch pizzas, salads and other treats like house-made sodas. While the only meat on the menu is pork, Gurfield, master of novel ingredients, has come up with interesting iterations of the meat: minced bacon, Italian sausage, slow-cooked BBQ pork shoulder, and Sopressata, an Italian dried salami. 

Once the pizzas are loaded up, they’re sent into the wood-fired oven, which, at 750 degrees, cooks the pies in only two minutes. The setup of the restaurant brings the chefs  from backstage to center stage; only a bar with beer on tap separates the cooking process from onlooking customers. 

The old building’s exposed brick, track lighting and picnic-table booths give the restaurant an industrial look. It’s fitting for Gurfield’s vision; rather than transporting diners to Italy or encouraging you to grab-and-go, the understated environment allows the state’s charm to shine through the Wisconsin-nice servers and the locally sourced cuisine.  

558 State St.

Photo by Nicole Peaslee. 

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