Best New Restaurants: Campania

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Neapolitan-style pizza (thin crusted and puffy lipped; assembled with top-notch flour, tomatoes, and cheese; baked for seconds in blazing ovens) went from buzzy to ubiquitous in Atlanta proper over the last several years. But this year the northern suburbs gained their own contender in the pizza blitz. Stewart Muller and Jennifer Simmons—partners in business and life and both former executives in the consumer electronics industry—decided to open a pizzeria in an Alpharetta strip mall owned by Stewart’s real estate development company. They craved the Neapolitan glories they had savored in San Francisco, where they lived before relocating to Milton. Searching for a pizzaiolo, they found Naples native Stefano Rea, who made pies at nearby Erwoods Kitchen & Keg (now closed). Rea knows his craft. He fires beauties in a domed, oak-fueled oven whose white tiles gleam and draw the eye in the otherwise dim, sedate dining room. The consistency of the artfully charred crust lies somewhere between the two intown heavyweights—neither as doughy as Antico nor as crackery as Varasano’s. Go purist with a Margherita DOC (buffalo mozzarella, San Marzano tomatoes, fresh basil), then try a white variation piled with prosciutto and arugula.

800 North Main Street, Alpharetta, 770-559-4674, campaniaga.com

This article originally appeared in our September 2013 issue.

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