Yes, here is the real deal, certified by the Verace Pizza Napoletana of Italy. That means the pies have a resilient edge with an occasional spot of char, their crust is wafer-thin in the center, they are twelve inches in diameter, and the groceries used to make them are first rate: Italian flour for the dough, creamy mozzarella, fruity tomato sauce. A 900-degree wood-fired oven cooks them in just a few minutes and they arrive at the table piping-hot.
Traditional pizzas arrive Italian-style: unsliced. A cutter is provided to slice your own. Knife and fork are provided, too, and you will need them. The center of most pies has crust that is too floppy to lift. About one-third of the way up each slice, the bottom becomes firm enough to hoist, fold, and eat a libretto style. By the time you get to the circumference, the last few bites are chewy like a round of freshly baked bread.
White pies, red pies, marinara pies (no cheese at all), and fancy pies with all sorts of vegetables and meats are available, as are calzones, fried ravioli, lunchtime salads and sandwiches. The “New Haven style” pizza, made with smoked provolone, garlic, and oregano, is described as “charred and well done.” This pie demonstrates just how different Wooster Street pizza is from its Neapolitan ancestors. Apizza di Napoli’s New Haven-style pie looks the part, but it is light and elegant, the crust nearly fluffy, whereas Pepe’s and its brethren in Connecticut are marked by crust with profoundly muscular chew. I am a chewy-crust guy, and my lifetime loyalty is to the soulful New Haven Old Guard, but there’s absolutely nothing wrong with this refined, true-Italian way. It’s the best pizza within 500 miles.
Ambience? Italian music is piped in to set the mood and an overhead TV shows scenes of Italian food being made. Service is casual and friendly. Customers place their order and pay at the front counter, which provides a fine view of the oven at work. When the pizza is ready, it is brought to the table.
In a part of the world where good pizza is rare, Apizza di Napoli is a beacon of excellence.