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Restaurateurs with fine-dining chops focus on inventive flavors, quality ingredients, and welcoming vibes at their Main Street pizzeria.


At Pazzo Pizza, where you can build your own pasta dish and watch your pizza bake in the hearth-like Italian oven while sipping a glass of wine or craft beer at the bar, everything is served with a big complimentary side of fun.

“We are, first and foremost, a family restaurant, something that Andover lacks,” says Chef Jeff Malloy, who opened the eatery on the town’s Main Street with his brother, David Malloy, in 2019. “We have a casual atmosphere, rather like an Italian sports bar, and a good product and price point.”

Pazzo means crazy in Italian, something Malloy took to heart when he created the menu, which includes Parmigiano Pazzo (a breaded chicken cutlet sandwiched between two mini margherita pizzas instead of a bun), Mussels Pomodoro (creamy pomodoro sauce, fennel, garlic), and the 13-inch Neapolitan-style pizzas Spicy Soppresata (plum tomato sauce, oregano, spicy soppressata, mozzarella, ricotta, local honey) and Potato (extra virgin olive oil, shaved potatoes, roasted garlic, pancetta, fontina, basil, black pepper, mozzarella).

“We’re different from the classic Italian family restaurant,” he says, adding that he’s always liked unusual pairings of flavors. “Our tables are wood, the plates are porcelain and the napkins are linen.”

Malloy, who has owned several successful restaurants, including Boston’s top-rated fine-dining trattoria Carmen, modeled Pazzo Pizza after a pizza restaurant/ski bar in Stowe, Vermont, a family favorite they go to when visiting David.

He envisioned a spot where bread, not budgets, were broken and where people could come together for family night, team night, friends’ night, date night, girls’ night, guys’ night, or any other celebratory group occasion.

“I was tired of paying high prices for meals,” he says. “Even before Covid, restaurant prices were going through the roof – over the last five years the price of a dinner was as much as a long weekend.”

Pazzo Pizza’s dishes are made from scratch. “We make everything but the pasta, but it’s high quality,” he says. “Making the dough is a three-day process; we use 00 flour imported from Italy – it’s milled and designed not to burn.”

Malloy, a New Jersey native and a graduate of the New Jersey Culinary School, spent the early part of his career working in Italian restaurants along the East Coast.

“As far as pizza, I don’t have any formal training,” he says. “I’ve learned everything on my own.”

Pazzo Pizza’s family-oriented theme dates to Malloy’s childhood: “It was my mother who got me interested in cooking,” he says. “She entertained a lot during my childhood, and I watched her in the kitchen.”

Malloy runs Pazzo Pizza with his longtime manager, Cristal Martinez. Like Malloy, she’s a New Jersey native and New Jersey Culinary School graduate, who, he says, “is my right hand – she holds it all together.”

The servers, many of them in college, add “nice young smiles” to the menu.

During the summers, Malloy’s twins – 20-year-olds Isabella, who attends Northeastern University, and Olivia, who is enrolled at University of Massachusetts Amherst – join him.

Their mother, Melissa Virgilio, who is a children’s reading specialist in North Andover, pitches in whenever and wherever Malloy and staff need her.

When they are all working, they make it a point to sit down, as a family, to eat dinner together, which reminds Malloy to invite you to “come to Pazzo, so you, too, can get a little pazzo.”

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