Even before the abstract paintings that dominate the 40-seat dining room or the sleek maple bar, you see it: the 6,000-pound Italian-imported, wood-burning oven with Vero tiled in navy above its mouth.
Flames lick three pies at a time, as pizzaiolo Marc-Aurele Buholzer feeds the beast one by one at a pace of 100 a day. The dance looks like something from one of those food documentaries with slick, epic cinematography.
If it were, the episode would focus on the dough, which spends just 90 seconds in the oven. The result is a stout crust that’s kissed by char, yet sweet and chewy — by far Cleveland’s best.
The contemporary Napoletana menu is simple but stuns, especially the Margherita DOP ($20), which stars buffalo mozzarella imported weekly from Italy. Simplicity also reigns supreme in such appetizers as the 36-month-aged prosciutto with grated cured egg yolk and olive oil poured over buffalo mozzarella ($14). Yet, the Milk ‘n’ Honey ($20) with egg and hot honey shows the shop's willingness not to take itself too seriously. verocleveland.com