Roger Cappucci with a tray of house-made mozzarella
The 58-seat pizzeria Roger and Sandra Cappucci opened in September of 2015 in Harrison that focuses on Neapolitan pies now has a broader menu serving Southern Italian fare. “People were asking us for more than just pizza,” says Roger.
The new offerings are dishes from Roger’s grandmother, 87-year-old Nanna Giovanna.
“I grew up in Giovanna’s kitchen in Limina, Sicily,” explains Roger, “where oregano grows wild.”
The bulk of the recipes for the dishes come from Giovanna’s handwritten recipe notebook. “And they were written in a dialect,” says Roger, “which made it harder to translate.”
There’s juicy chicken scarpariello (off-the-bone) in a light lemon-y wine sauce ($22); tortellini with prosciutto di Parma and peas blanketed in a rich cream sauce ($21); penne diavola with olives, artichokes, asparagus, and hot soppressata ($19), and other Italian-American classics.
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The starter section of the menu was also increased, including house-made truffle burrata, fritattine (small spaghetti “cakes” with Italian ham and mozzarella), and arancini with Italian ham. An excellent starter I would return for is the polpo salad, a bruschetta/salad hybrid with tomatoes, basil, and onions that was packed with flavor.
But don’t worry pizza fanatics — there are still gorgeous handcrafted pies coming from the 900°F Stefano Ferrara wood-burning oven — just a reduced variety, about 20 instead of 40+. (You can get a sense of their pie style in an article I wrote in December 2015.)
Porta Napoli Restaurant & Barâ€¨
261 Halstead Ave, â€¨Harrisonâ€¨
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