September 1, 2011

First Take: Sapori di Napoli in Decatur

I stopped in Wednesday night to try the pizza at the much anticipated Sapori di Napoli in Decatur. The restaurant was rumored to be opening in early summer, but after several push-backs, they finally opened their doors on Tuesday night. As of now, the restaurant is still getting organized and it's a very casual space inside; it's really one smallish square room with no-frills wooden tables and chairs. It rather reminds me of old neighborhood pizza joints I'd frequent as a kid.
The 5,000 lb. wood-burning brick oven, which was cranking away at 400C/750F while I was there, was imported from Naples in attempt to bring the true taste of Napoletana pizza to Decatur.

We tried several dishes including the arugula salad, arancini, margherita pie, and a $13 bowl of spaghetti that my daughter talked me into allowing her to order. I don't know when a bowl of spaghetti with red sauce became a $13 dish, but the pasta is hand-made daily, and the red sauce is mighty fine. For some reason, I can hear Bourdain ranting in my head about a $13 bowl of spaghetti and red sauce at a pizza joint...but I'll leave that to your imagination.
The Margherita pie was pretty darn good. The dough was light and airy, nicely blackened in spots, though I would have liked it even darker on the bottom. I suppose this will come in time as the oven gets more broken-in. I will say the dough was not in the least bit soggy, something that is a bit of a pet peeve for me with Napoletana pizza. The sauce was incredibly fresh tasting with bright tomato flavors and the perfect amount of salt. The pie is probably big enough for two adults to share, if you also order other items. However, if I was hungry, I could probably knock one pie off by myself with no problem.

I've only tried the Margherita, there are numerous other pies on the menu (ranging from $15-$19), including variations on the Margherita, as well as numerous "sauceless" pies that feature items such as cherry tomatoes, speck, or sweet peppers and ricotta. I visited once, so I am not going to pontificate as to whether or not Sapori belongs up in the pantheon of great pizza in the ATL. It is clear, from one taste, that Sapori is as close to true Napoletana-style pizza as you will find in Decatur. Is it worth a trip across town? Probably.
Will I return? Definitely. And often.

Sapori di Napoli on Urbanspoon


  1. tomorrow I think I'm just gonna try all 6 decatur restaurants I've been meaning to get to in one shot. Hope you're down.

  2. Don't forget to pack a snack for the ride over.

  3. Cut to the chase, on a scale of 1 to Pepe's how does this pie rank?