Soho, NY – The molto perfetto pairing of Ripiena (stuffed pizza) and a chilled bottle of Peroni transported us instantly to the town of Sorrento in the south of Naples. Adjacent to sister restaurant Forcella at 334 Bowery, A Slice of Naples is the latest creation of certified Neapolitan Pizza Master Chef Giulio Adriani, whose 30 years of cooking experience all started with his Neapolitan grandmother, “Nonna Maria”, and whose claim to fame came from his Montanara, a pie where the dough is flash-fried, topped, then finished in a 1,000°F wood-burning oven.
The cozy NY-Style pizzeria serves the classic Pizza Al Metro (meter of pizza) by the slice, replacing the familiar triangle with a rectangle characterized by its pillowy soft dough and flavorful toppings. Their imported electric oven is lower in temperature, allowing the moisture in the dough extra time to rise, making the crust sufficiently crunchy, yet light and airy. In a city where the best pies are measured by the thinness of the crust, A Slice of Naples throws it out the window, and instead wants customers to revel in the freshness of the toppings.
Chef Adriani insists that all his mozzarella be handmade at each of his restaurants, and it’s no different here. The classic Caprese reflects this, with equal parts mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil, topped with freshly ground pesto. The freshness immediately shines through the cheese, with a texture more soft than stringy, and a flavor that paired delicately well with the sweet, minty basil. Our favorite however was the signature Ripiena – fluffy dough cooked first, then stuffed with copious amounts of prosciutto, arugula, and Stracchino cheese.
The result is a very Panini-like slice, with the crisp shell taking the part of ciabatta, fighting to contain all the hearty layers of savory meat and sharp arugula, with the melted Stracchino cheese resembling instead a creamy sauce. With A Slice of Naples, Chef Adriani marries classic Neapolitan pizza, traditionally ordered by the pie, with the quintessential NY pizzeria, bringing individual slices to the grab-and-go crowd. The best part is they're open late (till 4am), so with the myriad of watering holes nearby, it's a welcome addition to SoHo's sea of pizzerias.