Tuesday, February 4, 2014


People in DC are always talking about New York City pizza being the best. Well, they'll be delighted to know that we're getting an actual New York City pizzeria here in Montgomery County: Naples 45 Ristorante e Pizzeria will open later this year at Westfield Montgomery Mall.

Naples 45 will be located by the future dining terrace and ArcLight Cinemas, currently under construction. The Bethesda location will be the only one outside of NYC, except for their Disneyland and Disney World restaurants.

The pizzeria specializes in Neapolitan pizza. That style relies on a lean, fine dough containing only flour, yeast, salt and water. The thin crust features a crispy, thin exterior, and a slightly-chewy, soft interior. Is it authentic? Naples 45 is one of only 3 NYC pizzerias to win the La Vera Pizza Napoletana certification, for authentic Neapolitan preparation, ingredients and cooking methods. They were similarly awarded the Ospitalit√† Italiana certification for those reasons.

Still not convinced? Tony Gemignani, World Champion Pizza Maker - and official U.S. Ambassador of Neapolitan Pizza (as bestowed by the city of Naples, Italy, no less) - says real Neapolitan pizza should use Caputo flour and San Marzano tomatoes. And, by golly, Naples 45 uses both.

Here's a great video showing the actual Naples 45 Disney World location, that will let you see the cooking process and restaurant firsthand. I don't know about you, but I'm ready for a slice of this pizza.

If you're on a dinner-and-a-movie visit there after the ArcLight Cinemas open - and somebody in the group isn't a pizza person - there are also plenty of pasta, seafood, meat and salad dishes on the menu.

This is another strong statement by Westfield about boosting food offerings to the level expected at a top flight mall. Westfield Montgomery Senior Marketing Director Christa Allen says the mall is committed to "continuing to bring unique dining options to the table.” If they can add something special in the Legal Sea Foods space, like a Great American Restaurants Group restaurant (Coastal Flats, Jackson's Mighty Fine Food, etc.), that would arguably make Montgomery Mall an equal to Tysons Corner.

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