Saturday, July 2, 2011

Nicoitalia Pizza Express

Address: 592 E 12300 S, Draper, UT 84020. 801.938.9229.

Review: Marketing is all about finding a niche and exploiting that niche as much as possible. Nicoitalia Pizza Express's niche is that it makes Boston-Italian-style pizzas. Always open to new pizza styles, a friend and I decided to see what the Boston was all about. Turns out it's not about much.

We ordered a margherita pizza, which traditionally comes with tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil.

See something missing? That's right, there's nary a basil leaf to be found on Nico's margherita. (To be fair, the menu says there's basil; however, neither of us could discern any.) The lack of basil meant the pizza lacked that herby aromatic component so pronounced in quality pizzas, especially Italian pizzas. In the stead of basil there was mozzarella, romano cheese, and chunk tomatoes. The chunk tomatoes, which I believe is a component that makes Boston-style pizza distinctive, were simply chunk tomatoes anyone could buy at a supermarket. Plus, the size of the tomato pieces (complete with stem pieces) was a bit off-putting. The crust was not thin, not thick, and not inherently tasty on its own. It just was. Same can be said for the cheese. Overall, it was a nondescript experience.

We also had a scarpa, which is pizza dough in the approximate shape of shoe (hence the name "scarpa," which means shoe in Italian), topped with mozzarella and baked. It was served with a cooked and unpalatably sweet sugared tomato sauce. Meh.

Confession time: I love Boston. I prefer it to New York, in fact. That said, Nicoitalia left me wondering why Boston-style pizza shouldn't be a long-lost memory the next time I frequent Ray's or Lombardi's.

Rating: 4/10 (5/10 is average).

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