A Slice of Nirvana
Derived from the ancient Greeks who flavored their bread in oils, cheeses and herbs, pizza (Latin for “to press”) became popular throughout Western Europe, including Italy. Traditional-style pizza arrived in America with its Italian inventors, and came into high demand after World War II when several returning soldiers craved the comfort food they’d enjoyed while overseas. It has since evolved into many forms — rolled, pocketed, stuffed — and is dressed with ingredients as creative as its cook.
Fortunately, residents and guests of Newport Beach needn’t travel far to enjoy this Italian treat. From a classic Pizza Margherita made with fresh tomato sauce, mozzarella and basil to a gourmet feast of goat cheese, fig and prosciutto, many local restaurants and pizza parlors prepare their own take on gourmet pies. And they’re often fired in a wood or brick oven, adding extra crispiness and flavor — perfetto!
Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza
Priding itself on healthful artisanal pizza that’s fired in just a flash, Blaze’s blazing hot pizza is made with dough tossed fresh from scratch, and comes with your choice of toppings. Opt for a tried-and-approved pie (the Meat Eater, Art Lover, and Veg Out to name a few), or create your own pizza with a host of delicious ingredients including Italian sausage, artichokes, and applewood bacon.
Coming to Fashion Island Soon; www.blazepizza.com
Fresh Brothers Pizza
This establishment’s bespoke fresh-from-the-oven pies earned it the “2012 Independent Pizzeria of the Year.” A buffet of pizza making, Fresh Brothers features a kitchen full of ingredients from simple sauces, meats and cheeses to fancy vegan and gluten-free varieties. Build your own (choose from thin, skinny, and deep dish dough, too) or try one of the brothers’ favorites, including the Hawaiian Style (made with juicy ham and pineapple) and Fresh Mamma’s Favorite (spinach, garlic, mushrooms, tomato sauce and pesto).
1616 San Miguel Dr, Newport Beach. 949-759-1212; www.freshbrothers.com
This new addition to Newport Beach boasts authentic pizza Napoletana in a cozy trattoria atmosphere. It’s not odd to find folks slicing into this style of pizza with a fork and knife — the “wet” texture of the soft, foldable dough cooked in a wood-burning oven for about only a minute is easier to eat this way. Using ingredients imported from Italy (flour and tomato from Napoli, parmesan from Modena, prosciutto from Parma) is essential to the creating one of these works of culinary art.
7864 E. Coast Hwy, Newport Coast. 949-715-2072; www.settebello.net
To the delight of locals, San Diegans’ beloved pizza place is now open in Newport Beach. The gourmet pizzas are hand-tossed, layered in fine, fresh toppings, and then baked to perfection in a wood-burning oven. Enjoy a house cocktail or glass of wine in this warm atmosphere while dining on such savory concoctions as the Gorgonzola Pear Pizza (dough topped with Alfredo sauce, gorgonzola, Fontina and mozzarella cheeses, fresh pears and a salad mix of spinach, caramelized walnuts, onions and balsamic) or Thai Shrimp pizza (shrimp, scallions, bean sprouts, carrots, cilantro and roasted peanuts with spicy peanut-ginger sauce). A host of salads and fresh-made pastas are also on the menu.
2601 West Coast Hwy, Newport Beach. 949-574-4099; www.pizzanova.net
This fine dining establishment also specializes in some of the best pizzas around —perfect for sharing since you’ll want to indulge in the full five-course experience. Start with a glass of wine paired with an array of antipasti, carne, insalate, bruschetta or (and!) panini before sampling gourmet pies baked with such fresh, delicious ingredients as goat cheese, fennel, leeks, sausages, prosciutto, and mushrooms.
800 West Coast Hwy, Newport Beach. (949) 945-1126; www.pizzeriamozza.com
Photo Features Pizzeria Mozza