Press coverage organized A - Z by media outlet:
November 1, 2015
TOP 5 NEAPOLITAN PIZZAS IN CHICAGO / WATCH: HUNGRY HOUND'S TOP PICKS FOR NEAPOLITAN, TAVERN AND THIN-CRUST PIZZA IN CHICAGO
by Steve Dolinsky
"All of the hallmarks are here: the 00 flour, the 24-hour rise, bufalina and fior di latte cheeses (plus a blend of Parmesan and Sardinian Pecorino), oozing and creamy-sweet, placed haphazardly about the hand-formed spheres, and the imported San Marzano tomatoes, crushed into sweet/acidic oblivion; the tell-tale crust – puffy and blistered with leopard spotting on the cornicione as well as the undercarriage – with a remarkable chew that comes from a long fermentation; the final flourish – a healthy perimeter drizzle of olive oil imported from Vesuvio."
“For the pizza at Spacca Napoli, the passionate Jonathan Goldsmith goes for authenticity by using almost exclusively Italian imported ingredients: mozzarella di buffalo, San Marzano tomatoes, and Molino Caputo flour.”
September 17, 2014
BEST OF CHICAGO / BEST PIZZA IN CHICAGO / BEST NEAPOLITAN-STYLE PIZZA
"Take a trip to Italy by visiting this Lincoln Square pizzeria. Opened in 2006 after many trips to Italy, owner and “Pizzaiuolo” Jonathan Goldsmith’s eatery focuses on “true” Italian pizza: thin-crust pizzas cooked in a wood-fire oven. There’s also a focus on minimal — but fresh — toppings, whether you’re experiencing the salsiccia (San Marzano tomatoes, sausage, basil, fior di latte and pecorino gran cru) or the prosciutto e rucola (provola, prosciutto di parma, parmigano reggiano and arugula), to name just a few."
November 2, 2015
INSIDE CHICAGO'S BEST RESTAURANTS / WATCH JONATHAN GOLDSMITH MAKE A SFIZI AI POMODORI PIZZA AT SPACCA NAPOLI
Video by Steve Delahoyde, Produced by Luke Seemann
Food Drink Deal / napoli complex
by Liz Grossman
"Talk about authentic: Spacca Napoli is the first spot in the city to get its pizza-making technique approved by the pros in Italy."
Chicago sun times
March 31, 2006
by Pat Bruno
"Here is what I think: The pizza is great. The pizza is the best I have had this side of Naples, Italy. All of the pieces for great pizza are in place. The woodburning pizza oven (and a pizzaiolo who knows how to tend the oven) and a perfect crust (a specially milled flour from Italy) are just the beginning."
February 21, 2007
by Bill Daley
"For Goldsmith, making Neapolitan-style thin-crust pizza with authentic ingredients and flavorings is an outgrowth of his deep love for all things Italian. A casual suggestion that he open his own pizzeria sent him on a two-year quest to discover what pizza, particularly Neapolitan pizza, was all about. As he notes on the restaurant's Web site (spaccanapolipizzeria.com), Goldsmith was 'determined to bring the essence of the Italian markets, the street life, and the abundance of Italy right back to Chicago.'"
101 BEST PIZZAS IN AMERICA: #23 BUFALINA
"Spacca Napoli stands out from the rest of the Chicago pizza pack due to its unique take on Neapolitan-style pizza. The restaurant has garnered a laundry list of accolades, from the 2013 Michelin Bib Gourmand Award to a 95 percent "like" rating on Zagat. The pizza is consistently applauded for its authenticity, as owner Jon Goldsmith travels to and from Naples regularly to study the flavors of the region. The menu differentiates pizze rosse (made with traditional red sauce, tomatoes, and topped with olive oil) from the pizze bianche (made without red sauce and topped with olive oil). Customers can dine on the prosciutto e rucola, bianca con bufala, diavola, or salsiccia when they're looking for an expertly prepared pie, but this year’s featured pie noted as the thing to order is the Bufalina: basil, mozzarella di bufala, and olive oil. Questo è tutto ciò che serve!"
by Rose Spinelli
"Like most who've walked through the door since its 2006 Valentine's Day opening, its been a Neapolitan-style love affair."
"Chicagoans revere the traditional Neapolitan pizzas coming out of the wood-burning ovens at the 10-year-old Spacca Napoli. Food writer and former Eater Chicago editor Ari Bendersky explains, "Spacca deserves to be on any top pizza list, Chicago or otherwise. It was really the place that started the Neapolitan movement here and has held its place at the top. The crust is perfectly crispy and doughy and wet in the middle. While they have their staples like the margherita with mozzarella, basil and pecorino, I love their funghi e salsiccia and the prosciutto e rucola — the fresh arugula adds a perfect pepperiness. This is one of the few places in town that makes you feel like you've actually traveled to Naples for dinner."
chicago restaurants / spacca napoli pizzeria / fodor's choice
"Despite Chicago's renown for deep-dish pizza, locals are swept away by the thin-crust Neapolitan pies at this bright Ravenswood gem."
food & wine
"The wood-burning oven was modeled after the communal ovens of ancient Pompeii. Its mosaic of wheat is made with Venetian glass tiles and was inspired by an image of a coin in Le Antiche Monete di Neapolis, a book about the ancient money of Greek Naples."
forno bravo | pizza quest
January 20, 2011
by John Arena
"If you don’t believe in miracles I suggest a visit to a quiet corner in the Ravenswood neighborhood of Chicago. There you will find Spacca Napoli, a piece of Naples somehow transported to the Windy City."
February 24, 2011
by John Arena
"Perfect practice makes perfect. By perfect practice I mean understanding that repetition is not enough. We all know people who have been making pizza for years and are stuck in a rut. We also know artisans like Jonathan Goldsmith of Spaccanapoli (Chicago) who are relative newcomers and are creating inspired pies. The great ones understand that practice is a combination of repetition and single minded focus on improvement every time you create a pizza."
"Johnathan Goldsmith si è formato a Napoli alla corte di Enzo Coccia. La sua pizzeria è una garanzia a partire dal nome, Spacca Napoli, e dal fornocostruito da artigiani napoletani di terza e quarta generazione. Impressionante la maniacale ricerca della materia prima che Johnathan conduce personalmente."
February 27, 2013
BEST CITY FOR PIZZA: THE TOP TOWNS IN AMERICA FOR SNAGGING A SUPERIOR SLICE OF PIZZA PIE / HUFFPOST CHICAGO EDITORS TOP 5 PICK FOR CHICAGO'S BEST PIZZAS
"The Windy City has been called the home of the America's "Most Life-Changing Slice" so it comes as no surprise that Chicago-style creations are often imitated — but never duplicated."
August 7, 2015
"Authentic Neapolitan pizza, and the best pizza in the city. Period. Exclamation point. Mic drop."
ONE OF CHICAGO's great Neighborhood Restaurants 2010-12
luciano pignataro wine blog
October 9, 2015
michelin bib gourmand - chicago
GOOD CUISINE AT A REASONABLE PRICE
Defined as “Inspectors’ Favorites for Good Value,” Bib Gourmand restaurants offer two courses and a glass of wine or dessert for $40 or less (tax and gratuity not included), and are often of most value to a city’s residents, who regularly dine in neighborhood restaurants.
March 1, 2016
by Jeremy White
"Italy is truly part of me. If asked by someone in the pizzeria about my heritage, I most likely will say “sangue russo, piedi americani, ma cuore italiano.” Russian blood, American feet, but Italian heart."
new york times
May 9, 2007
by Frank Bruni
“In growing numbers, serious chefs and bakers are making, and the food cognoscenti are devouring – exemplary pies inspired at least loosely by the thin crust pizzas of Naples… You can find in Manhattan at Una Pizza Napoletana in Chicago at Spacca Napoli, and in Phoenix at Pizzeria Bianco…”
scott's pizza journal
December 11, 2013
by Scott Wiener
"This is one of the best Neapolitan pizzas I’ve ever eaten. The crust has a chewy interior protected by a delicately crispy exterior. Cheese is milky and smooth with bright accents thanks to its simple crushed tomato compliment. I’ve eaten so many pizzas in this style and there’s something intangible that happens when you come across something so basic that it needs not hide behind any distractions."
July 17, 2014
by Lance Roberts
"Over the last year, I've spoken to Jonathan in depth about his amazing journey from clinical social worker to world-class pie man, and he's been incredibly generous with his knowledge and time. Among other things, we discussed the chance encounter on a plane that changed the course of his life, the legendary pizzaiuoli he's studied and befriended in Naples, and the power of food to connect people. But mostly? We just talked about pie."
southwest airlines spirit magazine
by Peter Reinhart
“… Though they’re made like the grandfather of all pizzas, Spacca Napoli pies will never taste outdated.”
time out chicago
December 9-15, 2010
100 BEST THINGS WE ATE (AND DRANK) THIS YEAR: small bites, Burrata, spacca napoli
by Julia Kramer, Heather Shouse, David Tamarkin
“Burrata—soft buffalo mozzarella with a cream center—can’t ever really be bad. But if you get it at Spacca Napoli, where it seems to be somehow fresher and creamier, it can be transcendent.”
Apr 9–15, 2009
2009 EAT OUT AWARDS READERS’ CHOICE AWARDS / BEST THIN-CRUST PIZZA: SPACCA NAPOLI
by Julia Kramer
“It’s been a good couple of years for pizza in this town, and owner Jonathan Goldsmith’s three-year-old Ravenswood venture deserves the bulk of the credit for kicking off the local Neapolitan trend. (A powerhouse in the Eat Out Awards, Spacca Napoli beat out a now-familiar round of competitors to win the Readers’ Choice Award for Best New Pizzeria in 2007.) The heart of these pies is the dough-baking process: The thin crust bubbles and chars at insane heat levels inside Spacca’s custom-built oven, maintaining a distinctive chewy—almost wet—center. Which is not to give short shrift to the toppings—from creamy buffalo mozzarella to rosemary-scented roasted potatoes to bright, bitter arugula. These pizzas will make you proud to be a thin-crust-loving Chicagoan. 1769 W Sunnyside Ave, 773-878-2420.”
Mar 29–Apr 4, 2007
BEST NEW PIZZERIA: SPACCA NAPOLI
“There are approximately 2,000 pizza joints in Chicago, but readers say this peach-colored Ravenswood spot tops them all. Owner Jonathan Goldsmith’s attention to detail is legendary: He imports his buffalo milk mozzarella from Cardito, Italy, and he brought sand, brick, volcanic stone and a team of Neapolitan builders to Chicago just to build his oven. The meticulous approach pays off: When our last piece of Margherita topped with fior di latte mozzarella, anise-perfumed basil and zingy tomato was finished, we were almost ready to swear off deep-dish pizza forever. 1769 W Sunnyside Ave, 773-878-2420—MN ”
December 28, 2006
THE 100 BEST THINGS WE ATE (AND DRANK) THIS YEAR: #4 margherita pizza, spacca napoli
“We found the perfect pie at this Ravenswood spot.”
February 5, 2016
by Dawn Reiss
"Osteria La Madia chef Jonathan Fox says Spacca Napoli is one of his go-tos for Italian because it's "simple, yet delicious." Fox's recommendation: the margherita pizza."
CHICAGO'S BEST RESTAURANTS / TOP PIZZA
"Authentic Neapolitan-style pizza has a thin, bubbly crust covered in a tangy tomato sauce and gooey cheese. The pie at Spacca Napoli captures the essence of the simple preparation."
NEW SURVEY RESULTS: CHICAGO'S BEST RESTAURANTS / WINNER: TOP PIZZA
"Offering a taste of Naples on the north side of Chicago, you'll have a difficult time choosing between the dozen red and white pies. We suggest the Bufalina with tomato sauce, mozzarella di bufala, basil and olive oil or the Fiori with fior di latte, garlic, grated zucchini, grape tomatoes and squash blossoms."
12 MUST-TRY DISHES FROM CHICAGO SURVEY WINNERS: TOP PIZZA
CHICAGO'S FIVE BEST PIZZA SPOTS
“Get here as fast as you can” advise admirers of this midpriced Ravenswood pizzeria dishing “true thin-crust” Neopolitan-style pies that reach “superlative” levels with “well-sourced ingredients”; the rustic space is “sparsely decorated but comfortable”, service is “friendly” and patio seating is “divine”, so it’s “perfect for a casual dinner, family party or cozy date.”
5 MUST-TRY NON-DEEP-DISH PIZZAS
"This authentic Italian pizza bridges the nearly 5,000-mile gap from Chicago to Naples. Diners can choose between pizze rose – red sauce made with Italian tomatoes and topped with olive oil, mozzarella cheese and toppings, or pizze biance – olive oil, mozzarella and toppings. These toppings emphasize the earthly flavors found in southern Italy by offering truffle oil, mushroom, Italian sausages, basil and arugula."
“The coveted No. 1 pizza prize goes to this Ravenswood "thin-crust" upstart whose 'sincere' owner 'traveled the whole of Italy to learn his craft' – and 'you can taste the love' in his 'fabulous,' 'authentic Neapolitan' pies whose 'slightly charred,' 'bubbly crusts' are topped with 'high-quality ingredients'; the menu is all ’za, antipasto, bierra and wine, the 'noisy' environs are 'low-key' and 'the wait may be long' but it's 'worth it.'”