The Other Critics

When Pat Bruno Visited Nella Pizzeria Napoletana

Photo: Hannah Whitaker/New York Magazine

Bruno’s back after a week’s vacation, and it’s a good thing he rested up: Today, the man whose two greatest fetishes are pizza and Italian authenticity takes on the newest restaurant that epitomizes that intersection: Nella Pizzeria Napoletana. And? In short: it’s good. The bufalina and white pizzas are knockouts, as are the desserts (cannoli!). But it’s not universally good, not transport-him-back-to-Naples good, since the super-high-heat oven dries out a topping of rapini, and the spaghetti cartoccio is — per Signore Burno — too al dente.

Curiously enough, Bruno also laments that the city’s sudden flush of authenticity-aspiring Neapolitan pizzerias has resulted in a pizza landscape where “familiarity is starting to trump originality” — something a head-scratcher to us, considering that (as Bruno himself notes) the definition of a Neapolitan pizza is precisely regulated down to the very circumference of the crust. So, you know, not much room for variation. But hey, as Bruno often reminds us, we didn’t write the book on it.

All fired up: Pizzas are hot stuff at Nella Pizzeria Napoletana [Sun-Times]
Related: Chicago’s Neapolitan Pizza Invasion

When Pat Bruno Visited Nella Pizzeria Napoletana