I’m a little hesitant to tell you about this pizza place we went to the other weekend.
Not because it was bad, or because the place was cramped and dirty; but because the pizza and atmosphere was so mind-numblingly wonderful I don’t really want to share it with you guys because I’m selfish.
I want Varuni Napoli all to myself so I won’t have to fight crowds to get to this incredible pizza and pine for the attention of the lovely Italian owner, Luca.
But I love you all, so I suppose I’ll let you in on the little Italian secret I’ve been harboring for two weekends now. Varuni Napoli in Atlanta might just be God’s greatest gift to us Atlantans.
You can tell this place is going to be amazing as soon as you walk up the wooden steps onto the beautiful ivy encrusted patio with it’s wooden white tables, blue and red fixtures and the two cozy couches ready to be plopped in. However as you step closer to the door, the overwhelming smell of yeast and fire burned brick grows ever closer. Soon you’re inside staring the beast down bellowing it’s impressive flames and ready to cook you a pizza in 90 seconds.
Wanting to be face first with all the action we took a seat at the bar to watch the masters craft our pizza. Being at the complete will of the chefs, we said surprise our bellies with the best you have to offer! To which they started beating the dough and spinning it ferociously. Our raw pizza was topped with two eggs and thrown into the pit to crisp up.
While we waited on our pizza we started with the insalata varuni. The House Salad was topped with fresh sliced proscuitto, candied walnuts and local tomatoes. A very light and zesty start to our meal; the proscuitto was spectacular and so rich in flavor. Next we broke into our Cuoppa which were little rice and cheese balls, breaded and fried. Definitely worth getting if you are looking for an “adult” fried mozzarella stick. And soon, Luca, our guide through taste as well as the owner of Varuni Napoli, whisked out the most gorgeous pizza I’ve seen in my life. A “breakfast” pizza topped with truffled mushrooms, lots of motz, 2 eggs, a healthy drizzle of olive oil and some fresh basil. It smelled like heaven and begged us to slice her up!
Finally, I think I can officially dub “the best thing I’ve ever eaten to date” title to this pizza. Luca makes his dough in house out of what I can only assume is magic and pixie dust because I’ve never had a pizza crust that tasted quite like this.
It was buttery, but not crossaint like, it was yeasty but not like traditional bread, and it was the perfect chewy to crunchy consistency. Overall it was magic.
It was at that moment I knew what I was doing for my 25th birthday: eating this pizza at Varuni Napoli on August 9th. I couldn’t imagine spending my turning of an era any other way then with this pizza.
The best part of siting at the counter, getting to watch your hosts cook up a plethora of pizzas.
You’ll want to ‘look up’ towards the front doors if you’re sitting at the bar. There are always old movies playing in black and white from a projection screen. And there is only one TV placed oddly in a corner so that Luca and the other cooks can watch the Futball games when they are on. Oddly enough, our tummies began to rumble again and just in time for our second pizza to arrive.
Half Margherita pizza and half a spicy concoction which my fiance ate up. While we dove into our second pizza, Luca came and sat with us on his “lunch” break to tell us his story and give us some ideas on where to go for our Italian adventure. Of course he said Naples was a must since he, afterall, is from Napoli himself. When we finished eating and hearing all of Luca’s stories, he wouldn’t let us leave without a shot of his famous
lemon moonshine limoncello that is made in house.
Be warned: you will get drunk off of one shot of limoncello. Had this drink been on ice and served with a sprig of thyme I could have sipped on it all afternoon! It was delicious despite it’s strength.
With two very full bellies and happy hearts, we left Varuni Napoli more sluggish and slightly warm from the shot of limoncello, but with great anticipation on our return visit.
Luckily that next visit is in 5 days and I cannot wait to eat an entire pizza to myself again.
If you’re looking for somewhere to eat in Atlanta, you need to make Varuni Napoli your number 1 priority.