“VPN certification” means the imprimatur of the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana—that is, the “true Neapolitan pizza association.” In the Chicago area, only three pizzerias have attained certification: Spacca Napoli, in Ravenswood; Forno Rosso, in Dunning; and Parkers’ Restaurant & Bar, in Downers Grove. Luke Cholodecki, Nick Hynes, and Mike Chookaszian aim for Napolita Pizzeria & Wine Bar (1126 Central Ave., Wilmette) to be the fourth.
“Our pizza oven came in from Naples a couple of weeks back,” Cholodecki says. “All ingredients are sourced from Italy and regionally from Naples. Our chef, Brian Gusich, trained at Forno Rosso.” They plan to offer six or seven red pizzas and six or seven white pizzas, along with specials utilizing seasonal ingredients such as zucchini blossoms. A few appetizers, salads, entrées, and house-made desserts will fill out the menu.
Cholodecki and Hynes also own two seasonal restaurants, The Dock at Montrose Beach and Caffè Oliva, at Ohio Street Beach. Napolita will operate year-round, beginning in late June, the duo hopes. If only they could find a way to make going to the beach a year-round proposition, too.