While home in RI for the holidays, I had the opportunity to sample not just one, but two, new pizza places, each with their own unique style. Living in Seattle for the last three years, I’ve become spoiled by the abundance of VPN certified pizzerias – did you know that Seattle has the most in America? I thought that certainly, in a state with as much Italian heritage as RI, the quantity of VPN locations had to be close. Surprise! They only have three – and I found myself at brand new one that was rightfully proud of it’s VPN badge.
Pasquale’s ‘A Pizza Napulitana opened in the Summer of 2015, and its walls are already filled with high praise from local publications. Owner Pasquale Illiano was born in Naples, Italy (the birthplace of pizza), and his dedication to authenticity and quality ingredients is obvious from the moment you step inside. Even the wood fired pizza oven was built in Naples, by a master third generation oven builder (apparently, yes, that’s a thing).
Now here is where my personal preferences will ruin an otherwise perfect pizza. As usual. And my inability to read. When scanning the menu, I spotted a pizza called the “D.O.P.” that featured buffalo mozzarella. There were other things, but I zeroed in on that, and remembering the delicious Margherita D.O.C. that I once had at Via Tribunali, I wrongfully assumed that I was about to dig into a lovely margherita pizza featuring buffalo mozzarella. Close, but no cigar.
The D.O.P. did feature buffalo mozzarella, as well as extra virgin olive oil, basil, and organic “Piennolo” tomatoes from slopes of mount Vesuvius (they import them weekly and claim they are “basically the best tasting, most natural on the planet.”) I was pretty excited about volcano tomatoes, even though I don’t really like tomatoes that much. But what I failed to realize was that there was no sauce on this pizza. The buffalo mozzarella was delicious as always, but without the sauce, I only got the best flavour mix in bites that involved a tomato. The crust was soft, fresh, and fluffy, without overwhelming burnt spots. So really, the only criticism I have here is of myself – this was probably the most authentic and traditional pizza I’ve reviewed, but I wasn’t ready for it.
I believe that if I had paid closer attention and chosen a pizza more to my tastes, this could have been a 5-pizza rating. But I had to rate what was in front of me, and I left wishing that there had been some sauce. With that in mind, this pizza received a 3.5 out of 5, but I definitely expect to return again and try some more pizzas.