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NOW OPEN: Napolese Downtown

Over a month ago, we reported that Martha Hoover, the owner of Napolese, was cool as a cucumber while preparing for yet another opening. Yesterday, she opened her new downtown Napolese (30 S. Meridian St., 317-635-0765) in the stunning Deco-style skyscraper that originally housed the L.S. Ayres men's shop.

On a frigid Wednesday night, Napolese had a full house for the soft opening. Since this spot serves booze, we thought it fitting to start off with a sidecar (also known as a “brandy margarita”) with a mix of cognac, lemon juice, orange liqueur, and agave. This sweet cocktail is probably best consumed before diving into the ’za, but if you ask for it without the sugared rim, it might just work.  

After a simple and delicious arugula-and-prosciutto salad and bruschetta, we eyed the fire. With chef Tyler Herald manning it, we knew we were in for a treat. We polished off the #57, the bubbly and charred pie that came with slightly sweet jowl bacon, chunks of tender chicken, roasted Brussels sprouts, and provolone. Somehow, we managed to save room for the pine nut torte. This lemon-flavored sweet finale is rich, moist, and even a bit gooey, with a slightly crusty top. 

This spot takes reservations (a smart move for downtown businesses), and Hoover has added an $16 cheese plate (great for sitting at the bar and soaking up the booze!). They’ve also hired a master of latte art to create espresso drinks (including to-go drinks). The meticulously brewed java treats will be created on the fabled Faema machine. Hoover’s is the only one of these Italian coffeemakers in Indiana—a big improvement on the serve-it-yourself coffee at Cafe Patachou.

What’s next? Well, try another Napolese. This time, at The Fashion Mall. They are aiming for May.