Due Forni Pizza & Wine will open this winter in Austin's historic Littlefield Building at Sixth and Congress streets. The restaurant and wine bar is the brainchild of University of Texas at Austin alum Alex Taylor and Chef Carlos Buscaglia.

The pair founded Due Forni and opened the first location in Las Vegas in 2011. After experiencing early success at the flagship store, Taylor – an MBA graduate from UT's McCombs School of Business – wanted to bring the brand "home."

"Austin is becoming the most noted culinary city in the country," Taylor said. "I'm proud to be bringing this concept we created to a place we love and consider our adopted hometown."

Due Forni is an upscale restaurant concept that offers authentic Roman and Neapolitan pizzas utilizing two separate custom Napolitano ovens and imported Italian ingredients. Traditional Neapolitan pizzas are baked at 900 degrees for no more than 90 seconds, producing a light chewy crust with a crisp exterior served browned and bubbly with slightly blistered edges. The Pizza Romana style features a thin and crispy crust with a light crackly texture that is accomplished from baking at 500 degrees for three minutes. The ability to create both options is made possible because of the dual bespoke ovens, "due forni" in Italian, set to the different temperatures.

The menu also includes entrees such as scallops, rack of lamb, duck, wild salmon and pastas, as well as hot and cold appetizers, charcuterie, cheeses and desserts.

The restaurant features a wine selection spanning Italy, California and other regions from around the world.

Carlos Buscaglia will oversee the culinary operations of both locations. Prior to opening Due Forni as chef partner, he was executive chef at Fiamma inside the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

"The expansion of Due Forni to Austin is a natural one," Buscaglia said. "Similar to Las Vegas, Austin is a culinary town; one that celebrates great flavors and a warm and welcoming dining experience."

Sean Zirkle will serve as executive chef of Due Forni Austin and has been with the brand since the opening of the restaurant's first location in Las Vegas. Aside from working with Buscaglia at Fiamma, Zirkle spent six years with Chef Emeril Lagasse at MGM Grand and also served on the culinary team of Mandalay Bay.

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