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Restaurant Sat Apr 12 2008
In my mind, Spacca Napoli could have made up tonight for one bad review. But what do I know; this was my first visit. Our server graciously stepped us through some of the antipasti, listing ingredient after ingredient when we dropped the vegan word. They cook the eggplant in oil, no butter and top it with good, fresh basil. She told us how the truffle focaccia, which turned out to be a complete treat, and not on the menu, came without any cheese. I wanted to eat those slices continuously, like a child binge eating after sneaking into a closed chocolate store. Instead, my rational side surfaced, and it told me that I could wait, until my pizza came, to overeat just a bit. A sauce of San Marzano tomatoes, blended with salt, made the marinara pizza brilliantly savory, so much that it felt a touch silky. I think I sensed a crispy bit of rich garlic, definitely basil leaves, and with no cheese by default. It's this vegan's dream for a pizza shop to decide for itself to leave off the cheese on a few selections that hold their own without it.
To anyone who has had a bad time here (and all those who love the place), I'll tell you that service was so tops tonight that one of my dining partners strongly argued that it would be unfair not to give props to our server by name. Maybe you will find that Spacca Napoli has completely turned around and improved. Or perhaps you should just ask for Meredith. 1769 W. Sunnyside. (773) 878-2420. El: Brown Line to Montrose. Bus: 50 Damen, 78 Montrose.