Named the Best New Restaurant of 2016 by Tri-City News, and easily one of the best restaurants in the city of Port Moody, Spacca Napoli Pizzeria has become a household name in the community. Not only captivated by the chef’s native cuisine including Neapolitan-style pizza, the locals are also in love with the genuine Mediterranean charm and the story behind it.
I was fortunate to be invited to visit the restaurant to taste and judge their pizza creation for the Best Pizza Challenge, which also gave me a chance to have a comprehensive experience of what they offer atSpacca Napoli.
Chef Marco Cresciullo, born and raised in an ancient but very little known town near Naples in Southern Italy, explained to me about the unique cultural and the heritage reflected in his dishes. He builds his pizza as if he works on a painting of the scenery of his hometown, a fertile land of red soil covered with fresh produce of green and many other colours.
The dinner started with a bottle of the Ca’ Montebello Buttafuoco Doc 2013 from Italy ($45), a delectable full-bodied red carefully selected from their list consisting mostly Italian wines, and reasonably priced.
The Antipasti Board, or the Tagliata Di Salumi e Formaggi ($18) came to our table like a piece of breathtaking work of art, with delicious cheeses either imported from regions near the chef’s hometown, or house made, such as the fresh house mozzarella drizzled with house arugula pesto, delicate but boldly flavoured salumi and prosciutto also from Southern Italy, Castelvetrano green olives, house grissini baked in the house pizza oven, and pickled vegetables. And it was fun to randomly pair 2 or more items on the board to create a flavour combination – whatever and however we chose, the combo always tasted amazing.
The Pasta of the Day is the only pasta dish they offer every day. And today it was the Linguine Carbonara ($15). The house-made noodles were cooked perfectly and they held up really well against the richness of eggs, pancetta and cheese incorporated in the creamy sauce.
The star of the evening was the “Alla Facciazza” Pizza ($22). Absolutely stunning visually, the thin crust pizza was topped with freshly house-made arugula pesto, Fior Di Latte, garlic, porcini, Italian truffle cream, prosciutto crudo aged 18 months, thinly shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano and pan toasted pistachio. Anyone who’s a fan of truffle would be in love with this pizza. I was also impressed with the arugula pesto, flavourful but not as powerful as basil based pesto to collide with truffle. And the touch of roasted pistachio grains was heavenly, adding another palate-pleasing adventure.
Although the pizza was a creation for the pizza challenge and not on their regular menu, you can find the Prosciutto E Rucola somewhat similar or just ask for this special in advance. The rest of the pizza menu mostly looks familiar with the typical choices from a Neapolitan pizzeria, such as the Margherita or the Capricciosa, except the Americano, an experiment with ingredients like hotdogs and french fries that seems whimsical .
For dessert, we picked something light, the Cannoli Sicilian ($7.50), locally crafted by Cannoli King. The cigar-shaped shell was light and crispy, filled with delicate ricotta – a delightful treat indeed, even better with a shot of Espresso.
We were also offered a couple shots of the chef’s house-made Limoncello, a warm Southern Italy gesture for guests to feel special and to come again. But chef, you’d already had me at the Antipasti!
With the Ever Green extension of Millennium sky train line completed and running, the city centre of Port Moody is easily reachable from Downtown Vancouver and other parts of the Lower Mainland. Spacca Napoli has come in perfect time for the new booming of the city centre.
Spacca Napoli Pizzeria is an absolutely delightful discovery in the Tri-Cities, thanks to Vancouver Foodster. From the modern and rustic ambience, the warm welcoming staff, to the authentic taste of Southern Italy, the restaurant has delivered the Mediterranean charms as promised. Their Antipasti Board is absolutely fabulous to impress all your senses. The Neapolitan pizzas are spectacular, and it’s no surprise that they were crowned the winner of the Best Pizza Challenge.
Website and menu:
* Food and beverages tasted in this post were complimentary. Opinions are on the reviewer’s own.