This week’s #FridayFeed restaurant branding review is MidiCi The Neapolitan Pizza Company at Walnut Hill and 75 on the Trader Joe’s side.
We’re always looking for buzz on fast casual concepts so when YELP called out MidiCi as No. 1, we planned our trip. Of course that was a couple of weeks ago.
First impressions – MidiCi reminds me of a concept in a big Vegas casino. Lots of brass details, those old black fancy footed table bases, a couple of cool light fixtures. The large open kitchen was really fancy with pizza makers in chef coats, big expanse of beautiful white granite counters covered in flour and dough, pretty ingredients and 2 massive wood fired pizza ovens. There was a potted tree in the center of the space and a combination of booth seating, high tops and low tables. You order at the counter and then the servers deliver your food. Drinks are self serve and it was really odd to see a big Coke soda machine in the beverage area while everything else was more elegant. I’ll also note that the wait staff was wearing T-shirts.
We like to try a few food items when we review, so I ordered the House meat & cheese board ($16.95). Danny and I ordered two different pizzas. I built my own with white sauce, pepperoni, black olive and mushroom. Danny ordered The Devil’s ($12.45). It was a pricey lunch.
Meat & cheese board looked good and included some grilled bread with a balsamic drizzle. One of the salamis was super spicy so we liked that one, it also had some turkey on the board which I thought was odd – is that normal? – web menu says rosemary ham but ours was smoked turkey. My pizza really wasn’t great. White sauce is not a sauce I found out, it’s olive oil on crust with some parmesan and some baby mozzarella balls – not a sauce. Toppings were spare and the crust was just ok. I guess Danny’s pizza didn’t live up to it’s name because he still ended up putting crushed red peppers on it.
The interior design was really oddly ornate to pair with counter service and a coke machine. Let me take this opportunity to say that music is a huge part of a branded interior and the music was like a nightclub – again, I swear I thought I was in a Vegas casino. They have a playlist online. The bathrooms were notable because literally, it looked like a bathroom in a swanky night club. Glass and brass cart with selection of lotions? Soaps? Candles and succulents – crazy shiny large format tile on one wall – I should have taken photos. Here’s a photo I found online.
MidiCi’s website is moderately difficult to navigate. They have a side navigation menu that has 3-5 sub navigation options under each navigation link. This makes it more difficult for the user to find what they are looking for. Also, all their webpages are really short in length. Most pages don’t even scroll down and the pages that do only scroll once. MidiCi’s Instagram and Facebook is a little better than their website, but not much. They have beautiful food photography, but their lifestyle photos look like that of a night club.
Something to Chew On:
Overall, I was not into this restaurant. It just wasn’t cohesive. It wasn’t comfortable. It was a mix of fancy things and graphic wall decals stuck to a fancy stucco type wall finish. The logo doesn’t really match the interior. As I’m writing this, I realize I’m not doing a great job of explaining – I think you’re just going to have to drop in and see for yourself. Since we reviewed, it’s rankings have dropped to #90 as of today.
MJ gives it a D. Danny is nicer than me so he gives it a C-.
Every Friday, Studio B Dallas visits a local fast casual concept for lunch to critique the brand (and eat lunch). Three rules apply: it’s a concept we haven’t been to or it’s been in the restaurant news and it’s within 10 miles of our office. Wait, four rules – it can’t be sushi. Danny doesn’t do sushi. If you have any suggestions on where we should eat next, feel free to leave it in the comments. Look for our restaurant branding reviews each Friday! MJ & Danny