Best Taste of Naples (2007)


Two things saved Via from slipping into that great, yawning pit of mediocrity above which so many restaurants hang. First, there was last fall's hiring of chef James Mazzio and his decision to stand his post right on the line. And second, there were the pizza ovens -- real wood-fired ovens of the very, very old-school variety that could turn out similarly old-school pizzas of the Neapolitan variety. As a matter of fact, these pizzas were so authentic that Via was actually certified by the United States branch of the Associazione della Vera Pizza Napoletana (essentially the Italian pizza police), which speaks to the authenticity of Via's product. But the true arbiter is always taste, and one bite of the three-cheese, prosciutto and arugula Parma pizza is enough to make anyone a believer.


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