The following is a press release:
Set to open spring 2023, the highly anticipated St. Vito Focacceria will offer sfincione pizza and other Sicilian fare out of a cozy locale at 605 Mansion Street in The Gulch neighborhood in Nashville, TN. Chef Michael Hanna utilizes simple, well-sourced ingredients and a perfected sourdough base while tapping into his Sicilian heritage to draw inspiration from the food baked and served on the streets of Sicily by the nuns of the monastery of San Vito more than 700 years ago. Much like his predecessors, Hanna began St. Vito as a traveling pop-up, selling his unique style of pizzas through social media, which led to local and national residencies. Chef Hanna’s five-year journey to create the perfect sfincione dough has come full circle with the opening of his first brick-and-mortar establishment.
Upon stepping inside St. Vito, guests will quickly find themselves immersed in the team’s love for the cuisine, culture, and community. Chef Hanna and his staff strive to showcase a cuisine that is unique and impactful to guests while building a business that defies the history of restaurants as an unhealthy work environment by putting employees first.
Guests can expect a tailored, intentional menu from St. Vito that features a variety of pizzas and other regional dishes made from local ingredients. Serving as an outlet of creativity for Chef Hanna, the rotating dishes are created by tapping into an old-school-meets-new-school approach.
The base of Hanna’s pizzas is an adaptation that lives between traditional Italian pizza doughs and Spanish ciabatta recipes – Chef Hanna’s sfincione dough is 100 percent hydrated, naturally leavened, and fermented through a long cold bulk method – a process that requires close attention to detail and continuous nurturing. Fontina cheese is incorporated into the dough before it’s baked and then topped with tomato, pecorino, seasoned breadcrumbs, oregano, and more for the Classic Vito. A Potato variation is crafted with Chef Hanna’s sfincione dough and is topped with potato cream, lemon, seasoned breadcrumbs, and roasted potatoes.
Light, bright shareable dishes inspired by those traditional of Sicily and Southern Italy will include Carciofi alla Giudia (Jewish-style fried artichokes), Wine Syrup-Cured Beets, and Pecorino and Pistachio Salad (a well-known staple from Hanna’s St. Vito pop-ups), as well as hand-rolled pasta specials and larger format proteins.
The beverage program, showcasing the vision and style of St. Vito, provides a complementary rotating selection of wine, beer, and cocktails including a Garibaldi with fresh squeezed orange juice and the simple Campari Soda.
Occupying the former home of Colt’s Chocolates, St. Vito has been thoughtfully reimagined to honor the previous architecture, while creating an atmosphere complete with plenty of charm. Handmade details such as bespoke serving dishes and platters by Blevins Ceramics and an expansive walnut bar that frames the open kitchen (crafted by Hunt & Sons out of Lebanon, TN) lends an artisanal touch to every detail of the space. Hunter green sconces, custom brass lion wallpaper, intricate wood detailing, and large antique mirrors are layered with rich tones of red and green. Intended to bring Chef Hanna’s Sicilian roots to life by creating an atmosphere of familiarity, warmth, and depth, the restaurant was designed by local architecture firm Powell, and constructed by Nashville-based commercial contractor, Eshelman Construction.