IBJOpinion

DINING: Patachou spins off pleasing pizzeria Napolese

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share
Dining - A&E

Since none of its initials stand for things one would find on a traditional pizzeria-style pizza, let’s break down the P, the F, and the G in the PFG at Napolese, (114 E. 49th St., 925-0765).

In reverse order, the G is for gorgonzola, a blue cheese more often paired with fruit than made part of a pizza. The F is for roasted fingerling potatoes, small spuds reacting flavorfully to the other simple ingredients and, in their haphazard scattering, reminding diners that these pies aren’t created by formula. The P is for the Italian bacon pancetta, included here in not-very-salty, crunchy crumbles that make you wonder why they aren’t a permanent part of the pizza-topping pantheon.
 

Pizza Artisan pizzas–including one with smoked salmon–form the core of the Napolese menu. (IBJ Photo/ Perry Reichanadter)

The initial not in the name, though, is C. That stands for crust, the heavenly base concocted for the PFG ($13) and the rest of the larger-than-personal/smaller-than-your-local-chain pies at Martha Hoover’s latest eatery. With a brick-oven crispness and the strength to hold its ingredients, the crust also features a light, pillowed rim. It’s equally effective containing the moist dilled crème fraiche on the Smoked Salmon variation and the more recognizable ingredients (but here, still tasting new) on the Buffalo Mozzarella version ($14 for either).

While creative in its combinations, Napolese allows room for varying degrees of experimentation. Feeling bold? You could try the Broken Yolk pie ($14) where you crack the quail eggs yourself. A little more conservative? Pick your own ingredients ($3 each) to add to the mozzarella and sauce topped House Pizza ($9). The management strongly recommends no more than three in order to let the crust properly bake.

The pies at Napolese are light on sauce, so forgiveness isn’t required for opening a meal with Baked Goat Cheese and Tomato Sauce ($7). The slices of bread weren’t quite ideal for carrying the soupy mix, but the effort was worth it (and the bread replenished without our asking). I’d also have liked to have another size option besides the bowl for the Minestrone ($6), but that’s a minor issue.

We closed out with Gelato ($4 a scoop), made exclusively for Napolese by Zingerman’s in Michigan. I know that, by design, gelato isn’t as sweet as ice cream, but still, the Rocky Road ($4 a scoop) seemed to have lost some character on the long road here. On the other hand, our visit coincided with the inaugural appearance of the Torte De Nonna ($6), a deliciously subtle pine nut and pastry cream tart.

It all added up to a dinner worthy of its Patachou parentage and one that justifies the line you’ll likely find on 49th Street for months to come.•

—Lou Harry

__________

Second in our month-long series of visits to new Broad Ripple area dining spots.

ADVERTISEMENT

  • Overpriced and Underwhelming
    The product was disappointing and was inauthentic based on what I've had in Naples and Neapolitan-style restaurants in New York. The dough was too bready and bland (seemed to lack an extended fermentation) and was blond-colored and lacking wood-fired char on the upskirt (a term created by foodies and pizza connoisseurs). The toppings were just okay. I did not find it to be a good value for price.
  • Traditional?
    I assume you're referring to Domino's or what have you when you say "traditional." Pancetta, potatoes, and gorgonzola (part of a genuinely traditional quattro formmagio) are pretty standard ingredients on actual pizza. An egg is pretty common too. Napolese is good, very good, but you're misrepresenting it as some sort of creative crazy town of wacky pizza ingredients. It's not. This is what pizza is in the countries that invented it.

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. I am a Lyft driver who is a licensed CDL professional driver. ALL Lyft drivers take pride in providing quality service to the Indianapolis and surrounding areas, and we take the safety of our passengers and the public seriously.(passengers are required to put seat belts on when they get in our cars) We do go through background checks, driving records are checked as are the personal cars we drive, (these are OUR private cars we use) Unlike taxi cabs and their drivers Lyft (and yes Uber) provide passengers with a clean car inside and out, a friendly and courteous driver, and who is dressed appropriately and is groomed appropriately. I go so far as to offer mints, candy and/or small bottle of water to the my customers. It's a mutual respect between driver and passenger. With Best Regards

  2. to be the big fish in the little pond of IRL midwest racin' when yer up against Racin' Gardner

  3. In the first sentance "As a resident of one of these new Carmel Apartments the issue the local governments need to discuss are build quality & price." need a way to edit

  4. As a resident of one of these new Carmel Apartments the issue the local governments need to discuss is build quality & price. First none of these places is worth $1100 for a one bedroom. Downtown Carmel or Keystone at the Crossing in Indy. It doesn't matter. All require you to get in your car to get just about anywhere you need to go. I'm in one of the Carmel apartments now where after just 2.5 short years one of the kitchen cabinet doors is crooked and lawn and property maintenance seems to be lacking my old Indianapolis apartment which cost $300 less. This is one of the new star apartments. As they keep building throughout the area "deals" will start popping up creating shoppers. If your property is falling apart after year 3 what will it look like after year 5 or 10??? Why would one stay here if they could move to a new Broad Ripple in 2 to 3 years or another part of the Far Northside?? The complexes aren't going to let the "poor" move in without local permission so that's not that problem, but it the occupancy rate drops suddenly because the "Young" people moved back to Indy then look out.

  5. Why are you so concerned about Ace hardware? I don't understand why anyone goes there! Every time ive gone in the past, they don't have what I need and I end up going to the big box stores. I understand the service aspect and that they try to be helpful but if they are going to survive I think they might need to carry more specialty parts.

ADVERTISEMENT