Margaret and I have dubbed Via Tribunali, a crooked crowded street in centro historico district of Naples, "Pizza Alley". Between the speeding vespas, ancient churches, and begging gypsies, there is some fantastic pizza. There's Di Matteo- a staple among Neapolitans, there's Il Presidente - the spot Bill Clinton went while visiting Naples, and there's, of course, Sorbillo- the favorite pizzeria of italian actress Sophia Loren. Just down the street from these giants in the pizza world is Vesi, a lesser known but equally deserving pizzeria. After living here for two months, Vesi has easily become one of my most frequented pizzerias in all of Naples. The pizza here can hold its own against Sorbillo and Il Presidente, and if you pick the right pie, even surpass them.
The D.O.C. at Vesi
Try the D.O.C. Fresh mozzarella di buffala and pomodorini (small, sweet tomatoes) from the base of Mount. Vesuvius itself. Throw on a little extra virgin olive oil and that's it. This pie speaks directly to the neapolitan pizza philosophy that excellence is achieved through simplicity. If you are going to use ingredients of the highest quality, you don't need more than a few of them. In fact, I'd say that any additional topping might ruin the very delicate, almost perfect balance between the pomodorini and mozzarella. The first time I ordered this pie, I could smell the cooked pomodorini before the waiter had put it on the table. The juices of the pomodorini become infused with the cream of the mozzarella. You find yourself mopping on the oil and cheese directly from the plate. I've already made a few posts about soupy neapolitan pizzas and how, generally, I like a drier pie. But the D.O.C at Vesi is one of the few exceptions.
A "ripieno" styled pie at Vesi
Vesi has a wonderful outdoor patio on Via Tribunali. If you can ignore the honking of the passing cars (something you've got to do pretty much everywhere in Naples), you'll enjoy a wonder pie in a great location. The staff is friendly and very dedicated to making quality pizza.