Thursday, November 10, 2011
NKy's Best Pizza: Newport Pizza Company
After polishing off three different and distinct pizzas, a dessert calzone and a few libations, the FTM crew figured out a few things that we now know will be a running theme throughout the quest of finding Northern Kentucky's best pizza.
1) We were correct in our assessment that Ft. Thomas Pizza would be the beneficiary of being the guinea pig in this feature.
2) If NKy's Best Pizza was American Idol, Ben Petracco would be Paula Abdul.
Atmosphere (1-10 scale): 8
Again, never been to Newport Pizza Co., but I knew exactly where it was. If you've ever drive down Monmouth Street in Newport, I'm sure you do too. I was a little nervous about the parking situation, but was soon put at easy when I pulled into their own lot to the side and behind the restaurant.
As soon as I stepped out of my car, the smell grabbed me by the nose, my feet dragging behind me, I slunk into the open dining room. About 10 tables and 8 spots at the bar. Darrin's son, Peter, was already posted up at the Ms. PacMan. Immediately I realized I was flanked by three HD TVs. The hand painted mural (below) of the Cincinnati skyline also added a touch of character you don't see everywhere.
I felt cozy, even though we were seated as close to the door as we could get.
Overall Pizza Taste/Selection: 8.7
Newport Pizza Company made the top 50 on Cincinnati Magazine's Best Pizza Places and we could tell why. They make a more New York style. Thinner crust, which almost has a buttery taste and feel. You can tell they take pride in selecting their menu (picture below) and toppings (33 total).
Right away, we all noticed the Fort Thomas namesake pizza: The Highland Country Club Pizza. Our server, Krista, told us it was named that because it looked "country club-ish." I halfway agree. No sauce, lettuce, turkey, bacon with a whole slice of roma tomato and homemade ranch dressing. It was different, but it was the smallest pizza we got, and still had 2 pieces left over. Later, Krista tracked down the reason why it's really called the Highland Country Club Pizza: the owners just wanted to give a shout out to Fort Thomas. Pretty cool. This was Ben's favorite.
We ordered our standard pepperoni (Perfect Pepperoni at NPC - which means more pepperoni and more cheese), split down the middle with the "Monmouth." It basically had everything on it. This pizza got mentioned in Cincinnati Magazine. Darrin, who said he isn't a "supreme-type-of-pizza-guy," said that this was his favorite.
We finally ordered half of a Buffalo Chicken Pizza and half of a Cincinnatus - which was Dixie Chili Dip on a pizza. We had people on the blog and on our Facebook page tell us to get the Buffalo Chicken Pizza and it didn't disappoint. It seems like every pizza joint does their version of this pie, but what sets NPC's apart is the real bleu cheese crumbles, instead of using a dressing. Great flavor.
My favorite was the Cincinnatus. I didn't know what to expect. It was the first piece I tried, and I was secretly stalking everyone's eyes to make sure I could have the last. I even tried to talk my bride into going there again tonight for the Cincinnatus. Pretty pathetic, I know.
Newport Pizza Company didn't overwhelm us with any crazy appetizers or contests. I think it was partially because their pizza was so damn good. They did have a descent beer selection (I had a Grolcsh and Dogfish Head IPA, and their only calzone was on their dessert menu. You read that right. Fresh cut apples enveloped in a pizza-dough type breading (picture below).
Jim, Darrin's brother in law, joined us as the local expert. He and his buddies head up Monday nights, where they can grab any large pizza for $10.
The spinach dip was tasty. They chips were a bit stale, but we still killed it.
Our server, Krista, was great. Very attentive and knowledgeable. When we were splitting pizzas, she gave us a great tip to try to match sauces (tomato with tomato, olive oil base with olive oil base, etc.)
The manager on duty greeted us and obliged our nosiness on why the Highland Country Club was named what it was.
TOTAL SCORE: 8
One of the best pizza places I've been to in a while. Why not a 10? I mean, a 10's gotta be pretty daggone outstanding in all facets. Had NPC gone first, they may have gotten a bit closer. Especially with our Paula Abdul boosting egos.
1) Newport Pizza Company - 8
2) Fort Thomas Pizza - 5.375