‘O Sfizio d’’a Notizia
After the revolution that he started from the tradition – one of the roots of the Neapolitan culture – Enzo Coccia plunged, once again, with his unstoppable verve and his uncontrollable enthusiasm, into another ambitious project. Or rather a dream, to quote his words, which sees him working hard to ennoble and perfect two very popular preparations, authentic treasures of information and knowledge of Naples’ culinary history. Lending, for the first time, to the deep-fried pizza, dirty, greasy, unhealthy, mistress of humid and run down working-class districts, and the ‘mpustarella, old sandwich, heavy, weighty and cheap meal of workers, farmers, fishermen, people who were carrying out the poorest and hardest jobs, prestige and dignity. This was his intention. And to let the rebirth come true, he has chosen to match these “humble” dishes no longer with those simple and unpretentious wines that usually accompanied them, but with great Italian and French bubbles.
Undeniable revival of past moments, the times when big cauldrons created a golden and multiform show on the streets, pulsed by the intense fumes and the lively rhythm of the bubbling oil. But unlike those days, here the sizzling specialties, which hiss when plunged into the hot grease, as the consonants when you pronounce ʼo sfizio, distant from the alleys’ din and the slums’ wide open doors, are formed with fresh and new traits that make them win a place of excellence and their own private world, protected by the large glass window which controls the space.
In this special comeback to tradition, which is even more ancient than the birth of the wood-fired pizza, among wooden structures, on which are placed the highest quality ingredients, beams of warm light, which make your stay pleasant and peaceful, and handcrafted copper items as the unusual copper cones which, alike the most common paper cones, illuminate the pizzaiolo, it stands out, covered by the same shiny material, the large deep fryer: a true design object that has a computer to regulate its temperature and calls to mind the old fireplace, conceived in a high-tech version. Hi-tech is the small gas oven at the back also. Unique is the effect made by the many sheets of newspapers which cover its dome, thus confirming the importance of La Notizia (and the news), as equally unique are the ‘mpustarelle taken out of its mouth. Cereal sandwiches, result of a deep and long-lasting research study, which, although looking lumpy and rough, excel for their unexpected softness.
But they are only part of the menu that brings in the plates drawn by the master pizzaiolo the deep-fried pizzas and the ‘mpustarelle dividing them into three different sections. The first pages are dedicated to the more classic proposals. Then, the choice changes according to season and, lastly, there are Enzo’s ideas, conceived and experienced to confirm, even more, that is possible to turn his dream into reality: to value our poor food.
A good variety of CO2 makes these pages almost perfect. If you like, ask for a glass of bubbles to swallow also the selection of cured meats and cheeses that complete the offer. You can choose between national and French wines, not as expensive as one would expect. Enjoyable end with traditional regional sweets and semifreddo.
If the word sfizio means craving, caprice, fun, after playing with its meanings, there is one more question: how about treating yourself?