I’m interrupting my ongoing Italy coverage with a post that looks like it could be about Italy but isn’t, though I suppose it tangentially is. So I’ve mentioned numerous times before on this blog and in person that the food in Italy is beyond words. They champion the farm-to-table and eat local movements like no other. And I’m usually so enraptured by whatever is on my plate when I’m eating in Italy that getting a pre-meal picture for posterity isn’t exactly top of mind. Luckily, I live in a pretty large city with a robust food scene that has some pretty amazing Italian food, like Varuni Napoli. I’ve always been a pizza fan (who isn’t?) but napoli-style pizza is a pizza lover’s dream. I’m not ashamed to admit that I dream of Varuni Napoli’s pizza.
The first thing you need to know about Varuni Napoli is that you don’t go there just for the pizza. You go for the entire experience. This isn’t just another pizza joint. You’ll want to start out with a glass, or two, or even an entire bottle of wine while you munch on the Meat and Cheese plate. I personally would recommend piling on the Prosciutto de Parma on a slice of bread, topped with a few artichokes and candied pecans. Feel free to throw on a cheese if you must, but I’m all in on the meat portion of a meat and cheese plate.
Like a lot of Italian restaurants, there is very little that separates the kitchen area from the dining area. When Luca Varuni opened Varuni Napoli he wanted to create something that was truly authentic to his Napoli roots. That included having everything from the large blue ovens to the San Marzano tomatoes, to the flour for the dough shipped directly from Naples, Italy. Dining is truly family style, which can sometimes include the head chef walking around the restaurant with an impromptu pot of cooked noodles for any customer who needs just a little bit of pasta on the side of their pizza. Now you can certainly take it easy with a simple margherita pizza if you’d like, but I’d like to recommend the Chiattona Benni for the meat lovers, and/or the Spacca Napoli for any vegetarians that might be lurking out there.
If you come to a restaurant to enjoy the full experience, that should ALWAYS include dessert. Varuni Napoli will actually let you build your own cannoli, so naturally, I decided to keep mine classically made but with some chocolate chips thrown in for a dash of excitement. But, never being one to stand on ceremony, me and my compadres for the evening opted for a second dessert. We went with what turned out to be a boozy and decadent tiramisu. Seriously, this thing was swimming in booze… or maybe that was me.