Over Labor Day weekend, Jon & I took a Brown Line trip north to the Montrose stop. We were visiting a well-known Neapolitan pizzeria in Chicago, Spacca Napoli. Many claim that this is authentic Napoli and the best iteration in Chicago, so I knew I had to visit. On a Sunday night around 7:30, the restaurant was bustling, but we were promptly seated upon arrival.
Jon and I each ordered a glass of wine. We loved the small cups they came in. I have seen this glass style before, and always like the casual/classy aspect. We then split the Insalata Mista. It was a light start, along with the thinly sliced pieces of bread. They were drizzled with olive oil and served at room temperature. Everything about our meal was simple. It was not overwhelming, nor did I feel guilty having more than one piece of bread.
Our first pizza was the Buffalina: Buffalo mozzarella, olive oil, cherry tomatoes, sauce, and a touch of basil. The pizza came out piping hot and straight to our table. Olive oil atop the pizza does wear on the crust after a bit, so we knew we had to eat this pizza quickly. This is typical of Italian pizzas. The freshness of the ingredients and the combination of toppings makes it hard to savor this pizza long after it hits the table. The crust was quite phenomenal though, and its arrival as a whole pizza accompanied by a pizza cutter was a nice Italian touch.
We then ordered the Aulivera special. Jon & I were debating between one or two pizzas, but when we finished the first, we knew we wanted more. The Aulivera had sausage, onions, red & yellow peppers, a sprinkling of cheese, and sauce. This pizza was completely different from the first because it was topping-heavy, yet didn’t ruin the crust of the pizza. We were happy to have tried a plain pizza as well as a multi-topping pizza. My one gripe was that they left a bit more crust on the edges than I would have liked. Rather, I would have wanted the toppings & sauce to reach closer to the edges of the pizza.
Overall, we enjoyed our experience. It was a noisy, lively environment, much like Scuola Vecchia, and they churned out fresh, quality pizzas. I have no reason not to return.
After eating the pizza from Spacca, it got me to thinking of the pizzerias I have visited in Chicago that use a similar style:
Davanti Enoteca, and
Francesca’s Pizzeria Napoletana (now closed).
[Honorable mentions to Antico Pizza- Atlanta & Scuola Vecchia- Delray Beach]
So many came to mind, but only a few really iterate the Neapolitan style. I enjoyed our experience at Spacca, and it made me yearn for a trip to the south of Italy, a region I missed on my first trip to Europe…. One day that time will come!