Monday, June 8, 2015

Review: Dough Pizzeria Napoletana, San Antonio

As the pizza renaissance spreads across America, it's become easy to find reasonably authentic Neapolitan pie in almost any major city. San Antonio joined the ranks of Neapolitan American cities in 2007, when they opened Dough Pizzeria Napoletana. Since then, they've added a second location in Dallas.
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I visited at lunchtime on a Friday, and the place filled quickly after my 11:30am arrival. I was intrigued by the "pork love" pie that features speck, sausage, soppressata, and pancetta, but chose instead a $15 special that included salad, iced tea, and a small (personal size) pizza of the day featuring salted ricotta, rapini, sausage, oak-roasted mushrooms, and red chilies.

The house salad - and some very good unsweetened ice tea - arrived first. The salad featured tender green lettuce, shaved carrots, celery, onion, and a bit of pepperoncini in a balsamic dressing. It was full-flavored, a bit salty (in a good way) and was a delicious appetizer.

The pie arrived shortly after, and was cut into six small slices. It sported a lovely char on the cornicione, but the crust was pretty pale on the underside. I could eat the slices without knife and fork only because they were so small; the crust was soft and did not have any rigidity to support the relatively heavy load of toppings.

Happily, the pie was not wet or soupy in the center, even though the crust lacked any bottom crispness. Overall, the crust - on its own - would have made some very good but not outstanding bread.

All of the toppings worked nicely together. I am often reluctant to order a pie with ricotta, because it is wet and heavy and can ruin the balance. Here, the ricotta was applied in properly small dollops so that it contributed flavor without destroying the texture. 
Underside of the crust

The mushrooms were the standout topping, in both flavor and texture. I enjoyed the house-made sausage, but not as much as ordinary commercial grade fresh Italian sausage that cooks on a pie like DeLorenzo's. The rapini was applied sparingly, which helped prevent a wet topping from ruining the crust. Finally, the chilies added a moderate touch of spice without setting the whole pie on fire.
The oven

Overall, a well-balanced and constructed pie.  I enjoyed every bite, but I have had plenty of better Neapolitans, including the craft pies at Pieous in Austin. The standard for Neapolitan remains Scuola Vecchia in Delray Beach, Florida. Still, this pricey pie (my lunch came to $20 after tax and tip) was a worthy stop; a nice ambiance (for a strip mall setting) and good service helped. Let's call it "very good" but not quite great Neapolitan pizza.

Dough Pizzeria Napoletana Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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