Monday, September 10, 2012


114 E. 49th St.
Indianapolis, IN
(317) 925-0765

I've been waiting to write about Napolese for a while. I wanted to get a few visits under my belt before formulating my opinion. My conclusion is that Napolese is my favorite pizza in the city. The service and the food has always been top notch. I also love the neighborhood. I have always loved the homes in the area, and the whole block at 49th and Penn just really comes out of nowhere. The businesses are really part of the neighborhood. The only issue I have is that it gets pretty busy and you often have to wait for a table, as they do not take reservations. There are two sides to the restaurant and a patio. I have only sat in the main dining room and the patio. When I walked in, the first thing i noticed was the pizza oven. I enjoyed being able to see how the pizza was being made from start to finish. There are a few bar stools in front of the cooking area. It reminded me of Noble Roman's pizza growing up where you could watch the pizza artists through the window. You get a sense of how fresh the ingredients are as you can see the chefs chopping, rolling out the dough, and assembling the pizza. The key to a good wood fired pizza is the movement of the pizzas in the oven. You do not want to keep the pizza in the same place as it will burn. On the contrary if you add a pizza to the oven, you do not want to place it where you removed the last pizza as it will not be as hot. It becomes an art and the chefs at Napolese are pros.

When you are seated, you are brought a mixed sampling of olives. Only within the past few years have I become a fan of olives. These are pitted and can be eaten by themselves or to accompany any part of your meal. Not only does Napolese have the best pizza in the city, I'm convinced their double chopped salad is the best as well. I always add a few olives to the wonderful blend of ingredients. It is a base of romaine lettuce. The salad also has shredded mozzarella, gorgonzola, roasted peppers, crispy pancetta, thick sliced pepperoni, white corn and chickpeas. It is dressed with a balsamic vinaigrette. Each bite has something different and each ingredient works well with each other. It is a symphony of flavors. The ingredients aren't listed on the menu, but believe me, you will not be disappointed.

I feel like the pizzas change season to season. We went in the beginning of summer and they had this pesto based pizza with ham, pineapple, and jalepeno. When I went a few days ago, it was nowhere to be found. Luckily the Hamaker's corner pizza is a regular on the menu. It is pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms, and provolone. It is a pretty basic pizza in comparison to the others on the menu. The pepperoni is thick cut and has great flavor. There are pretty decent sized pieces of sausage which give the pizza a mild spicy taste. The button mushrooms bring a wonderful, earthy flavor. The other pizzas I have had are the broken yolk, which is the margherita pizza with an egg cracked in the middle. This might scare off some, but it is so unique that we had to try it. I feel like this pizza would be better around brunch time. Elliot's pie is pancetta, potatoes, and gorgonzola. This wasn't my favorite, but it was still very good. The potatoes dried out in the cooking process. I just enjoy how everything is so fresh, which is probably why certain pizzas are available depending on the season. Since Napolese has the same owner as Cafe Patachou, you know you are getting the best, freshest ingredients. This restaurant is a great example of farm to table dining.

"Want to learn to EAt a lot? Here it is: EAt a little. That way you will be around long enough to EAt a lot." -Anthony Robbins

Napolese on Urbanspoon

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