Sapore di Napoli

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Sapore di Napoli

The opening of a tiny, mostly carryout pizza and gelato joint normally wouldn’t get our knickers in a knot. But because this new spot joins a few other recently opened places churning out authentic, Neopolitan-style pies from state-of-the-art ovens, comparisons to its competition are inevitable.

So let’s get this out of the way: The pizza is not as tasty as Spacca Napoli’s; the wee storefront can’t hold a candle to Frasca’s hip, crowded scene; and its lack of booze makes Gruppo di Amici’s great wine list and drink specials that much more appealing. Still, it’s good enough to become your favorite new neighborhood pizza place if you live nearby, especially if you dig your pie loaded with fresh ingredients and out of the 750-degree oven faster than you can say “to go.” The quattro stagioni (pictured) piles big cuts of high-quality prosciutto, fat artichokes, mushrooms and olives onto perfect, bubbly crust, and the verdure, with its heaps of asparagus, peppers, eggplant and zucchini, nearly takes care of your daily veggie requirements in one bite. Less successful is the arugula pie, essentially an undercooked salad on hot crust.

Panini, served only at lunch, are tasty but unremarkable, but the gelati are as smooth and creamy as any we’ve had in European gelaterias. The owners are cagey about revealing the name of the local Neopolitan man who makes their 14 flavors, preferring to have an edge on their competition one way or another.

Venue name: Sapore di Napoli
Address: 1406 W Belmont Ave

Cross street: at Southport Ave
Opening hours: Dinner (closed Mon)
Transport: El stop: Brown to Southport. Bus: 9, 11, 77.
Price: Average pizza: $12
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