Naples Flatbread & Wine Bar: Tasty, unique dishes make Florida-based eatery a win for Tulsa
BY SCOTT CHERRY World Scene Writer
Thursday, November 01, 2012
11/01/12 at 4:22 AM
When in Naples, do as the Neapolitans do.
In this case, it was the new Naples Flatbread & Wine Bar, and though the menu has a strong Italian flavor, the Naples we're talking about here is the one in Florida, not Italy.
Nevertheless, in keeping with the name, we had some flatbread and some wines, along with a few other dishes on a recent weekend visit.
The flatbreads, pizzas and some pasta dishes are cooked in a fiery hearth oven, and we occupied a corner banquette directly in front of the oven.
From the flatbread side of the menu, we selected the lobster thermidor ($17.99) and the Hey Jerk ($14.99). Both were long, rectangular affairs with toppings sitting on a thin crust.
The Hey Jerk featured pulled pork, mozzarella cheese, applewood smoked bacon, pineapple, coconut, caramelized onion, roasted pepper, Caribbean jerk sauce and a balsamic reduction. The flavors played back and forth across the palate, and the jerk sauce gave it a little kick.
The lobster thermidor included small langostino lobsters, applewood smoked bacon, Asiago cheese, mozzarella cheese, caramelized onions, portobello mushrooms, garlic, thermidor sauce and a balsamic reduction. The dish had a fishier flavor than I expected.
Black sesame seeds sprinkled over rare ahi tuna slices was a nice touch in the spicy ahi salad ($16.99) that also included mixed greens (almost all romaine), mango, pineapple, tomato, cucumber and avocado in a creamy wasabi-cucumber dressing.
Thin-crust pizzas are prepared in the traditional Neopolitan manner with San Marzano tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, fresh basil, kosher salt and extra virgin olive oil. The tasty Bianco ($10.49) also included ricotta cheese, garlic and grated Parmesan cheese.
For me, the dish that stole the night was the osso bucco ($19.99), which featured a 22-ounce pork hind shank seasoned with a spice rub and infused with demi-glace de porc (reduced stock). It was served over a bed of Asiago farro (an Italian grain, like barley) and chunks of portobello mushrooms.
I pulled a tremendous amount of tender meat off the shank, and it paired perfectly with the farro and mushrooms. It also was enough for dinner that night and lunch the next day.
We opened with a cheese and fruit board ($10.99) and apple-goat cheese bruschetta ($8.99).
The cheese board included blue cheese, Gruyere, Boursin and Brie, along with fruit, caramelized pecans and warm naan bread. The bruschetta was served in a martini glass with warmed apples, goat cheese and caramelized pecans, topped with a balsamic reduction. It also came with naan bread. The apples gave the dish a sweet-tart flavor.
Many items are available gluten-free.
Naples Flatbread has full bar service, including some interesting wine and beer selections.
Our server, Sheahadin, was enthusiastic and seemed well-informed about the menu items.
The atmosphere is pleasant, and a fireplace that anchors the middle of the room no doubt will be a popular area through the winter months.
Naples Flatbread was started by Ralph Desiano in Naples, Fla., in 2009, and today has two more in that area. He partnered with Tulsan Jim Wilburn to open the store here.
NAPLES FLATBREAD & WINE BAR
4929 E. 71st St.
(on a scale of 0 to 4 stars)
11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday-Thursday,
11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday-
Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday;
accepts all major credit cards.
Original Print Headline: Flat-out flavor
Scott Cherry 918-581-8463
The Mediterraneo flatbread is topped with kalamata olives, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, caramelized onions, feta cheese and mozzarella cheese in a balsamic reduction. MIKE SIMONS / Tulsa World
Tables near the fireplace are sure to be popular spots as cold weather arrives. MIKE SIMONS / Tulsa World
The spicy ahi tuna salad includes mixed greens, mango, pineapple, tomato, cucumber, avocado and black sesame seeds in a creamy wasabi-cucumber dressing. MIKE SIMONS / Tulsa World