Upon arrival, we were welcomed and asked to have a seat while our table was prepared. All of the staff is from Italy and I loved listening to their accents. The atmosphere is bustling and the wood fired pizza ovens will catch your eye immediately. They are sculpted with the faces of mythological gods and are named after the three active volcanoes in Italy – Mount Etna, Mount Vesuvius and Stromboli.
After a short wait, we were escorted to our table for two and presented with menus. Our table assistant was very friendly and attentive throughout the meal. Andrea was our server for the evening. He greeted us in Italian and then translated his greeting to English. We had a nice conversation and Andrea told us about the two kitchens, one for the pizzas and one for the other entrees. He also made suggestions for his favorite dishes.
We started with the Family Style House Salad and Mozzarella Caprese. The salad had a light, red wine vinaigrette dressing over a bed of greens, tomato, cucumber, peppers, mushrooms and olives. Quite nice, indeed! The Mozzarella Carpese dish is vine-ripened tomatoes and fresh mozzarella cheese. We chose to add a bit of balsamic vinegar and thoroughly enjoyed the light, cool and refreshing appetizer. After a hot Florida day, this was the perfect start to a truly delightful dining experience!
For our main course, my husband ordered Piatti Alla Parmigiana – Pollo, also known as Chicken Parmesan. This is a breaded chicken breast served with tomato sauce, Parmesan and Mozzarella. Via Napoli serves this dish with roasted potatoes. Andrea reminded us that it did not come with the typical American side of spaghetti and offered to bring a side of noodles. As it turns out, Via Napoli got it right with the roasted potatoes! They had the perfect flavor of butter and seasonings and blended so well with the chicken that we did not “need” the American side of spaghetti.
As for my dinner selection, well, you cannot come to Via Napoli and not order a pizza! I chose the Quattro Formaggi Pizza. This is a white pizza with mozzarella, parmesan, fontina and provolone. I was surprised by the generous size of an “individual” pizza. The crust had a perfect balance of thin, yet crispy and a delicious flavor. The mild white sauce combined wonderfully with the four cheeses to produce one of the best pizzas I have ever eaten! Try though I might, I simply could not find room in my belly to completely devour the entire pizza. I guess I will just have to order another on my next visit!
After we finished our main course, Andrea enticed us with the dessert menu. Considering all of the food we had just consumed, we had to sadly decline his dessert invitation. Next time we will know to leave room so we can sample the Gelato Frizzante or the Zeppole di Caterina!
Even though it was just the two of us, this is definitely a family-friendly restaurant. I cannot wait for our next visit when I can share this authentic Italian dining experience with my children.
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