Noli’s Pizzeria, in the Blackstone District, didn’t just upgrade its space (more seats) and it’s oven (bigger and hotter) when it moved two doors to the east in mid-March.
It’s upgraded its pizza, and to be honest, I’d say those big, crispy New York-style pies — pies that didn’t have the same problems I wrote about in my original review — are now among my favorites in midtown.
When I first reviewed Noli’s, in 2015, my main gripe centered on the center of the pizzas getting weighed down under the toppings. A secondary matter: Some slices just didn’t have enough toppings for the price.
Consider both those solved.
The crust has been slightly beefed up so it no longer has a case of the droops. Instead, the slices we tried on two pies held up against the toppings and cheese, and the edges, my favorite part of pizza, packed a snappy bite.
Owner Joel Marsh said that’s mostly to do with the new restaurant’s much larger oven, four or five times bigger than the old one, which allows the crust to cook much more evenly.
I liked the toppings, too. The Liguriano has earthy kale pesto and portobello mushrooms, fennel-studded sausage, briny Kalamata olives, goat cheese and fresh mozzarella. And the Capricosa had a super acidic tomato sauce, really good, topped with big rounds of thin salami, mushrooms, black olives and grated mozzarella.
The pies at Noli’s are big, and so are the slices: My guest and I were almost full after just one slice. Plan on lots of leftovers, which are great taken down cold, if you like that sort of thing.
Inside, the dining room is at least twice as big as before. It has the same open kitchen, and the same “New York water” tap for diners who want to skip pop or alcohol.
The back story on the water: Before Noli’s opened, Marsh had a New York friend send him a gallon of the city’s tap water. He took that sample to Futuramic’s Clean Water Center in Omaha, where Marsh had it analyzed for things like mineral content and softness. Then the company came to Noli’s and set up a filter that transforms Omaha water into New York water. That system made the move to the new location, and the restaurant still uses the special filtered water in its crust.
Other improvements include a bigger bar for seating and lots of menu changes, including a wider array of beers both on tap and in cans and a broader wine list.
We tried a beer from Minnesota’s Surly Brewing — Hell, a German style lager — and the list also includes selections from Deschutes, Rogue and local brewery Scriptown. I tried two wines, a red and a white, from Italy’s Montepulciano region, and liked both. A full menu of cocktails is coming soon.
Photos: Recent World-Herald dining reviews
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