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Naples Restaurants: Reviews & Recommendations


Jadrool
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my favourite restaurant in naples, one i keep coming back to, is Europea, across the big street and down a little bit of an alleyway or littleish street, from the naples chamber of commerce......near where they are building one of the subway stops. i'm sure you can google it. it might be l'europea.

really delicious homey food, and if you go there when squash blossoms are in season, you MUST get some. i love their pasta con le patate......good mozzarella.....i've never looked at a menu, rather gone with a group of people and simply ordered lotsa stuff. lots of really yummy stuff.

marlena

ps the bread in campania and especially naples is really excellent. it reminds me of san francisco sourdough at its best.

The Name is "L'EUROPEO di Mattozzi", owned by the Mattozzi family. It is a tourist trap in my opinion, althought the food seam excellent, the Pizzas are very poor, almost disgusting. I is a shame as they have a very old oven built over 70 years ago which at some time may have delivered very good pizza. The prices are too high too for the food level.

Pane Cafone is top class in Naples, especially when still coming out od a wood burning oven. The best breads are from Ischia (NA), Montevergine (AV), San Sebastiano (NA) and Montecalvo (AV) that with no offence to anyone, are way better that the San Francisco stuff. By the way, contrary to what people in San Francisco want to believe, the microflora of their dough is also found in Apulia (south Italy), which suggest that the original baker may have brought over a starter from Apulia....

Ciao

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never eaten pizza there. the dishes that i have eaten, however, have been very very good.

am confused about it being a "tourist trap"? i've never seen any other foreigners when i've been there, though once the owners showed me the business card from a group of american food writers........there are many plates and doodahs and tsotskis on the walls, so i guess you could call it touristy that way.........i'm scratching my head thinking about all of the dishes i've eaten over the years that I thought were prepared really beautifully there, and your assessment of the place.

but i didn't eat the pizza........

re: the breads of apulia and naples and san francisco. my observation was not based on the microflora, rather on taste assessment. it is of course interesting that the microflora of sf sourdough bears a striking resemblance to bread from Puglia....... still, as much as the bread in puglia is totally wonderful, to my taste the good bread in naples area is closer to s. f bread than pugliese. at its least they are neck in neck. it is the texture of the crust, too, as well as the succulence of the inner crumb.......this has nothing to do with what "people in san francisco want to believe", i'm not sure where you got that from as its only an observation on my part. i've not heard anyone else mention it before,nor did i allude that i had.

frankly, i think the bread in puglia and napoli are both so good, that each area is worth the trip for bread alone. san francisco too, but you have to look a little bit harder for the real good stuff in s.f.....when you do, you'll be rewarded.

ciao,

Marlena

Edited by marlena spieler (log)

Marlena the spieler

www.marlenaspieler.com

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Marlena,

I am from Naples, so I know which places get tourist attention (and prices to reflect that) and which instead are visited by local and have the best value term.

The food at l'europeo is just traditional stuff overpriced. I did say it seams excellent, but on the other hand the Pizza is disgusting and that place was born as a Pizzeria first and then a restaurant. Now it is the way around.

Anyway, my observation on breads were general, were not referring on what you may o may not have said. There are a lot of publications that state that (about the microflora being unique to San Francisco), so I just use the opportunity to state that.

Take care

Marco

never eaten pizza there.  the dishes that  i have eaten, however, have been very very good.

am confused about it being a "tourist trap"? i've never seen any other foreigners when i've been there, though once the owners showed me the business card from a group of american food writers........there are many plates and doodahs and tsotskis on the walls, so i guess you could call it touristy that way.........i'm scratching my head thinking about all of the dishes i've eaten over the years that I thought were prepared really beautifully there, and your assessment of the place.

but i didn't eat the pizza........

re: the breads of apulia and naples and san francisco. my observation was not based on the microflora, rather on taste assessment. it is of course interesting that the microflora of sf sourdough bears a striking resemblance to bread from Puglia....... still, as much as the bread in puglia is totally wonderful,  to my taste the good bread in naples area is closer to  s. f bread than pugliese. at its least they are neck in neck. it is the texture of the crust, too, as well as the succulence of the inner crumb.......this has nothing to do with what "people in san francisco want to believe", i'm not sure where you got that from as its only an observation on my part.  i've not heard anyone else mention it before,nor did i allude that i had.

frankly, i think the bread in puglia and napoli are both so good, that each area is worth the trip for bread alone. san francisco too, but you have to look a little bit harder for the real good stuff in s.f.....when you do, you'll be rewarded.

ciao,

Marlena

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  • 1 year later...

I expect to be in Naples for 4 days in December and would like to try many of the well recommended restaurants. Does a solo diner have any trouble getting a table or making reservations? In NY I often eat solo at the bar of favorite restaurants, but that is not the style in Italy.

Pastaman

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  • 6 months later...

Hi Marco and egullet-pizza-teers,

I have gone back to L'Europeo many times since this interaction wondering what i missed, but it is always so good, and never ever filled with tourists!

since i hadn't eaten the pizza when i tapped out the original posting, last time (ie a few days ago) i had a pizza tasting, a virtual buffet of pizza-ness, with cured meat and no sauce, with raw tomatoes and basil, with cooked tomatoes, with tomatoes, garlic and basil, calzoni with bitter greens and provolone, i am sure i have forgotten one or two. they were all fabulous!

maybe its time to revisit the place, Marco, really its always terrific, both cooked dishes and pizza......and i want you to enjoy it as much as i do.

i'm sure its in the guidebooks, though i haven't read a guidebook, but regardless of where its listed perhaps its not on the tourist path, because whenever i've gone its full of italians, eating lunch, eating dinner, eating pizza. and eating well indeed. desserts (pastries: a cherry and almondy custard tart, baba, that sort of thing) were luscious too.....

ciao, for now,

marlena

Marlena,

I am from Naples, so I know which places get tourist attention (and prices to reflect that) and which instead are visited by local and have the best value term.

The food at l'europeo is just traditional stuff overpriced. I did say it seams excellent, but on the other hand the Pizza is disgusting and that place was born as a Pizzeria first and then a restaurant. Now it is the way around.

Take care

Marco

Marlena the spieler

www.marlenaspieler.com

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Hi Marlena,

I am not questioning the topping of the pizza. Pizza Napoletana is the dough (or crust/skinn as some call it in US).

L'Europeo pizza (and I mean dough) was substandard under many point of view. It was small, tick, dry, crunchy...dead!

Have you had pizza at Da Michele, Salvo, Gino Sorbillo???? Can you compare the pizza you had at L'europeo, even visually, with what seen here: Salvo's Webpage (go to Galleria, and then FOTO PIZZE and DETTAGLI PIZZE).

I am sure they use quality ingredients for the pizza topping and for many of their menu items, but at those prices is the bare minimum.

Regards,

Marco

PS: If you pass by London, I would love to make you try my pizza at Franco Manca, please see Review 1 and Review 2. I am there most Saturdays but for thelast in June and the first in July.

Hi Marco and egullet-pizza-teers,

I have gone back to L'Europeo many times since this interaction wondering what i missed, but it is always so good, and never ever filled with tourists!

since i hadn't eaten the pizza when i tapped out the original posting, last time (ie a few days ago) i had a pizza tasting, a virtual buffet of pizza-ness, with cured meat and no sauce, with raw tomatoes and basil, with cooked tomatoes, with tomatoes, garlic and basil, calzoni with bitter greens and provolone, i am sure i have forgotten one or two. they were all fabulous!

maybe its time to revisit the place, Marco, really its always terrific, both cooked dishes and pizza......and i want you to enjoy it as much as i do.

i'm sure its in the guidebooks, though i haven't read a guidebook, but regardless of where its listed perhaps its not on the tourist path, because whenever i've gone its full of italians, eating lunch, eating dinner, eating pizza. and eating well indeed. desserts (pastries: a cherry and almondy custard tart, baba, that sort of thing) were luscious too.....

ciao, for now,

marlena

Marlena,

I am from Naples, so I know which places get tourist attention (and prices to reflect that) and which instead are visited by local and have the best value term.

The food at l'europeo is just traditional stuff overpriced. I did say it seams excellent, but on the other hand the Pizza is disgusting and that place was born as a Pizzeria first and then a restaurant. Now it is the way around.

Take care

Marco

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ciao

I was also at L'Europeo with Marlene on the pizza feast, and yes I have been to Da Michele and would never go back!

I do agree we all have our own preferences on what a perfect Pizza dough is.

All the places we visited on our tour, served some sort of Pizza as an appetizer, and all were the same lovely style.

A fabulous flavorful wonderful dough, which I did not experience at Da Michele!

In speaking with another Napoletana woman , I asked her about Da Michele and she said it was only for tourists!

When we at at L'Europea, there were no other tourists, the place was PACKED with Italian business men in suits and ties, so yes, could be expensive, but also as it is near the Chamber of Commerce, looked like business lunches to me.

Will post a picture of the pizza's

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Although not Italian, I have been living full time in Italy ( Florence) for the past 25 years.

I am not a lover of heavy pizza, and love the thin crusted pizza I get in Florence, since pizza is served as a per person pizza.

On a recent trip to Naples, I changed my mind about pizza.

having eaten the last trip and the "famous" da Michele, which I found not worth the wait.

( I will go back to try again as soo many people love it, my pizza was ok.. not worth waiting for though)

This trip I had pizza at three different places and found it to be consistent at all three places, the dough was flavorful, cooked to perfection and easy to digest after!

We had it served as bread under sliced meats, topped with raw tomatoes, cooked margarita style with tomato and mozzarella, and all fabulous!

gallery_10700_574_119229.jpg

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perhaps I like tourist pizza???

Here is the chef... and note the pizza boxes behind him near the ovens..

I guess someone likes it enough to get it to go!

gallery_10700_574_60857.jpg

We certainly are all entitled to our own opinions... and thank god all love different things.

I have several places I will try when I get back to Naples, such as Brandi ( touristy? where the Pizza Margarita was"invented". Last trip to Torino, I saw a "BRANDI" making Pizza at one of Chiambretti's restaurants, and the man struck me as being so intent and passionate about his pizza's that made me want to try the original.

gallery_10700_574_56902.jpg

gallery_10700_574_81934.jpg

The world is fabulous because of it's diversity!

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Thanks, Judy, for sharing the photos.

While I've not been to l'Europeo, I'm with Pizza Napoletana as far as who has the best of the best pizza (for me, Da Michele and Salvo in particular are in a league of their own).

And secondo me, Brandi is not even close to being in the same league as those places. (You can see some photos of all these places here.)

But then again, no two people's tastes are the same, as you mentioned. So if and when you try Brandi, let us all know what you think!

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Divina is the best pizza-chum and all round party girl i know!

our afternoon of pizza madness at l'europeo consisted of one delicious pizza after another, each one better than the next, and then you wanted to go back and taste the first and then the second, and it was all a haze of pizza deliciousness.

L'Europeo's pizza dough/crust was exquisite. my fave possibly the one of only dough, used as bread and topped with cured meats. on the other hand, the one with the cooked tomatoes, the margharita, the calzone filled with friarelli and cheese and olives, the raw tomatoes, it was never ending deliciousness.

i've eaten a lotta pizza in napoli. l'europeo surpassed them all.

pizza napoletana is right in that its all about the crust. this crust was fabulous. but so were the toppings.

ps anyone out there as crazy as i am about the little seaweed doughballs, zeppole di mare? Rosiello restaurant makes my fave ones, hot and salty and oily and doughy. oh fabulous. bliss!

Marlena the spieler

www.marlenaspieler.com

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Divina,

Your picture shows everything. The pizza are dry, cooked at a low temperature and almost crunchy on the exterior crust. This is not what pizza napoletana should be. And, sorry, saying that a 20 plus hours dough (Da Michele) has less flavour then a 6 hours dough is incredible.

L'Europeo pizza is a very different pizza. You may like it more because it suit your taste, but it is not better from a technical point of view and neither versus a general neapolitan standard.

I am not sure if either of you (Divina/Marlena) have tried Salvo's one, but again you may not like pizza at his best from a Neapolitan point of view. There is nothing wrong in liking certain type of food rather then others, but as a Neapolitan eating there, I was ashamed that his pizza was sold as Neapolitan to some tourist (It does appear in guides, and for example NYC PIZZA fanatic and writer, Ed Levine, found it to be his best in Naples as it is crispier and dryer (basically more similar to NYC) then the rest of neapolitan pizza).

Ciao

Divina is the best pizza-chum and all round party girl i know!

our afternoon of pizza madness at l'europeo consisted of one delicious pizza after another, each one better than the next, and then you wanted to go back and taste the first and then the second, and it was all a haze of pizza deliciousness.

L'Europeo's pizza dough/crust was exquisite. my fave possibly the one of only dough, used as bread and topped with cured meats. on the other hand, the one with the cooked tomatoes, the margharita, the calzone filled with friarelli and cheese and olives, the raw tomatoes, it was never ending deliciousness.

i've eaten a lotta pizza in napoli. l'europeo surpassed them all.

pizza napoletana is right in that its all about the crust. this crust was fabulous. but so were the toppings.

ps anyone out there as crazy as i am about the little seaweed doughballs, zeppole di mare? Rosiello restaurant makes my fave ones, hot and salty and oily and doughy. oh fabulous.  bliss!

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In speaking with another Napoletana woman , I asked her about Da Michele and she said it was only for tourists!

Yes is well know to turist but is not a touristy place. It has remained the same as before it was known to turist. The price are the same and it is still packed with locals and people coming from all other area of Naples. At lunch you can find almost all the lawyers and judges from the nearby courthouse eating there.

A tourist trap for me is who offers regular food at incredibly high prices, the same food you can have in a trattoria for half the price.

Brandi for example serve a substandard pizza at incredibly high price for Naples. What is more, for the record, the Pizza made with tomato, mozzarella and basil was made in many other places in Naples many years before Queen Margherita actually visited the city. Brandi was just a good marketeer and exploited the positive feedback form the royals to actually name one of the most popular pizza after them. So they are not inventor of the pizza, but just of the name which however few used until recently). What upset me the most (I have also done a 2 days stage there when Mr Vincenzo Pagnani was still alive), is that they have the potential of creating something really unique and superior but through poor management create one of the worst pizza among the famous/ancient pizzeria.

Edited by Pizza Napoletana (log)
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Thanks for your feedback

I love having homework...

it is strange though that of the 4 places I went to this trip, all had the style of dough that I had at Europeo.

wondering if I could be having a "tourist" moment, I googled for some Italian reviews too,

and found this one

Where for those that doen't speak Italian he raves about the whole menu, and calls the pizza a classic perfect execution.

perhaps he is also wrong, but it made his top 10 list and he seems to be a professional food critic

Do you have some foto's of a correct Pizza? Not all of us are lucky enough to be born Italian! nor in Naples!

I would be interested as I have been collaborating with a person that exports to the states.

We use Caputo flour, long proofing of the dough and high heat for cooking.

I know Da Michele pizza was only 4 euro, so a great deal, but for some reason was more moved by the hype around it, than the actual pizza.

I adore Burton Anderson and respect his opinion, and went there based on his suggestion.

Damn, now I have to go stand in line again!

will keep an open mind, but the flavor and texture was fabulous on what I ate on all 4 occasions. and if it is not right... forgive them!

I know living in Florence too, locals ( I am married to a Florentine) often fight about what is correct or not correct with the local dishes, if pork liver should be left whole or ground for fegatelli, the spice blends to be usedand other such things.

thank you for the enlightenment!

looking forward to a da michele pizza foto!

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And, sorry, saying that a 20 plus hours dough....has less flavour then a 6 hours dough is incredible.

in good artisanal bread dough, which while not pizza dough goes on similar flavour notes and textural possibilities, I suggest there is no bonus to having more than 6 hours for the mixing, rising, etc. The important thing is to do it right, not necessarily long.

"Six hours is about right....there is no point to making the dough more slowly. Here, feel this, smell it.....we'll put it into the oven and then you can taste what I mean"--the late, very great, and sadly gone-too-soon, Lionel Poilane, bread master extraordinaire, whose love of yeasted dough enriched my culinary life as much as his friendship enriched my life in general......

L'Europeo's crust was: very crisp on the very outside, very tender and moist within, just the right thickness/thinness to get the right balance of the two textures, and the flavour was perfect balance: it had great flavour, was not merely crust, was delicious without anything, one could taste wheat, natural levain, water, salt, fire from the oven......

I thought it better than Da Michelle's. Have not been to Salvo however. Thought it better than many other places in Napoli.

i went to chicago with a group of napoletanos recently and we ate our way through a pizza tasting at a resto, spaccanapoli....it was pretty good. the neapolitans loved it in fact. they did bring their own mozzarella di bufala, and their own tomatoes san marzano, so we were halfway to pizza already. the crusts were technically faultless, but in my opinion lacked full flavour. i'd go again, but would prefer going to napoli.

i'm open to other pizzerias, don't get me wrong. its just i often get dissappointed, even in napoli,

and i have not been dissappointed at l'europeo ever, not ever, not yet!!!!

marlena

Marlena the spieler

www.marlenaspieler.com

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And, sorry, saying that a 20 plus hours dough....has less flavour then a 6 hours dough is incredible.

in good artisanal bread dough, which while not pizza dough goes on similar flavour notes and textural possibilities, I suggest there is no bonus to having more than 6 hours for the mixing, rising, etc. The important thing is to do it right, not necessarily long.

"Six hours is about right....there is no point to making the dough more slowly. Here, feel this, smell it.....we'll put it into the oven and then you can taste what I mean"--the late, very great, and sadly gone-too-soon, Lionel Poilane, bread master extraordinaire, whose love of yeasted dough enriched my culinary life as much as his friendship enriched my life in general......

L'Europeo's crust was: very crisp on the very outside, very tender and moist within, just the right thickness/thinness to get the right balance of the two textures, and the flavour was perfect balance: it had great flavour, was not merely crust, was delicious without anything, one could taste wheat, natural levain, water, salt, fire from the oven......

I thought it better than Da Michelle's. Have not been to Salvo however. Thought it better than many other places in Napoli.

i went to chicago with a group of napoletanos recently and we ate our way through a pizza tasting at a resto, spaccanapoli....it was pretty good. the neapolitans loved it in fact. they did bring their own mozzarella di bufala, and their own tomatoes san marzano, so we were halfway to pizza already. the crusts were technically faultless, but in my opinion lacked full flavour. i'd go again, but would prefer going to napoli.

i'm open to other pizzerias, don't get me wrong. its just i often get dissappointed, even in napoli,

and i have not been dissappointed at l'europeo ever, not ever, not yet!!!!

marlena

Marlena,

Each flour should be used appropriatelly. I work as a pizza and breadmaker consultant and have studied baking science and technology.

A flour with a low enzymatic activity needs more hours to fully mature so that as much sugar are released, most of the proteins have been boken down and many flovour compounds have developed. Both for bread and pizza the baker should aim to reach the optimum maturity for that type of product. More importantly, Bread dough is substantially different as in many case is made in a 2 stages fementation where a preferment (oftent acedic and already developed) is added in large percentages to the final dough. This make the process of the final fermentation much faster and that is where a comment like "Six hours is about right....", may have come into place. The problem is taking such comment out of context.

Ciao

PS I will look in by HD back up to see where I got some pictures..

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There are many delicious pizzas in the world, I don't know how important it is to identify one as the "true and correct" pizza.

I happened to prefer the pizza at Da Michele to that at L'Europea, but the pizza was only part of it. L'Europea was mostly empty when we there, but Da Michele was a show. The servers, the pizzaiolas, the customers, the pies flying in and out of the oven made it a great performance. And yes, I though the pizza dough was unusually good. I preferred the marinara pie to the margherita. I remember the big deal about Brandi being the "original", but the pizza there wasn't special.

Here in New York some of my favorite pizzas are more about the topping then the dough. Ottimo has a wonderful pizza with smoked mozzarella which gets a fabulous consistency in the wood oven. Col Legno (rest its soul) did something magical with red onions on their "Benjamino" pizza. La Pizza Fresca does good dough (somewhat like Michele) but the tomato and cheese leave me cold. Una Pizza Napoletana makes an excellent pie, and also puts on a good show (like Dom at DiFara).

I actually think that watching a master making the pizza, and seeing his devotion to the craft makes any pizza taste much better. And it can be a thick crust or a thin one, crunchy or chewy, yeasty or flat. If they are enjoying making the pie, I'm probably going to enjoy eating it, and if they are just doing a job, I'll probably just get fed.

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I agree, there are many places to enjoy a fine pizza, and we all have our favorites.

Usually I like a thin crust if I eat a pizza, at da michele, it was thin, I have also seen pizza's from there with thicker crusts, more like what I have had everywhere else in Naples. NOT AMERICAN thick.. but a perfect ring of well cooked dough..

When I was at Europea for lunch it was PACKED, I immagine like in Florence, more of a business mans favorite as it was filled with guys in suits and ties, no tourists.

I know price is a heavy factor too, no where in Florence is a pizza 4 euro!

when the euro replaced the lira the price went from 10,000 liira to 10 euro!

Where I live in Tuscany there are a million pizzaira's because that is really the only food people can afford to eat our on a regular basis.

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