New artisan pizzeria Love and Dough is opening this weekend in DUMBO, staking an authentic Neapolitan claim under the Manhattan Bridge. The restaurant replaces the record store Halycon, which decamped to Williamsburg in August after eleven years in DUMBO.

"This is the closest to the authentic product from Naples," says co-owner Arthur Hasami. He and co-owner Qerime Marke have been DUMBO residents for a while, running the Archway Cafe next door for seven years. Now, on the corner of Water and Pearl, they have gathered the ingredients needed for a genuine pizzeria: locally sourced vegetables, a fire-engine-red wood-burning pizza oven "like Roberta's," and a secret weapon from Naples, Giuseppe Manco

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Brontese on the left, margarita on the right (Eric Silver/Gothamist)

If you don't know Manco's name, you're not plugged into the drama of the International Pizza Challenge, an annual pizzaiolo competition held in Las Vegas. Manco took home the title of best Italian-style pizza in 2014 at the pizza expo, beating more than 60 competitors, some considered the best pizza chefs in the country. "This is what I do and what I love," Manco said to the Times Ledger that year. "And this is what I want to do the rest of my life."

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Love and Dough on the left, Surrpressata!!! on the right.

His love and skill were on display as we tried four pizzas off the extensive menu. His margarita ($11) was a solid base, an equal distribution of sauce and cheese, and paired well with the chile oil placed on every table in the space. But Manco thrives when he mixes unexpected tastes with Italian flair. The Brontese ($15) introduces pistachio cream instead of tomato sauce, a nutty compliment to the mortadella on top, and the Surrpressata!!! ($15, exclamation points theirs) brings in ricotta with sour cherries, a recipe Manco created when a cherry distributor approached him after the 2014 World Championships.

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In the wood-burning oven (Eric Silver/Gothamist)

There are other Italian classics on the menu like lasagna, meatballs, and calzones, and a mysterious dessert with no description other than Pizza Nutella, which we want to put in our mouths immediately. Hasami noted there would be hemp flour and gluten-free options coming, along with beer and wine soon. We won't have to wait long to try everything: Love and Dough has a soft launch for lunch starting Saturday with a formal opening on Monday.

Dumbo 57C Pearl St., Brooklyn, NY, website coming soon, Instagram

Love and Dough