Opening Alert: Bivio Panificio in Montclair
For almost five years, pizza aficionados in the area flocked to Bivio Pizzeria Napoletana in Little Falls. Once you had a taste of Tomasso Colao’s authentic pizza made with his own natural yeast cultured dough, you were hooked. I count myself among the faithful.
In 2011, I wrote about Bivio Pizzeria when it first opened. I visited the restaurant throughout its entirely all-too-short run. Beside the delicate, innovative pizzas, Tom was a master bread baker, and one of the joys of ordering a salad or appetizer was the incredible crusty bread that came with it. For a while, patrons brought home loaves of Tom’s rustic breads to take home.
A Sad Day for Pizza
When Bivio closed in 2015, I was devastated (as were many of the restaurant’s other loyal followers). Of course, I missed the pizza and the bread, but also the vibe. Bivio had a special warmth that I haven’t found anywhere else in the area. A restaurant’s ambiance starts with the management and Tomasso and his wife, Jackie, imbued Bivio with a genuine cordiality that made Bivio somewhere you wanted to be. From the soft lighting to the cool jazz, to the friendly yet professional service, Bivio had it all.
I’m still searching for that very special pizza but at least now I can once again get Tom’s bread.
The New Location
That’s right, Bivio groupies, Tomasso Colao’s handmade Italian bread is now available at the brand new Bivio Panificio in Montclair. Tom is firing up his wood-burning oven to turn out the breads we so loved at the original Bivio.
I visited opening day to visit Tom and, of course, to get my hands of that bread! Tom’s new location is a small storefront in a quiet residential neighborhood, and when I arrived he was hard at work turning out those gorgeous rustic loaves. In the oven was the last batch for the day—pagnotta—a traditional peasant loaf with a deep, brown crust. He had already made baskets full of bastones and pane Bivio, and the aroma in the store made my heart sing.
I went home with two loaves (because how could I not?), a bastone and the pagnotta, almost too warm to even hold. I had planned to use the bastone with dinner that evening, but the minute I got in the car, I tore the heel from the loaf and ooh’d and aah’d the whole way home. Welcome back, Tomasso, Jackie, and the “baby” (their natural yeast culture). You were sorely missed.
107 Pine Street
Wednesday through Saturday (call for specific hours)