Once, after I reviewed a pizzeria, I got a scathing e-mail from a reader who couldn't believe I would review a restaurant that served nothing but pizza.

Pizza being, apparently, lower in interest and quality than the hamburger restaurants I've repeatedly reported on in these pages — or, indeed, lower than practically everything you can eat save, perhaps, a Twinkie. Or a pork rind.

I was interested to notice that this reader didn't weigh in the next year when I reviewed the high-concept Settebello, a downtown pizzeria that is Utah's only certified member of the Vera Pizza Napoletana, an association dedicated to preserving the "identity and integrity" of Naples-style pizza (cooked at 800 degrees in an imported Italian oven, with imported Italian ingredients, in case you didn't catch that one).

Either Settebello had enough foodie-pleasing mojo to overcome the fact that it serves pizza, or the previous pizzeria review drove her from my readership. Either way, I disagree with her, then and now, about pizza.

I like really good pizza — locally, Settebello and The Pie come to mind — but I'm not too jazzed about most of the rest of what's out there. To me, pizza starts and ends with high-quality crust topped with just enough high-quality toppings. When it's really good, there's hardly anything that tastes better.

If you feel like I do, you'll be happy to hear about Nevole's. It's in a shopping center in the parking lot of a Home Depot, but it serves up huge, thin-crusted pies that would not be out of place in New York City.

I understand from regulars that Nevole's had some growing pains during the move to its current location. But when I took a passel of kids to Nevole's for dinner, we had no problems. In fact, the clean dining space, attentive service, decent prices and good pizza were of a caliber to make this a regular stop for our family.

All the pizzas are 18 inches across, which made it embarrassing when I ordered two, plus garlic bread, for myself and six kids. But we wanted to try a few different kinds, and my husband and his friends were happy to finish up the leftovers we brought home.

One of our pies was a kid-pleasing combo of half Hawaiian and half pepperoni. These two variations on Nevole's basic New York-style formula of crust topped with a bit of fresh sauce and lashings of mozzarella showed off the high quality of the ingredients.

Our server, after bringing us a lidded plastic cup for my 2-year-old, suggested we have that pizza double-cut into 16 narrow slices to make it more kid-friendly. However, we left our second pizza, the True Love, in eight huge, foldable slices. Known as white pizza elsewhere, this delicious pie featured mozzarella, olive oil, fresh garlic and a smear of ricotta instead of tomato sauce. Again, this is a pizza that could succeed only with quality crust and toppings.

There's a lot I'd like to try at Nevole's: the classic margherita pie, a cheese pizza with tomatoes, basil and garlic; as well as Tony's Masterpiece, with sausage, green peppers and onions. Of course, diners can construct their own pies, choosing from 15 toppings, and the menu also offers a variety of East Coast-style sandwiches, calzones and Cheesecake Factory cheesecakes for dessert, which we were way too full to order.

Pizza $15.99-$22.99, sandwiches $6.49, calzones $9.99, lunch special (all-you-can-eat pizza, salad and beverage from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday-Friday) $8.45, desserts $2.25-$4.95.

Nevole's Pizzeria

Rating: ***

Where: 17 E. 11400 South, Sandy

Hours: 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Monday-Thursday; 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Friday-Saturday; noon-8 p.m., Sunday

Payment: Major credit cards accepted

Phone: 571-5744

Wheelchair access: Easy

Also: No delivery; takeout service and lunch buffet available


Stacey Kratz is a freelance writer who reviews restaurants for the Deseret News. E-mail: [email protected]