I had only been to Napolese only once before for an awkwardly tense work lunch and had been wanting to make a return visit to erase that bad memory and actually focus on the food. I finally got a chance to make up for that first experience with a second, more casual get-together.
For this visit, I met up with a group of five people at the Keystone Mall location. I was the first to arrive and was told that they couldn’t seat me until at least half of the party had arrived, so I waited a few minutes until a couple of people in my group showed up. We were seated inside fairly quickly. I prefer outdoor seating in most cases, but since there was a long wait for a table outside we decided on a table inside the restaurant.
The first thing I noticed here is it’s very LOUD. The place wasn’t quite filled to capacity and it was already difficult to hear what the other people at my table were saying. We definitely had to raise our voices quite a bit to talk and constantly ask ‘what did you say?’. Aside from the slight annoyance of the general din, the restaurant itself is very modern and sleek. There was a small bar area in the restaurant consisting of about 6 chairs, but no one was making use of that area.
While there were still only three of us at the table, we ordered some drinks and our server brought out some complimentary olives, which I immediately devoured since I was starving and hadn’t eaten much earlier in the day. Once the rest of our party arrived, we ordered the Roasted Broccoli Salad and the Baked Capriole Goat Cheese appetizer for the table, both of which I highly recommend! The Broccoli salad was massive, enough for four people to split, and the same for the appetizer. I ordered a Pineapple Daiquiri as a starting drink and they did not hold back on the rum… I was able to nurse that thing over the course of the entire meal. Others at the table ordered an Old Fashioned and Sun King Cream Ale.
Later on, we ordered the Classic Pizza, Elliot’s Pie and a Caesar salad, which all came out just as we were finishing up our appetizers. Of these three, I only ate the Elliot’s Pie, and it was an excellent choice if you’re in the mood for a white-sauce based pizza. Besides the quality of the toppings, the main thing that sets these pizzas apart from others is the taste of the crust. I usually don’t eat the part of the crust that doesn’t have toppings covering it, but here I ate each slice in its entirety.
After eating, I was also talked into trying Grappa for the first time — a drink I’d never heard of until that night. A guy who I think was the restaurant manager came over and gave us a history of the drink, essentially summing it up as “Italian moonshine”! It was… an experience. It burned going all the way down, made my stomach hot and tasted like grape-flavored gasoline. Apparently, it’s meant to be a digestive aid.
Here’s what we ended up ordering for 5 people:
- Pineapple Daiquiri
- Old Fashioned (2)
- Death in the Gulf Stream
- Grappa (3)
- Sun King Cream Ale
- Roasted Broccoli Salad
- House Caesar Salad
- Baked Capriole Goat Cheese
- Classic Pizza
- Elliot’s Pie
Our total with tip for five people was a little under $150, so around $30 per person. Not a bad price at all considering we had drinks, appetizers, and pizza. Cocktails were around $10, apps were $10-$12 and the pizzas were around $15.
In addition to the awesome food we had, our server, Angelica, was extremely knowledgeable and helpful in assisting a friend at the table choose a beer and helping me, with my chronic food decision anxiety, decide on a final salad choice. Overall, I had a great experience here that more than makes up for the first time I came.