Naples, Italy, has arrived in Cincinnati. The family of McNick sophomore Maggie Nunner recently opened their family restaurant, Joe’s Pizza Napoli, on April 24. It has always been a dream of Joe and Angie Nunner, Maggie’s parents, to share Joe’s family recipes with others. The restaurant is located at 507 Chamber Dr. in Milford.
Joe’s Pizza Napoli is centered around a Neapolitan wood burning oven from Naples, Italy, in which the pizzas are cooked. The oven is placed so customers can see the pizzas being prepared and cooked. The menu consists of pepperoni rolls and polpette as appetizers; House, Spring, and Caprese salad options; red and white pizza with choice of toppings; classic, sausage and ricotta calzones, as well as a Nutella calzone for dessert. A full menu is available online here.
“My dad has cooked for me and my family all my life, and he never gets tired of it. One day he made pizza dough from scratch and completely fell in love with it,” Maggie Nunner said. “For the past year he made pizza for family and friends in our backyard, brought the pizza oven to neighbor’s houses to cater parties, and even served at my brother’s graduation party. From that point, we have always had the idea of opening a restaurant, but never knew if it would actually become a reality.”
The restaurant does not include a freezer or microwave, so the dough is made fresh every day with four simple ingredients: flour, water, yeast, and salt. Joe uses the same recipe many pizza places use in Naples, Italy, and some ingredients, including the tomatoes, flour, and olive oil, come straight from Italy too. “I wanted to use as many of the processes that are used in Naples in our restaurant,” Joe said.
Joe’s grandfather came to the United States from Italy and brought the family recipes with him. Since Joe was little, he always wanted to learn how meals were made and how he could put his own twist to them. He learned how to make the family marinara sauce at a very young age, which is now served in the restaurant.
“Food has always meant more to me than just nourishment,” he said. “I wanted to bring good food for others to enjoy with friends and family. I always enjoyed cooking for people and teaching them how to cook. This restaurant allowed me to accomplish both.”
Maggie Nunner works as a server and also helps with topping and finishing the pizzas. “Working is still very new and exciting,” Maggie said. “It gets extremely busy and stressful at times, but it is completely worth it.” She added that her family is most exited to seat people in their homey restaurant and have a space to smile with those they love.