Proving women and pizza are about more than just skanky Julia Roberts trying to convince audiences she's Portuguese, Pizzeria da Nella is the new home of the former Spacca Napoli she-pizzaiola, a Naples native who started firing 'zas at age 13. Her new digs are appropriately centered around a brick oven she mosaic-tiled herself, and rounding out the space are canvas pictures of Italian villas and the Bay of Naples, though your arrival will make it more of a Bay of Pigs.
Pie-wise they'll fire Neapolitan staples (Fiorentina, Diavola, etc.) while pushing the envelope with specialties like the burrata/grilled zucchini Ishia, the speck/cream of artichoke/brie Carmine, and the Lavezzi: a grilled eggplant & smoked mozz pie covered with another layer of dough and topped with arugula, prosciutto & cherry tomatoes, which are clearly the Annabeth Gish of vegetable Mystic Pizza. Julia Roberts was so easy! The owner even brought in her bro from Naples to turn out provolone 'n olive-stuffed zeppole, homemade gnocchi w/ zucchini flowers and baby clams, and Spaghetti al Cartoccio packed with calamari, clams, and mussels and baked in foil, so hopefully you get to it before it caves and eats itself.
Wash everything down with one of the 35 vinos, an Italian craft beer (Collesi, Baladin Nora), or cocktail-age like the Lion's Pride/Carpano Antica/coffee bitters Neapolitan Manhattan, exactly the kind of metropolitan restaurant every small-town Connecticut pizza girl dreams of sleeping their way into.
Published: April 20, 2012 at 4:00am EDT
1443 W Fullerton
Chicago, IL 60614
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