WHY WE LOVE IT: One would be inclined to think the name is hyperbole, but among lovers of one of Italy’s greatest exports, it isn’t. Stemming from a maestro, Renato Viola, who crafted the recipes here, it tells how he made the jump across the pond: by earning an O-1 visa based on his pizza-making talent alone. He landed in Miami and conquered the trend-conscious fooderati when Naples resident Laina Kennedy knew she had to bring it Gulfside, opening the eatery’s first U.S. franchise. It’s exactly the kind of haute and hip yet still laidback pizzeria this town needed.
IDEAL MEAL: The menu is intentionally limited because why mess with a good thing? Beyond the ultra-thin artisanal Roman-style pies and the star-shaped ricotta-stuffed ones that put Viola on the map, there are lovely charcuterie boards (don’t miss prosciutto and a decadent burrata that the restaurant exclusively imports), calzones, salads and two Nutella dessert pizzas. But there is endless variety with Viola’s pies, from the straightforward, like the Bella Margherita with gobs of fresh fior di latte, to the adventurous, such as the Coffee Paolo— uniquely savory, sweet and spicy at once with a dusting of coffee grinds atop honey-drizzled gorgonzola, piquant Calabrian salami and tomato sauce. Everything is individually-sized but sliced into eighths, so groups can sample at least five in a sitting—and it’d be sacrilege not to try a pointy number, our favorite being the Star Luca with ricotta gushing from each corner foiled by slices of the same zingy salami on the Paolo.
VIBE: Open daily for lunch and dinner all year long, it’s where you can sit down and be waited on in a comfortable but more refined setting than other pie emporiums. Gray-tinted wood floors and chic bistro chairs with matching tables are accented by faux hedges and artfully positioned knickknacks creating the ultimate glammed-up pizzeria.
2355 Vanderbilt Beach Road, Naples, 631-6844, facebook.com/MisterO1Naples