I Tre Mori in Fishers creates the Indianapolis area’s best pizza


The journey from raw dough to perfect crust takes maybe a minute — roughly two revolutions on a spinning stone slab surrounded by flaming wood in the custom-built Italian oven at I Tre Mori in Fishers.

The heat inside can reach 1,200 degrees, create an inviting aroma when the restaurant door is opened.

“When the temperature is really high, it shocks the pizza,” said co-owner Sam Chamsine, who worked with Flames in his native Bolzano, Italy, in 1990 before joining Fishers in 2013. “It makes (the crust) crispy, soft on the outside and soft on the inside. You need an oven like this to deliver this quality.”

The mammoth oven is made entirely of stone, which retains the heat required to bake up to a dozen pizzas in a minute or two. Chamsine and his partners Isadore Gurnell and Martin Ledwaba built it by hand in two weeks with video assistance from the Italian manufacturer, which does not operate in the US

A tool like this needs to be revered and respected. Only three employees are allowed to operate the flames. And with that, I Tre Mori brings out the best pizzas in the Indianapolis area I’ve ever eaten.

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The pizza

In my research, if you can call filling my face research, I’ve found that Indianapolis lacks any sort of pizza identity. You can get deep dish, Detroit style, or cracker crust pizzas. There seems to be good and not so good examples of both here.

But I Tre Mori is unique in its goal: the original Neapolitan pizza. I went with authenticity.

“The oven, the dough, the ingredients — this is the same pizza I would serve in my shop in Italy,” Chamsine said.

Chamsine’s “shock” method produces a thin crust with a texture that’s most importantly, keeps its shape, Prevents cheese or toppings from slipping off. The center of the pizza is better enjoyed without the risk of the toppings falling into your lap. The short cook time captures some smoky flavor but I don’t bite the charcoal.

The restaurant offers a wide variety of tasty toppings, from locally sourced produce to imported bresaola — basically a beef version of prosciutto that’s a bit reminiscent of pastrami. I first tried bresaola on I Tre Mori’s meat lover’s pizza just before I wrote this and I’m pretty sure the amount I plan to consume in the future will send me to an early grave.

A variety of cold ingredients, from herbs to meat to sun-dried tomatoes, are added after baking.

“It’s the authentic way in Italy,” said Chamsine.

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This hot-cold dynamic amplifies the struggle your mouth is already making with the crunchy and soft, the sweet and salty. It may take some getting used to, but I’m enjoying it.

Chamsine emphasized that the dough is stretched fresh and by hand “without machines”. Nothing has ever frozen. Almost a dozen cheeses are available as toppings.

And while I have the goods, I Tre Mori lacks pretentiousness.

You can order a pepperoni pizza. You can make substitutions. It’s tucked away in a small, unassuming strip center on 106th Street next to a hotel just off Interstate 69. There’s a working drive-through window, or you can order online. That’s Hoosier-friendly accessibility.

The pizza maker

Chamsine owned several restaurants in Italy and Germany before moving to Indiana. He met his wife, a native of Hoosier, in Germany and followed her to the United States

In 2013 he opened Passione at 116th Street and Brooks School Road in Fishers. He sold the restaurant in 2019 and began working on I Tre Mori during the pandemic.

The name of his newest restaurant doesn’t translate well, Chamsine said, but it basically alludes to the three owners, originating from the southern Mediterranean region.

Yelp recently named I Tre Mori the best pizza in the state and #45 in the country based on a variety of factors, including review volume and overall user ratings.

Aware of the recent accolade, Chamsine expressed measured confidence in all of his food, not just his pizza. Its menu includes pasta, flavored breads, and some Italian staples.

His meatball appetizer is also the best I’ve eaten. The eggplant parmigiana and lasagna, which I haven’t had, are the best in town if you ask Chamsine.

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Other contenders

King Dough in the Holy Cross neighborhood of Indianapolis has also been mentioned as a real contender for the city’s best pizza crown. The restaurant did not respond to a request for comment. The King Dough Pizza has a soft crust that can get a little thin, but has a great mix of signature options, especially for vegetarians. However, I’m a barbarian and prefer the meat-heavy Gabba Ghoul.

Passione also makes great pizzas, which are obviously very similar to I Tre Mori’s, given Chamsine’s touch at both restaurants.

What do you think?

Finally, these are the opinions of a new transplant from Indianapolis. I’ve only eaten at a fraction of the pizza places on offer inside and outside the circle.

IndyStar hopes to collect a wide range of local food recommendations to match my own. And not just pizza. In the coming weeks, I hope to discover sandwiches, soups, and other main dishes. If you have a recommendation, my email address is below.

Rory Appleton is a pop culture reporter and columnist at IndyStar. Contact him at 317-552-9044 and [email protected] or follow him on Twitter at @RoryDoesPhonics.

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