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Si Cara in Cambridge’s Central Square is an upscale casual pizza joint with Italian artisanal roots. It is the first solo venture from chef Michael Lombardi, who is a partner at the South End’s beloved Italian restaurant SRV, and is named for the translation to “yes, dear” — the response he would get from his Nonna whenever he or his cousins would ask her for pizza or other treat from her homeland.

While Lombardi grew up in New Haven, don’t go looking for that style of pie here. Instead you’ll find perfectly imperfect puffy Canotto-style pies, which are a subset of Neapolitan characterized by an extra-airy, inflated crust. The motto here is “simple things done well,” which includes naturally-leavened dough that is long-fermented. This creates a distinctive flavor and texture that is like having a hot, fresh slice of sourdough bread. The menu is rounded out with thoughtful plates of house-made garlic bread and focaccia, antipasto, Italian sandwiches, and simple salads. The drinks menu features a succinct selection of natural wines by the glass and bottle, a rotating selection of craft cocktails, and a handful of mostly local pizza-friendly brews.

The 55-seat dining room located at Cambridge’s new Market Central development features an open kitchen where you can choose a table or go for counter seating where you can either peer into the gas-fired pizza oven to watch all the action, or look out on Mass Ave., plus a 30-seat patio for warmer months. The scene is set with dark turquoise walls set off with light tile, plus lots of metal accents and reclaimed wood for a comfortable, modern vibe.

Si Cara
425 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139