Slice-It-Yourself is Part of the Quirky Draw of Bella Napoli

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Pizza margherita at Bella Napoli
  • Pizza margherita at Bella Napoli
Dusk is a good time to visit Bella Napoli. The space, carved out of the old White Way laundry at Edgehill and Villa Place, is intimate and feels like an Italian neighborhood joint, especially if you sit outside as the Pilates class lets out and people cut through on their way out with their mats under their arms.

The strings of outdoor lights come on at night, and there's music outside — very romantic — and other events from week to week that make it worth coming back.

Parking nearby is a pain, much easier if you choose a spot way up the block. That's around the corner from my mom's old urban pioneer townhouse, my post-grad crash pad, so that was a little side trip down memory lane.

Our little group sat at a wonky table but the sweet service and $5 wine for happy hour made up for it. The happy hour wine is a nondescript plonk, but there are better bottles if you're so inclined. There's a happy hour pizza, too, that's a good deal at about half price.

Okay but here's the thing: They don't slice it for you. Wut?, you may say, and I repeat: you and your dull stainless dinner knife are going to have to slice it yourself. I asked the reason, and the answer said, "Because people complain that it gets soggy."

I make pizza at home from scratch, so I'm guessing the homemade tomato sauce and fresh mozzarella are a little watery, and that causes the potential for sog. I get that because I've seen it.

If I were in charge of the Napoli kitchen and looking for options, I might cook down the sauce to a thicker, less liquid consistency, and store the mozzarella in a strainer.

But if I were in charge of the dining room, the slice-it-yourself ethic would certainly seem easier, if much, much weirder.

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