My First Dining Experience at Racca’s Pizzeria Napoletana [REVIEW]
Who doesn't love pizza? No one. There are so many styles of pizza like New York, Chicago, Sicilian, or Californian. So when there was a new pizza joint in town, I had to try it out. Honestly, I’ve been driving past Racca's Pizzeria Napoletana for some time while wiping the drool from my lip.
My only issues with my first visit to Racca's wasn’t the food. The food was clean, simple, elegant, and delicious. The problem is something all new restaurants have. Getting everything to fit right. There were nuances that highlighted a hidden pressure. I couldn't fault them for that too much. If six months from now, it is the same way that is a problem. For now I understand it is a lot of pressure to prove to the people dining that the restaurant is worthy of a return visit.
It was a Tuesday date night with my wife. The place was packed. The hostess said it would be a 30-minute wait but it was more like 15-20 minutes. It appears I was not the only one who wanted to try this new restaurant.
While waiting outside, they played Ray Charles. Next on the playlist was an uptempo jazz song. Inside Racca's inside felt like an upscale LoDo Denver pub. Which shouldn't be too much of a surprise since they started their small chain of restaurants in Denver.The walls and ceiling were exposed showing bricks, ventilation, and wood beams. We sat upstairs where there were some nice large windows which looked across downtown Casper.
Their style of cooking seems to be to get the best possible ingredients and let them do the work. Let the fresh mozzarella do its thing. It doesn’t need a flavored butter or some drizzle over the top like some pizza places. It's an elegant and simple way of cooking that lets the food flavor the taste. The spices are just the rhythm section not the lead.
The waitress was very friendly, but she did seem new. We ordered two pizzas and drinks. The upstairs was noisy with music and the conversations from other patrons. It wasn’t overbearing, but if you wanted a nice quiet dinner, you might be disappointed.
Our drinks arrived, and shortly after I noticed my glass was cracked at the top. Once I got the attention of a server, they were apologetic and quickly replaced my drink. Things like this happen in restaurants all the time, but the true test is how the staff and management react to the problem. In this case, they passed.
The food took longer than I expected to get to our table. In an established restaurant, I'd expect my salad to arrive sooner than it did. Once the pizza graced the table, I wasn’t disappointed. It was at the right the temperature and delivered by friendly staff.
We had the Margherita and Sardegna pizzas. The Margherita has a tomato sauce with fresh mozzarella and fresh basil. I’m a big fan of red sauce or gravy. This sauce was clean, bright, and tomatoey. I think if this same sauce was served with spaghetti and meatballs, I would not like it, but for this pie it worked.
The other pizza was a Sardegna. It had a pistachio pesto sauce with sausage and fresh mozzarella. The crust is worth mentioning. It is a Napoleon style crust which is thin and is cooked fast in a very hot oven. It is thin crust that you can easily fold the slice in half and eat it like a New Yorker. Yet the crust still has some "tooth" to it.
What I liked best about Racca's food were the ingredients and the simple way they cook them. Heck, they could serve me their mozzarella on a plate, and I'd be happy. Their style of cooking seems to be to get the best possible ingredients and let them do the work. Let the fresh mozzarella do its thing. It doesn’t need a flavored butter or some drizzle over the top like some pizza places. It's an elegant and simple way of cooking that lets the food flavor the taste. The spices are just the rhythm section not the lead.
Throughout the course of our meal, the music changed styles. It started with R&B and jazz then went to hip hop. It was odd going from Ray Charles and Charlie Parker to Will Smith and Method Man. I enjoy hip hop, but in the already noisy room, it just added unnecessary clutter.
I wonder how well it will compete with the other restaurants in Casper. For the price it is on the high end compared to a lot of local restaurants. Personally I believe I got what I paid for, and think it is a great addition to the town.The food was simple, elegant, and delicious. And as far as the service, I bet they will get better with practice. I'm hoping to get more practice eating it, too.