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Inizio Pizza Napoletana Review: A Taste of Italy in Charlotte

Updated: May 31

Like most cities its size, Charlotte has lots of pizza. There are the national chains like Papa Johns, Dominos, Mellow Mushroom, and others to lots of locally-owned pizza places. Some of the more notable players are Fuel Pizza, Hawthornes, Brooklyn Pizza, Brixx, True Crafted Pizza, and Pizza Peel.

There has been a recent entrant to the Charlotte pizza scene called Inizio Pizza Napoletana. Currently, Inizio has two locations. The first is located on Park Road near Ideal Way in the Dilworth area. The second location is in Providence Commons just off Providence Road on the north side of 485.

On the cover page of the restaurant’s web page, it states, “At Inizio Pizza Napoletana, we are dedicated to the art and craft of true neapolitan style pizza.” But what IS neapolitan style? While it’s a term that we had heard before, we could never specifically describe the style. And the answer to the question is quite interesting.

To be considered authentic neapolitan pizza, it must be made according to certain guidelines. First, the dough must be made from Italian 0 or 00 wheat flour, Neopolitan or fresh brewer’s yeast, water, and salt. The tomatoes for the sauce must come from San Marzano tomatoes which are a type of plum tomato that are grown in the Valle de Sarno (or valley of the Sarno) in Italy. And the cheese must be buffalo milk mozzarella which comes from the Campania region. Finally, the pizza must be cooked in a wood-fired oven in no longer than 90 seconds. In order to cook that fast, the oven has to be around 800 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s hot.

We had heard several friends rave about how good the pizza is at Inizio. So when we checked out their website, it was the fact that they adhere to these guidelines that caught our attention. We have now eaten there three times and have gotten take out once. We were impressed during those three visits to the Providence Commons location. The menu offers several interesting possibilities. There’s the traditional Margherita style, which would be close to a traditional cheese pizza. One of the more interesting choices which was quite tasty is the pistacchio. It’s topped with rosemary, sea salt, ricotta, buffalo mozzarella, garlic, and a pistacchio pesto sauce, and pistacchios. We have also had the Capricciosa which is topped with artichoke, prosciutto ham, mushroom, and buffalo mozzarella. That was quite good as well.

Outside of the pizza, there is a limited selection of salads and nothing else. So be prepared to eat pizza if you go there. Then for dessert, try one of their homemade flavors of gelato.

We think the pizza at Inizio is some of the best in Charlotte. One of our sons has declared that it IS the best in his opinion. That’s fine with us, as it means that we are likely to go back many more times.





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