Nicoletta

Midwestern style pizza takes on NYC

By Jasmine Moy

As a Chicago native, when I talk about the pizza of my youth, everyone thinks deep dish. Yes, it is the iconic style of that place, but it was also sort of a special occasion pizza—more expensive and harder to get. When we usually ate pizza, it was from the red sauce joints around town. The dough wasn’t fancy or fussed over; it was bready and a little thicker, which meant it was strong enough to take toppings to your heart’s desire. In this respect, Nicoletta, which bills itself as a “Midwestern-style” pizza joint, delivers.

Load up on toppings—the crust can bear it. Like those little pepperoni rounds that curl up on the edge and make little boats for the chile-laced oil? And maybe some fennel sausage and red onion? That’s the Calabrese for you. But go nuts: Add mushrooms and peppers if you want—back home, we’d call that “the works.” You can still pick up a slice from the edge and carry it to your mouth without incident, and the edge cracks like a good French baguette, with insides that are equally light and soft.
The pizza is filling, and the appetizer portions generous, but a table of four could easily polish off the crunchy fried artichokes with lemony dip, and the salads are on the lighter side.

If you must, take home leftovers, because forgoing dessert is not an option here. The fior di latte soft serve is one of the best ice creams in town, and the strawberry shortcake is topped with bits of olive oil cake and a tart jam, but the rosemary caramel popcorn atop the Cracker Jack sundae is otherworldly.

hours

Sun–Thu noon–11 PM; Fri–Sat noon–midnight

price range

$10 (arugula salad) to $24 (Calabrese pizza)
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