I have to admit, I have a love/hate relationship with the Patachou chain. I hate the brusque service I almost invariably receive, the jarring proximity to other diners, and the inevitable volume of that proximity, which makes conversation difficult at best. Normally dining for me needs to be a full experience, but I let it slide in the case of the Patachou restaurants because their food is just so darn tasty. Napolese is no exception, and I keep going despite the long waits, loud dining room, and tepid service because it is the only place in Indianapolis where I know I can get that thin, yeasty, blistery pizza crust.
On my most recent visit, I had a quartino of Tienfenbrunner Pinot Bianco. I loved the apple and citrus notes and crisp finish. Napolese has a short but varied wine list which has never disappointed me. This will not be the first time I’ve hunted down a bottle of something I drank there, and the list is priced to be drunk with pizza, albeit high-end pizza.
My favorite starter is the baked goat cheese in a crock of tomato sauce. It is served with slices of the pizza crust and reminds me exactly of the baked goat cheese everyone loves at Barcelona Tapas. I realize that eating this dish right before I eat pizza is incredibly redundant, and I do not care one bit. I dare you to try either this starter or the pizza and not order one the next time you visit.
The pie list at Napolese is long and interesting and includes such things as quail eggs and artichoke hearts and locally made Fleur de Terre. I have SEEN these pizzas on other diners’ tables and they look great. However, the first time I came to Napolese I ordered a classic Margherita, and I have never been able to order anything else. I do not apologize.
Just look at it. Now, go eat one.
Tips: If you live anywhere close, I’d highly advise getting your pizza to go, due to the tepid waitstaff and crowded dining area. Please note that I hate criticizing AN ENTIRE CHAIN of restaurants based on bad service, but ambivalent servers seem to be something of a corporate policy with this empire. I’ve probably visited 25 times and gotten a smile twice.
On the upside, because Napolese is in the Patachou family, you can order Patachou’s tomato artichoke soup there. Honestly, the servers could probably beat me and I’d still go for this soup, and if I ever find out how to make it they’ll lose my brunch business forever.
I have found that the best way to reheat leftover pizza from Napolese is to get a stone or pan to at least 400 degrees in the oven and THEN put the leftovers on the pan. It crisps the bottom without overcooking the top and only takes a few minutes since the pizza is so thin.