CINCINNATI -- The owners of MidiCi promise more than freshly made pies when the restaurant opens Downtown this Saturday.
"To us, it is all about the experience," said Chad W. Bray, president of the pizzeria located at 595 Race St. "Everything is authentic and designed to bring friends together."
As Bray's business partner and MidiCi CEO Matt Austin points out, the philosophy of bringing people together is baked into the restaurant's physical design. He noted one of the first things someone will notice when they walk into MidiCi is how the bar draws everyone to it.
"This is called the heart," he said.
The stool-lined bar surrounds copper, open-faced wood-fired pizza ovens imported from Italy. Customers also select fresh pizza toppings at the bar before watching their thin, soft-crust creations cook for about 90 seconds in one of the 900-degree ovens.
"You can see the fire inside at least one of the ovens no matter where you sit," Bray said.
The pizzas, from the dough to the crushed Italian tomatoes, are made with fresh, GMO-free ingredients, according to the business partners. The restaurant uses the same fresh ingredients to make its appetizers, sandwiches, salads and desserts.
"We only have one freezer in the kitchen that we use to store gelato," Bray said.
The bar area also showcases MidiCi's extensive drink selection. Alcohol offerings include more than 25 wine varietals, cocktails made with premium spirits and local craft beers on tap from Rhinegeist, MadTree, Taft's and Braxton breweries. A gourmet Italian coffee bar serves espressos, macchiatos, Americanos, lattes, cappuccinos, cafe mochas, hot chocolate and iced coffees as well.
MidiCi can seat 100-120 people between its bar, tables, couches and outdoor patio area. A live olive tree, warm lighting and silent Italian movies projected onto a wall add to the restaurant's atmosphere.
Austin said MidiCi will host regular events after its grand opening. Each Wednesday evening, the restaurant will host live entertainment from 8-11 p.m. and serve $25 cheese boards with wine pairings.
MidiCi will be open 11 a.m.-midnight Sunday-Thursday and 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays. During its grand opening, the MidiCi is offering buy-one-get-one-free for its pizzas.