Joey D's recently third and newest location in Naples, this one in East Naples feels the most inviting with a stretch open-air sports bar out front. Inside it feels comfy and roomy enough to expand your waistline a little over a big bowl of pasta Alfredo or Bolognese or pizza like you love it in Jersey and New York. Besides the usual two P (pasta and pizza) culprits, there are plenty of other Italian specialties to fill your appetite and then some. The board of subs includes cold, hot and specialty subs such as pizza steak with marinara and mozzarella. For dinner, start out with fried ravioli or mussels marinara. Entrees survey the familiar landscape of Italian dining: chicken cacciatore, Zuppa de Pesce, veal piccata, lasagna and eggplant parmigiana.
Recommended for Pizza because: Eight different varieties of specialty pizzas - plus calzone and Stromboli - include cheesesteak and seafood.
Chelle's expert tip: You don't have to expand your waistline: Try the Jenny D Salad with goat cheese and grilled chicken on greens instead.
In a warm brick and wood setting, Aldos feeds East Naples like an Italian family, preparing all the traditional regional versions of soup, salad, pasta, chicken, veal, seafood and pizza. So you will naturally find chicken marsala, veal piccata, spaghetti carbonara, eggplant parmigiana, baked lasagna Bolognese, shrimp scampi and meat lovers pizza. But in the dishes listed under Signature Entrees and Signature Pasta, Aldos' individuality shines through. The Penne Aldos, for instance, comes with sausage and roasted red pepper in a white wine sauce. Mushrooms and marsala sauce finish the center-cut pork chop.
Recommended for Pizza because: It serves a number of specialty red and white New York-style pizzas that locals rave about.
Chelle's expert tip: Happy hour, 4 to 7 p.m. daily, carries drink specials and $6 appetizers such as fried ravioli and meatball sliders.
Whether you like your pizza thin-crusted New York style or Sicilian thick-crusted, Joey's lists endless ways to order your pie. Specialty pizzas include pizza ala vodka, shrimp and portobello mushrooms, chicken parmesan, and arugula with prosciutto. The extensive menu also includes calzone, stromboli, hot and cold subs, salads, pasta, and specialty dinners such as breaded chicken breast with vegetable giardiniera and white wine garlic sauce over penne. In season, loyal customers come in just for the stuffed artichokes. A convivial, modern setting, it features brick accents, columns and arches inside and on the patio. Waitresses in their black "Holy Cannoli" T-shirts are friendly and efficient.
Recommended for Pizza because: Joey's is known for its New York-style specialty and design your own pies.
Chelle's expert tip: The lunch special menu offers two slices with any two toppings and soda or tea for $8.95.
A tasty local favorite, Aurelio's Pizza serves up Chicago-style pies made with super-fresh, often creative ingredients and toppings on a crust somewhere between thick and thin. A longtime fixture along Highway 41, it recently moved to Coastland Town Center mall and opened another nearby in Fort Myers. It has been selling pizza in the Chicago area since 1959 and still has restaurants in the Midwest. Specialty thin-crust pies like the Taco and The Works (sausage, cheese, green pepper, ham, pepperoni and mushrooms) star on the menu here, although thick crust and stuffed pizzas are equally delicious. A broad range of appetizers, salads, sandwiches and pasta dishes round out this sure-to-satisfy menu.
Recommended for Pizza because: Aurelio's is synonymous with pizza among those who favor Chicago style.
Chelle's expert tip: For something different, try the stuffed pizza made with homemade sauce on top of lots of cheese in the traditional "Old World" fashion.
This class-act Third Street South restaurant occupies the historic Naples Mercantile Building and a pleasant Rome-reminiscent courtyard to its west. Inside, you will find an inviting dining area, spacious bar area and large, open kitchen complete with a traditional wood-burning oven. Some of the pasta, such as the pappardelle with braised veal, is made in house. Many of the ingredients, such as specialty cheeses and sausage, get shipped from Italy. There's balsamic-glazed short ribs or pan-roasted black grouper with artichoke hearts for dinner, chicken and caramelized pear salad for lunch and amaretto panna cotta with blueberry almond granola for dessert.
Recommended for Pizza because: Wood-fired pizzas such as Margherita, fennel sausage, soppressata and scampi with charred corn are available for lunch and dinner.
Chelle's expert tip: Each month Campiello's showcases the cuisine of a different region in Italy on a special Regional Menu.
Yes, it does thin-crust pizza by the slice and "big wheels" (a.k.a whole pies). But it's raison d'etre is its Detroit pizza, which comes by the slab (they say "square," but they are clearly rectangular and enough for a couple of meals.) Spongy, chewy, thick dough creates a foundation for fully-loaded, thickly sauced pie. This cousin of newly acclaimed LowBrow Pizza, it too takes the low road in high-end Naples to please the working crowd with not just average pizza, but pizza with vision. You order at the counter; there's a smattering of places to sit and eat-in-house, but it's mostly for take-out. A condiment bar lets you self-garnish your pizza with pickled red onions, giardiniera, hot peppers and the likes.
Recommended for Pizza because: North Naples newest pizza sensation reinvents pizza by the slice and pie.
Chelle's expert tip: At opposite spectrum ends, the Gear Head loads up on specialty meats (pork shoulder, soppressata, hot coppa house sausage and more), while the Vedge-Out changes its veggie load daily.
Have a seat in the European-style courtyard or make new friends at the communal table inside. Known for its authentic Italian wood-fired pizza and gelato, it equally excels at a select menu of pasta, seafood, meats and sandwiches. On the lunch menu, pizzettes, or small pizzas, come in six varieties. There are no ordinary sandwiches; take the bourbon-roasted chicken salad or Neapolitan grilled cheese with smoked mozzarella, pancetta, and roasted tomatoes, for instance. On the dinner menu, grilled eggplant, heirloom tomatoes, pork sausage and buffalo mozzarella top the signature pizza. It offers cheese and charcuterie samplings including four types of mozzarella. Seafood lovers go for the Ligurian seafood platter: langostino, shrimp, calamari, mussels and linguine in light tomato brodo.
Recommended for Pizza because: Barbatella takes pizzeria to a whole new level with fresh and unusual ingredients.
Chelle's expert tip: It may sound extreme, but you have to try the dessert pizza - sweet pizza dough with hazelnut-flavored Nutella, caramelized bananas and whipped cream.
If you are not hungry when you walk into Rosedale Brick Oven, the scent of baking dough and toppings will send you to salivating in two seconds. Pizza connoisseurs declare this the most authentic Italian pizza in Naples. Specialty pies include white, arugula, seashell (clams with spinach), tropical (tomatoes, prosciutto, pineapple and fresh mozzarella) and chicken Rustica. Plus you can create your own from a number of available Italian ingredients. Although the dining space is small, with the display kitchen taking up most of it, the menu is extensive with oven-baked sandwiches, pasta, seafood, salads and antipasti. Its traditional and vegetarian lasagnas are signature.
Recommended for Pizza because: Pizza aficionados call this the most authentic Italian pizza in Naples.
Chelle's expert tip: For a break from pizza, try the meatball sub, brick oven-baked with Rosedale's signature pork and beef meatballs, and available on homemade white or whole wheat buns.
It is entirely worth ferreting out this place if you love Chicago style pizza. If you prefer New York-style thin crust, Rosati's does both with equal aplomb. Try the deep dish pizza, best without any other toppings than the thick mozzarella and Pomodoro in its unadulterated form. If you want lots of toppings, go for the thin-crust style. Rosati's Monster has 12 different toppings. Another good bet, The Godfather comes with gourmet Italian sausage, garlic, onion and house hot giardiniera. Besides pizza, there are wings, salads, sandwiches and pasta (including build your own options) - all served in a sports bar setting.
Recommended for Pizza because: It excels at both deep dish Chicago style and flat crust pizza.
Chelle's expert tip: The deep-dish pizza takes at least 45 minutes, so order accordingly. It is worth the wait, cheesy and made-to-order with your choice of ingredients.
New and sassy on the scene, LowBrow proudly proclaims "Serious about pizza & beer... and not much else." It has a little fun with mainstream Naples' high-brow restaurant reputation. There in East Naples, it can bring its prices and ambiance to the working person's level. But there's nothing low-brow about what it serves. Pies with quirky names like "Facemelter" top chewy crusts with quality ingredients, in this case, pepperoni arrabbiata, hot capicola, ricotta-fermented chilies and honey ricotta. Despite its tagline, it does also do a burger, wings, salads and chicken parmesan pretty darn well. As for the beer part of the name, not only does it pour a wide selection of local brews on tap and in bottles, it uses spent flour from a local brewery in its pizza dough.
Recommended for Pizza because: LowBrow has reinvented pizza and dining in Naples with gourmet ingredients and reasonable prices.
Chelle's expert tip: You don't have to be a vegetarian to love the Vedge Out pizza, which changes toppings daily, but usually involves sweet roasted grape tomatoes.