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Restaurant Review: Napoli 1522, Paphos

The Peyia-based Napoli 1522 could well become recognised as a tiny bit of Neapolitan sovereign territory such is the popularity of their pizza and pasta dishes, all of which reflect the cool calm but deep passion and talent of Bogdan who as an ex baker is responsible for creating pizza the size of a golfing umbrella but with a good deal more flavour and delicious texture. Bogdan has made a life in the kitchen because satisfying customers is a perfect way to satisfy himself, instinctive about cooking in that he uses his own appetite to define why something tastes good. The result is a genuine family cooking establishment serving the kind of stuff that makes you feel you are being looked after by people who actually care, and have a good understanding of how to wisely appropriate an Italian repertoire.

The place itself is small, situated in lower Peyia next door to a coffee shop, so if you wish a table then I would get there early so you can settle in and relish a soothing pasta or start the evening with chef’s antipasti. Ordering a starter resulted in a good size platter which more than satisfied three hungry diners – we all commented on the snowy mozzarella interleaved with tomato being the best we had tasted that delivered flavour, there were gossamer slices of prosciutto with the fats just about to run, salami, sprinkles of pomegranate seeds and crunchy home-made skinny bread sticks. An empty platter was then returned back to the kitchen as we awaited the mains.

One of my friends hadn’t even glanced at the menu when it came to ordering her main course as having previously tasted chef’s ‘special’ pasta she admitted to being ‘hooked’ on this dish of spinach and ricotta ravioli doused in a creamy cheese sauce accompanied by asparagus tips and walnuts. Her husband also seemed oblivious to trying any of the six different types of pasta or in embracing these with the nine sauces on offer including, in sauce terminology that ‘Rolls Royce’ combination of creamy smoked salmon, caviar and asparagus, instantly professing a huge hunger and plumping for the deep comfort of a Bogdan pizza.

The golf umbrella sized item duly arrived with a generous topping of cream sauce, bacon, mushrooms, parmesan and mozzarella. The base was perfect, and as always I wished that I had gone for pizza but this time that base would have been loaded with tomato sauce, Italian Parma ham, arugula and lashings of parmesan. I describe it perfectly as one of these Prosciutto Crudo pizzas wafted its way across to the next table. The pizzas can be made either with wholegrain or white flour depending upon your preference. I ordered the lasagne and although pizza and ravioli envy was still hovering (like my fork) across my friends’ plates, the lasagne proved to be good enough as a filling meal and the salad which accompanied proved chef likes to use good balsamic and that’s always a sign of a quality ingredient led kitchen.

In an age of the over manicured and conceptualised, an eatery like Napoli 1522 is not just a nice thing, it’s a vital resource one that keeps us all human and more to the point humane.

SPECIALTY Italian pizza and pasta
WHERE Napoli 1522, Peyia, Paphos
CONTACT 97 868408
PRICE Pizza from €8.90 – €13.80, pasta dishes from €7.80 – €14.80

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