Word of Mouth: Anchorage’s take on Tuscan tastes

When Mark Harlan worked overseas in Italy, the peculiar flavors of Italian cuisine swept him off his feet. Inspiration would soon become ambition, and with the support of longtime friend, Marco Terracciano, Marco T’s Pizzeria on Fireweed Lane was born in the summer of 2016. However, Terracciano never knew he was the namesake of Harlan’s pizzeria until some time after the pizzeria was open for business. He let Harlan continue to use his name if Harlan promised to ensure the food would retain the flavors of Terracciano’s hometown of Tuscany. Harlan obliged, and Marco T’s became Anchorage’s go-to destination to indulge in authentic, Italian flavors.

However, Marco T’s Pizzeria is more than just a story.

Every dish at Marco T’s is made in-house and with love — from the sauces, to the dough, to the desserts — all of it. There are no gimmicks here, either; no fancy, over-the-top pizzas with ridiculous toppings – just good, Italian pizzas.

Their menu features various antipasti (appetizers), insalate (salads), pizze, desserts and a fantastic alcohol selection featuring wine and local beers.

Their gorgonzola-stuffed mushrooms appetizer, “Marco T’s” pizza (their signature margherita pizza), “Alaskan” pizza (reindeer sausage, onions and sweet peppers) and homemade gelato are all notable, popular menu items.

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However, being that Marco T’s brands themselves as a pizzeria, it’s no surprise their pizzas are the star of the show. With each pizza being individually sized at about 12 inches in diameter, one can comfortably enjoy their own pizza or even order multiple to share with friends.

My favorite pizza is their “Marco T’s” pizza — aptly named, as it is a pizza worthy of being their signature. Their “Marco T’s” is essentially a margherita pizza, a simple, Italian classic. The “Marco T’s” features their signature tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, basil leaves and a drizzle of olive oil.

As per Harlan’s vision, the “Marco T’s” pizza embodies why he fell in love with Italian pizza. The “Marco T’s” is a pizza that speaks for itself; the quality of each, simple ingredient to provide an unadulterated pizza experience.

Marco T’s Pizzeria’s famous “Marco T’s” pizza. Photo credit: Joey Carreon

The crust is robust, yet light. Delicious, charred bits adorn the bottom of the crust and add a nice, roasted depth of flavor; the crust is thin, but holds its shape perfectly. The mozzarella is soft, moist and offers a mild taste which complements the acidity of their tomato sauce perfectly. Made in house, the tomato sauce boasts savory, pure tomato flavor. Slicing through the crust, cheese and sauce, leaves of basil offer a freshness whose contrast marries nicely with the other ingredients. The pizza is finished with grated parmesan cheese, offering a salty bite to round out the flavors.

When the pizza is delivered to your table, it is served alongside two bottles of olive oil and a bottle of balsamic vinegar.

The olive oils are a must. I recommend their olive oil infused with garlic. Drizzling the “Marco T’s” with the garlic olive oil intensifies the flavors of the pizza, as the oil coats the inside of the mouth with the harmonized flavors of the pizza.

Like pizza found in Italy, my experience with Marco T’s pizza is exactly as the owner intended: a delicious pizza made with fresh ingredients that won’t make you feel heavy and sluggish afterwards. This is a testament to the quality of ingredients and care taken when preparing each dish.

It’s obvious that Harlan has incorporated authentic, Italian flavors in his menu. What’s even more obvious is that he has injected each dish with the inspiration that captivated him during his time in Italy.

From the food, to the menu, to the ambiance, Marco T’s Pizzeria is a manifestation of Harlan’s passion for Italian flavors. Humbly located on Fireweed Lane, I humbly give Marco T’s Pizzeria my utmost recommendation.