Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Naples Ristorante e Pizzeria e Bar Opens in Bethesda

From our friends at Naples Ristorante e Pizzeria e Bar...

Authentic Taste of Italy Makes Bethesda Debut

Naples Ristorante e Pizzeria e Bar opens today at the Westfield Montgomery Mall (7101 Democracy Boulevard), bringing authentic Neapolitan pizza and cuisine to Bethesda. Restaurateur Nick Valenti created the Naples concept twenty years ago to showcase the cooking of the region of his birth.

The Naples experience is a full immersion into the dining of its namesake - from the food and wine to interactions with native Italian servers. The restaurant offers authentic wood-fired pizza as well as a wide selection of tempting Neapolitan favorites, from Acqua Pazza to Zeppole. Chef Riccardo Simeone, who was born and raised in Gaeta, Italy (50 miles from Naples) cooks with imported Italian essentials complemented by fresh, local ingredients.

Following in the footsteps of the New York Naples 45 Ristorante, the new restaurant is in the process of being certified by La Vera Pizzeria Napoletana, a denomination of control (DOC) by the Italian government that gives special designation to pizzerias that meet strict requirements respecting the tradition and art of Neapolitan pizza making.

The new restaurant reproduces the pizza of Naples, Italy, using American spring water matching the mineral composition and pH of the water in Naples. Neapolitan Caputo flour, handmade fior di latte mozzarella, and imported plum tomatoes are used exclusively in order to make pies just like those served on the streets of Naples.

The new restaurant’s open, airy 6,300 square foot interior is reminiscent of a sunny piazza in Naples, with 19-foot double height cathedral ceilings, a wall of windows that lets in streaming light, and café floors paved with Tuscan Carrara marble combined with patterned mosaic tile. A custom 66-foot long mural is inspired by the chalkboards that seem to fill every market food stall or small shop in Italy. Both bustling and relaxed, the restaurant reflects the vibrant street life tempo of its namesake city.

A whimsical wall sculpture by artist Nick Fasciano, molded of Italian hand gestures, signals diners to the fires of the open kitchen’s three pizza ovens. Each oven is named for one of Italy’s active volcanoes - Mount Vesuvius, Mount Etna, and Mount Stromboli. The ovens are each sculpted with a different “face of the volcano,” inspired by the monstrous sculptures in the Garden of Bomarzo in Lazio, Italy.

Naples Ristorante boasts a wine list of over 70 labels, with world-renowned Italian wines and small-producer grape varieties. The cocktails are perfect for watching the sun set over Capri in the Bay of Naples: the Costa d’Amalfi Fizz (Amaro Montenegro, limoncello, averno, club soda, lemon), Italian Margarita (Milagro silver, orangecello, lime) and Al Capone (Rittenhouse rye, Martini & Rossi sweet vermouth, Campari and orange) all glow with warm, rich hues.

The 164-seat dining room is open for dinner service Monday - Sunday with daily lunch service to follow. The lunch crowd can currently enjoy quick slices in the casual 34-seat pizzeria facing Westfield Montgomery’s Dining Terrace. Beer and wine will also be offered in the Dining Terrace. The restaurant has its own dedicated outside entrance, so its hours are not dependent on Westfield Montgomery hours. It also offers free valet parking.

Click here to see the dinner menu; and click here to see the pizzeria terrace menu (individual slices!)

About Naples Ristorante e Pizzeria e Bar:
Naples Ristorante e Pizzeria e Bar prepares authentic Neapolitan pizza in the “Vera Pizza Napoletana” tradition, along with modern Italian cuisine rooted in the port city of Naples. The restaurant’s airy, vibrant setting extends to the bar, which offers an extensive selection of Italian wine, beer and cocktails. Naples Ristorante e Pizzeria e Bar is part of Patina Restaurant Group.

About Patina Restaurant Group:
Patina Restaurant Group ( is a bicoastal boutique company and leader in the premium segment of the restaurant industry. In New York, its portfolio features the Michelin-starred Lincoln Ristorante, STATE Grill and Bar at the Empire State Building, Stella 34 Trattoria at Macy’s Herald Square, The Sea Grill at Rockefeller Center, Brasserie, Brasserie 8 1/2, The Grand Tier Restaurant at the Metropolitan Opera, Naples 45 and La Fonda Del Sol at Grand Central, and The Rink at Rockefeller Center. On the West Coast its portfolio includes the renowned Los Angeles Times’ four-starred and Michelin-starred Patina Restaurant, Café Pinot, Ray’s & Stark Bar, Leatherby’s Cafe Rouge, and catering and food service in museums and cultural centers throughout California.