The requirements are extremely strict, including specifications regarding the use of Italian Caputo 00 wheat flour, mozzarella di bufala cheese and Vesuvian tomatoes.
In any case, Porta Via, which opened on White Bridge Road in late 2009, and Bella Napoli, which opened along Villa Place in August, serve excellent pizza, embracing the demands of Neapolitan pizza construction, and Nashville is luckier for it.
As for technicalities, Porta Via has been working for a while to earn official AVPN certification — they are just awaiting their site visit from representatives of the AVPN to confirm their bona fide Neapolitan status. (Be patient. There aren't a lot of direct flights between Naples and Nashville.)
Meanwhile, here's an update on Porta Via: They have expanded the menu, including daily lunch specials, a full martini menu and house-made pastas. If that intrigues you, check out the official release below:
The house made pastas are prepared fresh daily in the restaurant and include a variety of types, including angel hair, casarecci, penne rigate, spaghetti, whole wheat fettuccine and gluten-free. The menu also features homemade ravioli, including lobster and a variety of seasonal options like butternut squash and spinach. The pastas can be paired with a variety of sauces, also house made, including Porta Via’s signature creamy pink tomato sauce.
Porta Via has recently added a full bar menu, which features a complete specialty martini menu. Diners can enjoy original martini recipes such as the Flirtini, Candy Red Apple, Espresso, Trim Raspberry (reduced calorie), Boston Crème Pie, PV Cosmo, Amaretto Margarita and RaspBellini. The additional of the bar menu joins the already expansive wine list, which features eight organic wine selections and six bottles of wine less than $20 each.
In addition to the full menu, Porta Via now offers a special lunch menu. Diners may select a Caesar, Greek or PV house salad with a choice of daily house made soup for just $8-9. Another lunch offering includes a choice of one of the signature sandwiches: Italian Panini (Portobello, grilled chicken, eggplant parmigiano, Italiano), Reuben or Bollilo (Apollo, Provencal or meatball) with choice of soup or salad for $8-9.
Porta Via Italian Kitchen
21 White Bridge Road, 356-0001
Open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m. It is available on Sundays for private parties.