Saturday, January 4, 2020

Novanta Pizzeria

I began this blog because I went to an Italian restaurant that had good reviews, but the food was TERRIBLE. Over the years, the food scene in the Lake Norman area has improved dramatically, but finding nearby Italian food that's consistently awesome has always been a bit of a challenge.

Geppetto's in Denver wasn't really high-end, but it was consistently good AND they delivered to my house (always important when you have a young child). Unfortunately, now it's too far away for me since I moved up to Mooresville. The food at Il Bosco in Davidson is absolutely wonderful. But every time I've been there, the attitude has been too snooty for my taste (i.e. My wife and I were seated outside because I was wearing shorts on a blisteringly-hot summer day.) 

Novanta LogoSo, on one of the few evenings that my wife and I had a bit of time to ourselves, we took the short drive over to Langtree and visited Novanta Pizzeria.

Once you enter you can immediately see their two wood-fired pizza ovens, which look very similar to the ones at Alino's in Mooresville. The main dining area has a cozy feeling. Along with the exposed brick and wood, there is a long bench with throw pillows that serves as seating for several tables. Though the rest of the chairs are metal and the floor is polished concrete, it still has a warm feeling.

Unfortunately, we got put in a side room. While nice, the metal chairs and concrete floors gave this side-room a definite cold feeling. Also, since it was winter and there were large windows, it was literally cold.

Our waitress was great, she knew the menu and was very useful in helping us make our final food decisions. While this is primarily a pizzeria, we decided to go with their other Italian options. Unfortunately, the waitress wasn't very familiar with the wines and was unable to guide our Chianti choice -- which turned out to be delicious.

For our appetizer we chose the Arancini which is described on the menu as "3 rice balls served with an assortment of sauce." This description does NOT do this dish justice -- it was FANTASTIC. It's  basically three cheese balls coated with risotto and deep fried. The fried risotto was crunchy while the mozzarella cheese was warm, but not too melty. And each cheese ball was paired with one of the three excellent sauces: meat, marinara, and pesto.

My wife and I split each Arancini and we were both able to get about 2-3 bites from our half. Cutting through the golden-brown risotto crust revealed the cheese, and while it slowly came out, it wasn't too soft, and with our forks we were able to easily dip each piece into the sauces.
Chicken Parmigiana

For our main course, my wife chose the Pappardelle Bolognese and I went with the Chicken Parmigiana. The Pappardelle was absolutely delicious. Topped with melted cheese, it was a very savory meal. To be honest, I think I preferred it to my meal.

But, that's not meant to diminish my chicken parm entree, because it was fantastic! The two chicken breasts were huge and pounded flat, then breaded and fried to perfection: a light crisp on the outside and tender inside. My mouth is watering as I write this.

Both entrees were huge and we had them again for a large and delicious lunch the next day.

Atmosphere: 3.5/5
Food: 4.5/5
Service: 4/5
Total: 11.5/15

Price: $$$$ 
For two people, including entrees, a an appetizer, bottle of wine and tip, this meal was just over $90. It's a bit on the pricey side. I imagine that the pizza offerings would probably be a bit easier on the wallet.

Conclusion: Good restaurant, excellent food! While primarily a pizzeria, their other Italian foods were amazing. Though it cost more than expected, it's definitely worth a return visit.

Restaurant Info:
Novanta Pizzeria
120 Langtree Village Dr #102
Mooresville, NC 28117

Novanta website:
Novanta menu:

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