I have a friend who regularly talks a fair amount of unfiltered bilge but occasionally has moments of quite splendid clarity. I was unclear which version I was getting when he dropped me a line to say that he was singularly unimpressed by the quality of pizza at Paesano in comparison to a place in Stirling called Napizza.
It took me a month or two to find the occasion for a visit, but I was glad to do so a few days ago.
A tiny little place with seating for just ten, the majority of the compact space is taken up by a massive pizza oven that’s really very stylish, with a cracked pottery mosaic exterior.
The pizza chef speaks very little English but has enough to convey that like Sophia Loren he’s not from Italy, he is Neapolitan. Given that’s from where pizza draws it origin this seemed like a good start.
The friendly and attentive waitress takes the orders and manages the translation. She also whipped me up a starter of a five piece fritto misto.
I’d only ordered this dish because I’d missed breakfast and given it was past 2pm I was in dire need of all the available food items. Chef perhaps sensed this as he delivered a little bruschetta type thing for me to nibble on as well.
The fritti arrived and were absolutely outstanding. A pair of excellent arancini were accompanied by a little deep fried mozzarella sandwich and a pair of splendid croquettes. If the pizza could be delivered to this standard I was going to be very happy indeed.
If anything it was even better. The base was light but with good, crisp integrity. The sauce was very sloppy and the margherita had been topped with some beautiful olive oil so I made a complete mess. But I didn’t care because it was glorious. It was clearly the best pizza I’ve been served in Scotland.
So overall, I do declare that my friend was having one of his moments of genius when he discovered and promoted Napizza as the pick of the pizza bunch. I couldn’t have been more impressed with this charming little pizza cafe that has so much heart and quality. My rubbish Italian was hopefully good enough to convey how much I’d enjoyed things to the chef. I’d urge you to visit next time you’re in need of pizza of the highest quality.
Blythe scores Napizza
5/5 for food
4/5 for presentation
4/5 for setting
4/5 for service
giving an overall 17/20
I ate: fritti, margherita pizza
I drank: sparkly water
I wore: purple
Total bill: £14.80
Address: 15 Friars Street, Stirling FK8 1HA