It has been some time since my last post, as retirement has encouraged the pursuit of other interests, hobbies, and…well…simply relaxation.
One of those “interests,” for both my wife and me, has blossomed into the tasting and savoring of different cuisines at a variety of Naperville restaurants…and surrounding areas. Basically, we’ve become baby boomer FOODIES!!!
It is also obvious that this piece, based on the title alone, is certainly a departure from my normal focus of athletes, sports and the variety of issues/circumstances that surround that environment.
However, there are times when one comes across something so good that they are compelled to want to share it with others. This is one of those times…and Naperville’s new MidiCi is one of those places.
Let’s start with some background.
First, I am a PIZZA LOVER from the word go. Been that way my entire life, having had pizzas, thick/thin/pan/homemade/etc., from a variety of pizza houses and restaurants.
Everything from Barnaby’s pizza (as a kid) to Pizza Hut, Papa John’s, etc., to pan pizzas from Giordano’s, Gino’s East, and Lou Malnoti’s (my favorite thick)…to brick oven Neapolitan style pizza from places like Fiamme’, Neo, Gia Mia and others…as well as your basic Little Italian, Mod Pizza, etc. Even compared pizza from New York to Chicago…and yep, my pic would be Chicago. My pizza experience runs the gamut.
And, of course, I have a few (some from the list above) that I really love, some I liked, and some…well…just Ok to not so good.
That brings me to my most recent foray to the place where pizza is king…yep…Italy!!!
Checking off items from my bucket list, this past Spring, my wife and I visited Amalfi, Positano, Ravello, Naples, Atena Lucana, Capri, Rome, and Florence…spending 15 days in the country.
One of my goals; to sample as many different Neapolitan style pizzas as I could…opting to eat pizza every single day. If not for lunch…it was part of our dinner experience.
How did I find the “best” pizza’s where I was in Italy, away from the tourist trap pizzerias? Simply asked the locals, they were more than happy to direct us to their favorite spots.
So, what was it like, having all this pizza? FANTASTIC!!! I liked them all, every one of them, with each having different nuances, making every Italian pizza a unique experience.
It wasn’t until this trip that I discovered how much I really liked Neapolitan style pizza as, in the states (and from the Chicago area), I traditionally opted for Lou Malnati’s pan pizza.
However, on my return to the U.S., both my wife and I were on a mission to find that Neapolitan pizza taste we had experienced in Italy. The chunkier cut style mozzarella, the fresh, tomatoey, slightly sweet sauce, and that oh so perfectly tasting, brick oven baked chewy crust.
We were literally going through pizza withdrawal as the closest we had come to that was Neo Pizzeria in Naperville, which had closed.
Enter MidiCi Pizzeria!!! Opening its doors this past July, we had read about what they planned to offer and were excited to give it a try. A little skeptical at first, as we had been disappointed with other places in the past, and with such high expectations, we headed out to MediCi.
MediCi is not your typical pizzeria, opting for cafeteria style service, and brick ovens directly from Naples, Italy, this place met our Italian expectations…and then some. Every bit as good as ANY of the pizzas we had in Italy, we were blown away by the authentic taste of their Margherita (what we typically use as our measuring stick for this style pizza).
Starting with the more block cut mozzarella on top of the pizza…rather than the typical American style shredded presentation…it certainly measured up.
Then there’s the sauce. Oh man…right on the money…simple, tomatoey, with just a hint of sweetness. They opt for a no-nonsense sauce using fresh ingredients and, essentially, crushed tomatoes. Soooo good!!!
BUT…the thing that really separates MidiCi from the rest (in addition to the sauce)…and on par with all we had in Italy…is their crust. In one word…PHENOMINAL!!!
Not too dark or light in color, just the right amount of doneness and curl or puff at the end of the crust, nice and chewy (I LOVE that), and…well…just plain awesome.
Basically MidiCi KNOWS how to make authentic, brick oven pizza dough that is the foundation of their crust as they prepare it the day before it is to be used. Going through whatever process they created, kneading, rising, or whatever they do, they have succeeded at making the perfect crust. I LOVED it!!!
Now, if you’re one of those that like a lot of different ingredients on your pizza…they have those options too. Just take a look at their menu to see the number of options and choices. Plus, you can “build your own pizza” if you like…picking your own toppings.
Add to this that they have a GREAT side salad with a truly exquisite balsamic dressing (all very fresh ingredients), a dessert calzone (with Nutella, fresh fruit, and powdered sugar) which is awesome, and even Italian Gelato (something I am looking forward to trying)…well…need I say more.
So…if you’ve been to Italy and love their Neapolitan style pizza, or you haven’t been but would like to see what the genuine article tastes like…head down to MediCi in the new Water Street area of Naperville down by the river. They will NOT disappoint!!!
One last note…my wife and I like a saucy pizza so we order our Margherita with extra sauce. The choice is yours, either way it’s GREAT!!!