“The dough should be the focus of any pizza. That’s what it’s all about,” says Brand Manager Chris Donato of Pizza Locale, which recently added Stapleton to its Denver locations. The company’s mission is to replicate “the cornerstone elements” of Neapolitan pizza started by sending their chef to Naples for six months of training. And to create “an authentic and welcoming atmosphere” in their restaurants, they also sent a photographer. “The street life there is very, very colorful. There’s a lot of graffiti. People spend a lot of time out and about. So we wanted to capture kind of that vibrant street life from Naples and bring it back to our pizzerias,” says Donato.
But back to the dough. True Neapolitan pizza requires “a laundry list” of things to be certified Neapolitan pizza. Pizzeria Locale has the traditional four-ingredient crust with dough that’s stretched by hand and fermented overnight. “When you stretch it by hand you really get to maintain a very beautiful crust,” says Donato.
The big question was, how can a fast and competitively-priced pizza taste like it was cooked in a traditional Neapolitan wood-fired oven? That’s when they flew in the engineers to study the wood-fired oven in their original restaurant in Boulder. “We showed them what we’re looking for and told them what, in our minds, is necessary to make a delicious pizza. And then they made what we call a Neapolitan smart oven to make the pizzas for us, but make them fast,” says Donato. “It’s a super hot oven with a beautiful flame; and the floor of the oven, a stone-coated piece of metal, rotates. So you put in a pizza and three minutes later it comes back out perfectly cooked. That allows us to make pizzas faster than anybody else. It’s a proprietary oven. No one else has it.”
Fresh ingredients made from scratch every day are the next piece of the formula, including cut up vegetables, tossed in olive oil and salt, and cooked in the oven. And Donato explains that since they don’t make “true” Neapolitan pizza, they call themselves “neighborhood” pizza.
The final piece of Pizzeria Locale’s mission to create fast, high-quality individual pizzas in a pleasing atmosphere was to do it at a competitive price. They kept their focus on the pizza, streamlined their processes, and asked guests carry their own food to their tables—and they accomplished that goal, with pizzas that start at $6.
Pizzeria Locale Stapleton is located at 7505 E 29th Pl. Hours are Mon- Sun 11am – 10pm. 303.835.7465.