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Converted from paper version of the Broad Ripple Gazette (v07n16)
Pizza Scene - Napolese - by Mark Rumreich
posted: Aug. 06, 2010

Pizza Scene header

Napolese is the latest addition to the Broad Ripple pizza scene, just having opened in April. It's also the latest addition to Martha Hoover's Patachou restaurant empire. The restaurant produces California style pizzas - an Italian thin crust with designer toppings.

Pizza Scene - Napolese - by Mark Rumreich
Quan


Napolese has received a lot of positive press, so I was eager to put it to the test. Inside, the restaurant has a cozy, family friendly atmosphere. There are also tables along 49th street if you prefer dining al fresco. We opted to dine indoors because of the heat. The flaming pizza oven is in full view and you can watch pizzas being baked before your eyes.
Our server was very attentive, immediately delivering a carafe of chilled water and bowl of mixed olives - nice touch. Service continued to be excellent throughout our meal.
The single sheet menu focuses on pizza and drinks. There are a few salads, sandwiches and desserts as well. The beer and wine lists are small, but chosen to suit discerning patrons.
The pizza menu has "artisanal" and "freestyle" pizzas. The former are house combinations, the latter, design your own. All pizzas are 14 inches. At $2 to $5 a pop for freestyle toppings, it's smart to choose an artisanal pizza, or you'll quickly find yourself over budget if you want multiple toppings.
The menu offers thirteen artisanal choices. Two of these come with either a broken yolk whole egg or quail eggs on top. Sorry, not on my pizza. We ordered the Hamaker's Corner (after the beloved but defunct pharmacy at 49th and Penn), the BLT, and the PFG.
The Hamaker's Corner has pepperoni, Italian Sausage, Provolone and mushrooms. The BLT features bacon, carmelized leeks and Tallegio cheese. The PFG, recommended by our server, stands for Pancetta, roasted Fingerling potatoes, and Gorgonzola. It uses olive oil and garlic instead of tomato sauce.
The pizzas arrived on large plates, cut into wedges. The hand-formed crusts were baked to perfection with a slight char to the bottom. The Hamaker's Corner had thick-sliced pepperoni, big wads of real Italian sausage, and fresh whole mushrooms. The sauce was sweet and garlicky. This pizza scored a perfect ten in my book, the crust, sausage and sauce being exceptional.


rumreich@broadripplegazette.com
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