Author Topic: Nella Pizzeria Napolitana-Chicago  (Read 2825 times)

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Offline jeff v

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Nella Pizzeria Napolitana-Chicago
« on: December 01, 2009, 09:30:13 PM »
For those that don't know, Nella Grassano was the original pizzaiolo at Spacca Napoli in Chicago. She did a great job there, and when I heard she was opening her own place I was excited to give it a try. I got there just after opening today, and got for me the best seat in the house-right next to the prep table and 5 or 6 feet from the oven.  ;D The place is very nice looking, and well done. As you walk down the hall towards the back they have a window into the dough room which was a neat touch. While I was there today someone was scaling and balling dough. The staff were all very nice as was Nella. We got a chance to talk about pizza for a bit which she is very passionate about as you may have guessed. She opned the dough with a technique I have not seen before, where she holds the dough in her right hand, and slaps/stretches/spins it with her left-pretty neat.

I ordered a Margherita as I always do when first trying a place and it was great. If anyone was at Spacca when she was there the pizza was basically identical-which is a good thing. Ingredients were great, especially the tomatoes. This was the third Neapolitan style place I have been to in the last 10 days, and I must say is was cool to see someone that you can tell has been around pizza a long time work their craft. I had a great meal, and a great time watching and chatting. http://pizzerianella.com/

Jeff

ETA: These pics were with my phone, sorry for the worse than usual quality.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2009, 09:32:42 PM by jeff v »


Offline jeff v

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Re: Nella Pizzeria Napolitana-Chicago
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2009, 09:31:37 PM »
I messed around with the brightness and contrast on these-I had major glare off the oven.

Offline BTB

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Re: Nella Pizzeria Napolitana-Chicago
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2009, 08:30:29 AM »
Chicago like many cities these days seems to have been flooded with the new artisan/neapolitan style of pizza.  New shops and restaurants featuring such are opening often times across the country.  In a way, we've come full circle in the pizza business.  First there were the neighborhood mom and pop shops, then we had the big chains appear that drove many of the mom and pop shops out of business, now we have these small entrepreneurial artisan pizza places -- like Nella's, Spacca Napoli, Wood-Fired (Tampa) -- coming back in a business format similar to the old mom and pop shops.

For those that don't know, Nella Grassano was the original pizzaiolo at Spacca Napoli in Chicago. She did a great job there, and when I heard she was opening her own place I was excited to give it a try . . . If anyone was at Spacca when she was there the pizza was basically identical - which is a good thing.
I bet the owners of Spacca Napoli in Chicago are peeved that one of their pizzaiolos went into a competing business and took their techniques and formulations -- and maybe customers -- with her.  Now such places may make their key employees sign noncompetition/trade secret agreements as a condition of employment. 
                                                    LOL                    :-D

Offline norma427

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Re: Nella Pizzeria Napolitana-Chicago
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2009, 09:45:33 AM »
For those that don't know, Nella Grassano was the original pizzaiolo at Spacca Napoli in Chicago. She did a great job there, and when I heard she was opening her own place I was excited to give it a try. I got there just after opening today, and got for me the best seat in the house-right next to the prep table and 5 or 6 feet from the oven.  ;D The place is very nice looking, and well done. As you walk down the hall towards the back they have a window into the dough room which was a neat touch. While I was there today someone was scaling and balling dough. The staff were all very nice as was Nella. We got a chance to talk about pizza for a bit which she is very passionate about as you may have guessed. She opned the dough with a technique I have not seen before, where she holds the dough in her right hand, and slaps/stretches/spins it with her left-pretty neat.

I ordered a Margherita as I always do when first trying a place and it was great. If anyone was at Spacca when she was there the pizza was basically identical-which is a good thing. Ingredients were great, especially the tomatoes. This was the third Neapolitan style place I have been to in the last 10 days, and I must say is was cool to see someone that you can tell has been around pizza a long time work their craft. I had a great meal, and a great time watching and chatting. http://pizzerianella.com/

Jeff

ETA: These pics were with my phone, sorry for the worse than usual quality.


jeff v,
Great review and posts of pictures.  I really enjoyed reading about Nella Grassano.  I have never heard of Nella before, so reading this has helped me understand more about pizzas I have never tried.  I would love to see her open her dough like you saw.  Reading this on her website is really impressive.

By the youthful age of 13 she was the lead pizza maker of the family's establishment and at 18 she had earned the accreditation of Pizzaiola D.O.C., an honor only two women in the United States holds. Today, Nella creates one-of-a-kind Neapolitan masterpieces at her namesake pizzeria on Clark Street, Nella Pizzeria Napoletana

Thanks for the review and pictures.

Norma
Always working and looking for new information!

Offline PizzaPolice

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Re: Nella Pizzeria Napolitana-Chicago
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2009, 02:58:41 PM »
Very cool!  Nice review.  Have any other pix?  I need to go there next time I'm in Chicago.
Thanks.

Offline jeff v

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Re: Nella Pizzeria Napolitana-Chicago
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2009, 03:34:50 PM »
Very cool!  Nice review.  Have any other pix?  I need to go there next time I'm in Chicago.
Thanks.

PP,

Those were the only pics that made met strict quality control standards.  :P

Offline scottfsmith

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Re: Nella Pizzeria Napolitana-Chicago
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2010, 11:50:26 PM »
I was in Chicago last weekend and went to Nellas.  Unfortunately I forgot my camera but the above is similar to what our pizzas looked like.  I thought the pizza was great; it was a touch underdone compared to how I like it (the above pic is a touch more done than ours and it looks about perfect) but thats a minor deal. They did an odd thing I had never seen of "building" a rim when they first flatten the ball (only push down on the center so a 1-inch or so rim naturally starts forming); it doesn't seem to make much difference and it makes a more even rim than the usual way.  Some of the toppings they did were outstanding.  My favorite was a base of smoked mozz (not too much) with prosciutto and EVO; after cooking add large shavings of parm and arugula - YUM!!  Definitely a place to hit if you are passing through the Windy City.

Scott
« Last Edit: February 16, 2010, 11:53:37 PM by scottfsmith »

Offline jeff v

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Re: Nella Pizzeria Napolitana-Chicago
« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2010, 04:53:01 PM »
Went back To Nella...and found no Nella! The pizzeria is still there, but cooks are making them. Bummer.

Internet scour found this- http://www.chicagoreader.com/TheBlog/archives/2010/05/06/nella-grassano-no-longer-cooking-at-her-eponymous-pizzeria

Jeff

Offline vesuvio

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Re: Nella Pizzeria Napolitana-Chicago
« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2011, 11:09:41 AM »
Went back To Nella...and found no Nella! The pizzeria is still there, but cooks are making them. Bummer.

Internet scour found this- http://www.chicagoreader.com/TheBlog/archives/2010/05/06/nella-grassano-no-longer-cooking-at-her-eponymous-pizzeria

Jeff
nella grassano is in the process of opening her own pizzeria napoletana in lincoln park chicago opening early fall


 

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