Monday, November 23, 2009

Spacca Napoli – Chicago, IL

Trash, CorpseKitten, and I were in Chicago visiting Callous-un for the weekend and Callous-un had been giving me crap about the Chicago-style pizza that I’d eaten. Apparently, it wasn’t authentic pizza and I had not been treated to the best the city had to offer. So she recommended a place for us that she heard was really good. As it turns out, it is authentic Neapolitan pizza, not authentic Chicago pizza.

I had told some friends where I’d be that evening in hopes some of them would show up and hang out. When we got to the restaurant, I completely missed Kanoo and BestGirlfriendEver standing against the building looking nonchalant. It took me a couple minutes to notice them standing there, but I was sooooo glad to see them. It’s been way too long since I had seen either of them. While waiting, they both gave me a hell of a time because I commented that I didn’t like pistachios. They said, “You know those things are in a shell, right? You took the tasty nut out of the shell, right. You gotta get that tasty nut inside.” Hilarious (and jerks) – I love these guys to death.

While we waited outside, one of the staff members brought out bread samples and also cheese samples to keep us occupied. We only got the cheese, as Trash wasn’t pushy enough about getting in front of rival groups. She tried to look starved and forlorn and just looked retarded. We think she creeped out the worker, to be honest. Once the line dwindled down and the people realized we had been in line for an hour, they brought us some prosecco, on the house. It was decent and a good “get in the mood drink” for us before we sat down.

The wait staff was very friendly, so we had no issues with food and drink orders. The menu is medium-sized. Plenty of different foods, but not a ton, which is usually easier to decide on things. I got the Salsiccia Pizza – Tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, Italian sausage, and olive oil. BestGirlfriendEver got the Bufalina Pizza – tomatoes, basil, buffalo mozzarella, and olive oil. Trash got the Quattro Formaggi Pizza – mozzarella, gorgonzola, emmenthal, fontina. Lisa got the Margherita Pizza – tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, olive oil. And I can’t remember what Kanoo or Callous-un ended up with. They brought out our food 30 seconds later. (Actually, they brought out someone else’s food and put it on our table, which was hilarious when our waiter showed up with drinks and started cracking up – they took the food away back to its rightful owners.)

My pizza looked delicious, and very Italian-like (it’s thin crust and more or less for one person). I’ve been to Italy a couple of times and yes, the pizza does look a little bit like this. I was a little surprised at the lack of flavor in it the pizza part. The sausage was delicious and I was thrilled with that part, but it simply didn’t taste like there was cheese on it, despite the cheesy appearance. BestGirlfriendEver also though there was an odd lack of flavor, so she salted and peppered the hell out of hers and it made it better. I guess I should have done that. My pizza was good, but not stellar. We all ended up trading each other pieces to see which one we liked the most.

Trash’s pizza won the competition, but wasn’t what she thought she was ordering. No one heard the waiter say there was prosciutto on hers, and being a vegetarian, she has a problem with “dead” on her pizza. She ended up swapping CorpseKitten for her Margherita pizza, but I think CorpseKitten got the better end of the deal. Trash wasn’t thrilled with the Margherita, however, everyone who tried the bacon-y pizza was very impressed. All of the pizzas were just ok. Good, but nothing stellar. Apparently, I’m STILL on the search for quality Chicago-style pizza. I’ll find it. I know it’s out there.

On the way out, they give you a dessert cannoli (whipped ricotta cheese deep fried in a shell and with nuts on the exposed parts. Guess what – they were pistachios on the outside – hilarious. I ate half of mine and gave the rest to someone else (that I knew – not a random stranger). It was fine, but it doesn’t even compare to the one’s MO had me eat in Sicily. Seriously, they aren’t even in the same ballpark.

We left there and said goodbye to Kanoo and BestGirlfriendEver, and headed to The Grafton – a little Irish bar in Lincoln Square. It was loud (probably average for a bar on a Friday night), but not a bad atmosphere. They had a hefty beer list with some ciders, bit I went with the Capn n Diet route for the night. We discussed heading to a German bar afterwards, but with CorpseKitten being on Eastern time, her bedtime is about 4pm Central, so we headed home (kidding, we were all tired and yawning, but we like to blame CorpseKitten for stuff).

Top 5 things about Spacca Napoli
1. It’s a fun restaurant environment with an open kitchen, fun staff, and good lighting
2. Free cannoli after dinner
3. Prosciutto Pizza
4. Friendly staff
5. Got to hang with Kanoo and BestGirlfriendEver – I miss them terribly

Bottom 5 things
1. Really long wait
2. Pizza was slightly lacking in flavor
3. Coke products, so I went with water
4. Still on the hunt for actual Chicago-style pizza
5. Ran out of cannoli before Trash got one

www.spaccanapolipizzeria.com
www.thegrafton.com

1 comment:

Eyeheartpizza said...

YOU GOT TO HANG OUT WITH KANOO!!! i'm so frickin jealous!