1889 Pizza Napoletana
Five things to know about the new fast-casual pizza joint in Rosedale
If you couldn’t guess by the name, pizza is the law at 1889 Pizza Napoletana, which opened in the Northwood Shopping Center in June. Husband-wife co-owners Jason and Kelli Kolich discovered their love for traditional wood-fired pizza when they studied abroad in Italy in 2006. A decade later, the Koliches have turned that love into a viable business.
1889 Pizza Napoletana takes its name for the famous Margherita pizza, which was invented in Naples in 1889 for Queen Margherita of Savoy. In order to keep the tradition of Neapolitan pizza alive in their shop, the Koliches have two authentic Acunto Mario Classico wood-fired ovens and a professional Italian dough mixer.
There are nearly a dozen pies on 1889 Pizza Napoletana’s menu. The first one listed is their Margherita: San Marzano tomato sauce, Fior di Latte (buffalo milk mozzarella), fresh basil and Parmesan are the only toppings. It’s a simple recipe, but 1889 accomplishes it beautifully.
Meat lovers should opt for The Butcher, a Margherita pizza topped with pepperoni, Scimeca’s Italian sausage and thick-sliced house-made meatballs. Another stand-out pie: the Honey Bee, an eye-catching combination of fresh sliced pears, creamy gorgonzola and peppery arugula, with thick drizzles of local honey overtop.
You can’t talk about the pizza at 1889 without talking about the dough. They use the right flour (double-zero and imported from the Naples), yeast, water and a pinch of salt. They hand-toss the dough, stretching it into a near-perfect circle, and finish it with extra-virgin olive oil. That fancy, 6,000-pound, Italian-imported oven adds spots of blackened char. Each bite is just the right amount of chewy and smoky.
The meatball appetizer is a tennis-ball sized, 8-ounce hunk of ground, seasoned beef, smothered in hot tomato sauce and crowned with a perfect, over-easy egg and served in a skillet. Triangular cuts of lightly toasted rosemary focaccia were arranged with arugula in a merry-go-round circle.The honey drizzled onto the focaccia is a delightful surprise, complementing the heavier seasonings in the dish.
Though 1889 bills itself as a fast-casual joint, the decor is far from the plastic trays, Styrofoam cups and fluorescent lights of most other restaurants within the same category. Think crystal chandeliers, massive farm table and tufted, royal-blue cushioned seats. There’s a shady patio, too, for dining al fresco.
Ordering is designed to be quick and painless: You tell the pizzaiolo — the guy who assembles your pizza — what your pleasure is. You walk farther down the line to choose your beverage and pay the cashier. You’re given a placard for your table, and servers bring everything out to you, bus your table and box your leftovers.
It seems there’s a place for everyone at 1889, where old-school magic — that classic Neapolitan pizza — meets urban panache.
1889 Pizza Napoletana is located at 2876 W. 47th Ave., Kansas City, Kan. For more information, call (913) 608-5889 or visit 1889pizza.com.