I’m pretty excited to be back in Sugarhouse reviewing the new Flatbread Neapolitan Pizzeria that just opened there recently. This is now the second member of the VPN here in Utah that I am aware of, joining downtown SLC’s Settebello. The VPN stands for the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana, which is basically a code of how to make pizzas the way they were first done in Naples, Italy. There are actually only a handful of members in the United States. The pizza has to be prepared a certain way, using specific flour and tomatoes, and has to be baked in a wood fired oven. Flatbread Neapolitan Pizzeria has a nice selection of VPN pizza’s and then adds a number of Americanized ones. Pizza along with some salads, sandwiches, and pasta complete the menu.
I was really impressed with the inside of the dining room. There was a lot of nice metal work from the cool lighted “Sugar” and “House” signs, the light fixtures throughout the dining room, and even the wood seats and walls. For some reason I get a visual of Ron Burgandy trying to impress Veronica Corningstone, bragging of his many leather-bound books and apartment that smelled of rich mahogany. Well I don’t know if the wood was mahogany, and the restaurant actually smelled like delicious pizza, but Anchorman and Ron Burgandy are awesome, so I’m going to mention them here anyway.
Here is another picture of the dining room. The kitchen is wide open with nothing to hide. I decided to grab a shot of the wood burning oven. It was spectacular.
The above salad has somewhat of a funny story to it. 90% of the time I am at a place preparing a review, I hide my identity until I leave, and then I just leave a card. With this place, I really wanted to make sure I got a lot of good pictures in, so I talked to the manager and asked her to let me take some pictures of a few different plates before they went out. The above salad, I didn’t actually order, but it looked so spectacular, that our waiter brought us over to the table of another couple who were getting ready to eat it. They graciously let me take a picture of their salad, and as I was taking a picture, the gentleman who the salad belonged to also took a picture of me taking a picture of his salad. So yeah… a lot of picture-taking going on. lol
I went with a soup so we could have something to give our baby. This feels like as good as time as any to mention how awesome the service we got was. We got to the restaurant late around 9:30 with a few other couples. One of the couples also had a small baby, and both babies were way past their bedtimes. Our hostess graciously moved us from a long table in the bar area to a booth, to make it easier for us. It was a very nice move. The entire evening every interaction we had with the staff at Flatbread was exception, so kudos goes out to them. (Back to the soup) It was a solid tomato basil soup. It tasted a lot like the tomato soup from Cafe Zupas, (which is awesome too) Very rich and creamy, and the side piece of bread was great for dunking.
Another thing I really liked about this place, was that our kids got to have a really fun time. They got to make their own pizza. I appreciated how the dough was already done though, because that would have been a real mess if left up to my 10 and 7-year-old. Their only jobs were to apply the sauce, cheese, and pepperoni. They absolutely loved it! Here is a picture of the end result.
Now on to the big boy pizza.
This pizza was constructed using chicken, fresh mozzarella, olive oil, garlic, caramelized onions, prosciutto, and balsamic glaze. They have a slicer that you can see in the back area where they cut fresh the prosciutto right onto the pizza. You will notice the balsamic glaze as well. Presentation is big here, but so is taste. I loved this pizza. Some of you may be wondering why there seems to be burnt areas in some of the pictured pizzas. That is due to the intense heat inside the wood burning oven. The pizza only spends a minute or two on the inside. Think about it like you are roasting a marshmallow. To get it just right, you stick the marshmallow right up to the burning coals, and sure, it gets a little burnt on the outside, but is done right, is warm and gooey.
The Quattro Formaggi I didn’t snap in the best light, but this pizza is great to order for those visiting Flatbread for the first time. They give you four different toppings on the pizza to try, so you can get a feel for what you really like.
Finally we have the Capricciosa. Listen to these ingredients: Fior di Latte, artichoke hearts, herbed portobello, olives, prosciutto, basil, and san marzano pomodoro.
These pizzas truly are great. If you are used to “American” pizza, then this will be a new experience for sure. If a place like “The Pie” is on one end of the spectrum, then I would put Flatbread Neapolitan Pizzeria on the other end. ”American” pizza usually starts with a thicker crust, coated with marinara, and then a ton of cheese and toppings. A lot of people in Utah love The Pie, and I do too on occasion, but The Pie can be very filling and greasy. One of the big differences you will find with the VDN pizza, is the cheese is used as a topping along with the other items instead of a “layer”. When done this way, everything blends together and tastes great. There is a very healthy and fresh taste to these pizzas. They will run you between $14 and $16 a pop, but hey, if you want a cheap $5 dollar pizza that is sometimes hot but always ready, you know where to find it. This place is several notches up from the national chains in both quality and taste.
To wrap it up, I found Flatbread Neapolitan Pizzeria to have a beautiful dining room with nice service that paid attention to the details and made us feel right at home, even though we were growing uncomfortable as the night progressed with screaming babies. The pizza was fantastic. If you love Settebello or Pizzeria Limone, then you will love this place. If you are more of a Papa John or The Pie pizza lover, then these pizzas may not be your favorite, but I think they are still awesome!