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