Twentieth Stop: Noce’s Pizzeria
Date: June 28th, 2012
Location: 116 Barnwood Drive Edgewood, KY 41017
Noce’s was a little confusing to us at first. Since Cincinnati Magazine’s top 50 pizzas had been published, we got wind of news that Noce’s had closed. We were sad to hear that, since Courtney’s husband had recommended it as a place he had enjoyed before. Then, just as we were preparing to pen a special RIP entry, we received new information. Well, technically, this information wasn’t new in the sense that it just happened recently, but it was new to us! After some investigation on the Internet, it was discovered that there was a Noce’s, after all, and right near Robyn’s own neighborhood. That settled it; we were off to our next pizza destiny.
Contrary to what many people might think, the best food in a city can often be found in strip malls and other similarly structured commercial spots. An article from economist Tyler Cowen in May 2012 highlights the reasons for this, as well as 5 other dining “rules” to live by here. As we rolled into Noce’s parking lot, we were not disappointed to find that we were up for another potential strip mall delight. A sign on the front window of Noce’s echoed our own sentiments and what we know to be true for most of the pizza joints explored thus far: “There’s a big difference between the big chains and the independent pizzerias. Come on in and we’ll prove it to you!” Don’t mind if we do!
|The sun was not on our side, but the full quote is above!|
We approached the counter in the tiny dining room, and started asking one of the men working all kinds of questions. He confirmed that Noce’s on Montgomery Road, in Cincinnati, had indeed closed its doors, but the location in Edgewood was the sole operation at this time, and had been successfully operating for 2 years in that spot. This small, “New York Style” pizzeria seemed like it might have fit right in somewhere in a bustling Big Apple neighborhood. This feeling was supported by both its small dining area and its casual, NYC-inspired décor.
After some deliberation over the menu items and coupons that Robyn had snagged from one of those coupon mailers (sometimes you find a diamond in the rough with those things), we decided on a couple of Cokes, an appetizer of garlic knots, and a large Mattie Deluxe specialty pizza. The Mattie Deluxe came topped with pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms, green peppers, onions, and garlic.
We were the only customers dining in that night, and found a cozy spot in the corner, up front. Our garlic knots came out, and they were really good. We had an order of six, which was perfect for the two of us, but you can also order a basket of a dozen. The dough was dense and chewy, they were brushed with melted butter and garlic, and the homemade sauce was just right.
|Glistening, just the way we like them|
When the monstrous Mattie Deluxe arrived shortly after that (take that, ZZ’s!), we were impressed by its size and the appearance of the toppings-everything looked great. We dug in, and the cheese stretched and oozed with each lift of the spatula, but conveniently stayed put with all the toppings, just the way we like it. The green peppers were fresh and cooked lightly enough to preserve a crisp, juicy texture. They added a nice crunch to your bite. Robyn really liked how the onions were cut small, rather than in the typical “circular” fashion that can sometimes leave them flopping around awkwardly from your mouth when you take a bite. It’s not that we complain about that typical style, but the departure on this pie was a nice little change that worked well with the pie overall. The sausage was sliced just like Fratelli’s had been, in thin, rectangular strips rather than crumbly balls. However, the sausage at Noce’s tasted great, whereas Fratelli’s had been salty and strange (much like their servers). And don’t forget the Parmesan! Though loads of people habitually shake a little cheese over their pizza, it’s not something we always find necessary. For the Mattie Deluxe, though, it was decidedly a pleasant addition. As usual, our eyes were definitely much bigger than our stomachs, and we ended up taking home plenty of leftovers.
|Cheese in the spotlight|
Well, we are really glad that Noce’s still exists. As suspected, the sign in their front window was correct, and they did a good job of proving it to us. Robyn can’t wait to get back and try the White Garlic pizza or one of the delicious looking Pepperoni rolls sometime soon. Or one of their many types of pasta. Or the Stromboli. Or the Antipasto salad. Or…