They say life begins at the end of your comfort zone. Well, for the Divas, the end of our comfort zone is defined by anything more north than Little Italy, more east than the Plateau, more south than Griffintown, and more west than NDG. Our reviews are generally concentrated in the Montreal core, but of course there are exceptions. We will occasionally roam into Saint-Henri, dabble on the outskirts of St-Édouard, dip our toes into Verdun, and trickle into some of the other boroughs. We have not yet taken the plunge into reviewing restaurants in the West Island, South Shore, Laval or East End… but we just aren’t ready for such a commitment.
While at work, Diva #1 sent a simple email to Diva #2 which said “don’t ask you are reserved for pizza next Wednesday…in Ahuntsic.” No questions asked, no explanation given, it was put in our calendars.
Off we went to Sapori di Napoli, a quaint Italian pizzeria in Ahuntsic, which also delivers in the area. So yes, we ventured out of our comfort zone to meet with our dear Sensei, Mr. Old Fashioned, Anthony Di Carlo and his gang. Why are we using Anthony’s real name, especially when the Divas love a good all-encompassing nickname? Because he is an aspiring candidate for the Liberal Party of Canada’ s Ahuntsic-Cartierville riding. This is why we went to a restaurant in Ahuntsic because when he beats Maria Mourani, Ahuntsic-Cartierville will be his riding. The Divas were there to eat and only found out that Anthony had ulterior motives when we got there. He told us that we were all there to brainstorm on how to help him with his social media presence. But we still ate…
The décor reminded Diva #2 of many Italian relatives’ homes. To be more accurate, it looked liked a typical old-school Italian basement, which is the part of the house that’s usually lived in, and not cordoned off for special occasions. For once Diva #2 was surrounded by her people, and not the usual Greek village that she’s come to love (and loathe).
Rosemary focaccia with a spicy oil was placed in front of us, and as we devoured the delicious bread, our basket was refilled many times. No one at this table missed the usual bread and butter. The bread went perfectly with the bottle of red that Anthony had so graciously bought for the table.
As our orders were taken, the conversation ranged from Montreal politics, to Anthony’s social media presence as a Liberal Party candidate in the Ahuntsic-Cartierville riding, to the owner of Sapori di Napoli and his former acting career on Curb Your Enthusiasm and the Sopranos (both of which he has ready to show you if you ask).
The Divas started with the arancini. Two to a serving with a dusting of Parmesan cheese, the fried rice balls were not at all greasy. Inside, the risotto was creamy and cheesy. Served at the perfect temperature, the cheese was perfectly melted. The tomato sauce they sat in was the perfect balance of acidity and sweetness, and well seasoned. And of course, we used the focaccia bread to clean up any remnants of the sauce.
Mr. Old Fashioned ordered the meatballs with more of that tantalizing tomato sauce that was served with our arancini. They tasted like they were made with two different types of meat and they were very tender even without the sauce coating them. The Divas love indulging in the occasional meatball, and Mr. Old Fashioned was kind enough to share his, and Sapori di Napoli makes a great meatball.
Sausage and rapini are staples in Italian restaurants; they are to Italian children, like milk and cookies are to English children, and this appetizer was cooked perfectly. The rapini was not overcooked and still held its bright green colour. The sausage was mild and everything was dressed with olive oil and large chunks of roasted garlic, which was also perfect to dip the focaccia in.
In between our appetizers and mains, the Divas teased their beloved Sensei about his stigmata (this is a long R-rated story and not for this post) and Mr. Old Fashioned concluded that while Sensei constantly complains about the Divas, deep down, he loves us! After all, he does take our calls, emails, texts, tweets, Facebook posts, and the many other ways that we contact him daily when we are in need of: money, advice, blog assistance, stalking support, a good alibi, bail bonds, etc…
We all ordered the pizza as mains, but Sapori di Napoli offers many main dishes including pastas which range from 13$ to 16$, and fish and meat dishes that range from 17$ to 23$. There are approximately 15 choices of pizza and since we were in the mood for pizza the Divas decided to get one each and share.
We ordered the pancetta pizza with tomato sauce, onions, cherry tomatoes, mozzarella and asked to have the pancetta extra crispy. Anthony told us that extra crispy pancetta is a must! The toppings were plentiful, to the point where the middle of the pizza had to be eaten with a fork and knife and the dough underneath was a big soggy. Other than that, the veggies were not overdone and the smoky flavour from the oven was delicious.
The sausage and rapini pizza was a popular choice at our table, with 3 orders. Once again, Anthony Di Carlos recommended this pizza. Actually, he had been at Sapori di Napoli the night before and ordered it. It was also packed with toppings that included mozzarella and olive oil, along with the sausage flavoured with fennel, and sautéed rapini. Again, the rapini was not over cooked so that it was still bright green and the sausage topping was generous. A few simple ingredients to make a delicious pizza. Diva #1 usually prefers white pizzas to tomato sauced based pizzas and this was no exception, this was a very delicious pizza.
Anthony and his friend split two pizzas as well. The margherita pizza, a standard in any pizzeria and is often the benchmark to gauge whether or not a pizza is up to par. Simply done, it was made with fresh tomato sauce, mozzarella fiore de latte, fresh basil and drizzled with olive oil. The pizza was simple and fresh. The second pizza was the four-cheese pizza, one The Divas were tempted to order. Topped with layers of mozzarella, gorgonzola, Parmigiano and goat cheese, this pizza is definitely for cheese lovers! The four blends balanced out nicely and surprisingly, the gorgonzola did not overpower the other cheeses.
Compliments of the chef, he made us fresh scrippelle, an Italian dessert of fried dough. Still hot and sprinkled with plenty of powdered sugar, they were served with a jar of nutella for dipping and this accompanied our cappuccinos nicely. The scrippelle did not last very long and we could have easily polished off a few plates. We were all quiet while we devoured them.
Overall, The Divas had a rare quiet evening with friends discussing politics and our love of Sensei over good pizza. Our Sensei was concerned that Sapori di Napoli was too quiet for our usual, in his words, “tabletop dancing soirées” (he thinks highly of us) but it served a great pizza and we soon forgot that we were in Ahuntsic! And as the owner told us as we left Sapori di Napoli, the first time is good but the second time is better, so come back!
Our Rating: As Expected
Tagged: 1465 Rue Dudemaine, Ahuntsic, Arancini, Cheese Pizza, Delivery, Dudemaine, Family, Focaccia, H3M 1P9, Italian, Lasagna, Margherita Pizza, Meatballs, Montreal, Montreal Restaurant, Mushroom Pizza, Neapolitan Pizza, Pancetta, Pancetta Pizza, Pasta, Pizza, Pizzeria, Rapini, Sapori di Napoli, Sapori di Napoli Ahuntsic, Sapori di Napoli Dudemaine, Sapori di Napoli Montreal, Sausage, Sausage and Rapini, Sausage and Rapini Pizza, Scallopini, Scrippelle, wine