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When Mike Bausch of Andolini’s Pizzeria went to a pizza-making event in Italy in 2009, he got his first glimpse of the STG competition.

“It was all these guys doing one style of pizza, all using the same flour, the same oven,” Bausch said. “They were all Margherita pizzas, or a variation. I thought it was interesting how each person focused on doing one thing perfectly, yet each with his own nuance. I really fell in love with it. Since then we have been figuring out how we could get that in a restaurant. We didn’t have the space to do it in our existing restaurants. Then we found the perfect space downtown.”

stg tulsa world

Thus was born STG Pizzeria by Andolini’s in the Blue Dome District. STG stands for Specialità Tradizionale Garantita, or “Specialty and Tradition, Guaranteed.”

Bausch said most of the ingredients — including the buffalo milk mozzarella, salted burrato ricotta, Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, prosciutto di Parma, flour and San Marzano tomatoes — are imported from Italy.

The pizzas are cooked in an imported Stefano Ferrara oven, which heats to 950 degrees on extremely dry wood and cooks pizzas in 90 seconds, give or take.

“It came through San Francisco and was trucked to Tulsa,” said Bausch, who owns Andolini’s with his brother, Jim Bausch, and business partner John Davey. “It took a forklift to get it in.

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“It took two weeks to slowly cure the oven, and it’s a delicate thing. Dough temperature, outside temperature, humidity and wood level are all factors in cooking with it. Every pizza is a little different, and we have our best people cooking here.”

We went by recently for an early dinner, just beating a sudden swarm of Garth Brooks fans for a spot at one of the 10 tables or 15 counter seats overlooking the cooking area.

It didn’t take long to navigate the menu — seven traditional Neopolitan-style pizzas, two salads, a charcuterie-and-cheese plate and 24 flavors of gelato, the latter delivered from Andolini’s gelato shop in The Farm shopping center.

We shared the fior di latte caprese and burrata salads ($8 each); two pizzas, the Margherita STG ($15) and scamorza ($14); and a large, two-flavor gelato ($5.50).

The salads were simple and beautifully presented. The caprese was prepared with chunks of house-made fior di latte mozzarella (cow’s milk), sliced cherry tomatoes and fresh basil over a pool of extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

The other salad had salted burrata (a round pouch of fior di latte mozzarella stuffed with ricotta), four large, extra-thin slices of prosciutto de Parma, fresh arugula, fleur de sel (hand-harvested sea salt) and extra-virgin olive oil. It was salty, but not too much, and the ham and cheese were amazing together.

The pizzas are served whole, not sliced, “like they do in Italy,” Bausch said.

The table setting includes Italian-made forks and knives, and the knives have short, serrated blades to cut the pizzas.

stg pizza tulsa

The only difference between a Margherita pizza and Margherita STG, according to the menu, was the cheeses. The former is made with fior di latte mozzarella and the latter with imported buffalo milk mozzarella.

The scamorza pizza was topped with smoked fior di latte mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, arugula, sea salt and extra-virgin olive oil. The cheese gave the dish a definite smoky character, almost like barbecue, and the tomatoes exploded with flavor.

The only difference between a Margherita pizza and Margherita STG, according to the menu, was the cheeses. The former is made with fior di latte mozzarella and the latter with imported buffalo milk mozzarella.

I had the STG with the buffalo milk mozzarella, San Marzano tomatoes, sea salt, fresh basil and olive oil. Again, simple but delicious.

The crusts on both pizzas were irregular, puffed up in some places, thin in others; charred in spots, golden in others. The bottom crust was thin with a slight softness to the texture.

We chose two flavors — fior di latte and creme brulee with salted caramel — for our gelato, which we took home and slowly nursed through two evenings.

Beverage choices include Italian wines, Italian beers, beers locally brewed in an Italian style and Fanta soft drinks.

Customers place their orders, take a number and find a seat at the counter or at one of the distressed wood tables. One wall is all windows, including a garage door that can be opened in good weather.

Review from the Tulsa World written by Scott Cherry