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'Vecchia' Brings Authentic Neapolitan Pizza to Phoenixville

Frank Nattle opened the brick oven pizza shop on June 15.

Frank Nattle is interested in authenticity.

“My family’s from Naples. And the flour I use, my tomatoes, my cheese, it’s all from Naples,” the restaurateur explained while he gingerly kneaded dough from behind the counter of , the eagerly anticipated brick oven pizza shop he opened at 249 Bridge Street on June 15.

Nattle‘s commitment to authenticity is such that, when decided to leave the now-shuttered –where he won a Main Line Today award for Best Margherita Pizza during his stint as its pizza chef–to strike out on his own, he imported not just a brick oven from Naples, but a pair of Neapolitans to construct it.

“There’s only a couple ovens like this in America," he said proudly.

"This brick and this stone; it’s all from Mount Vesuvius in Naples. It’s right out of the volcano,” he added, stopping short to tell a customer who came over to praise the pizza he'd just finished that he still had some of it on his face.

“You’ve got some cheese on your chin...no, not there,” Nattle advised, “okay, you got half of it...you got all of it.”

“I’ll be back dog,” the customer, now clean chinned and sated, promised as he walked out.

Nattle returned to the subject of the oven, and the preparation of a white pizza another customer had ordered.

“That’s how they make it in Naples. And even people in Rome don’t disagree, Naples has the best pizza in the world. Naples is the birthplace of pizza. And pizza in Naples is different from pizza anywhere in Italy.”

Different how?

“It’s just different. It’s a different way to make pizza.”

As for Nattle’s pizza: he says his most authentic pie–and this is something like being the tallest member of the Miami Heat–is his mozzarella di bufala. Its ingredients include buffalo cheese, san marzano tomatoes, and caputo flour from Northern Naples.

“They grow them on the slopes of Mount Vesuvius,” Nattle said of his tomatoes.

Once constructed, Nattle slides the pies in his brick, wood-fired oven for about 90 seconds–the oven reaches an internal temperature of 1,100 degrees, which allows it to cook especially quickly–and voila.

“There you have it,” he said, as he removed a white pizza, crisp and fragrant, from the oven.

Though this is Nattle’s first foray into restaurant ownership he says he’s hardly a novice: food is in his blood. His grandfather owned the Trio in Phoenixville and, as a boy, he learned how to cook in the kitchen with his grandmother. Today, his entire staff at Vecchia is family.

“You want some pizza?” an employee asked a reporter, who politely declined.

“That’s my cousin,” shrugged Nattle. “[But] all of Phoenixville is practically my family.”

David Curran June 20, 2012 at 11:10 AM
Sounds great- cannot wait to try. Best of luck with the business.
Trailwalker June 20, 2012 at 12:21 PM
Can't wait to try!!! Phoenixville needs a great pizza place!
John June 20, 2012 at 01:21 PM
I just saw the sign, yesterday, I will be trying the pizza today. I love pizza from a wood burning oven that reaches temperatures exceeding 900 degrees, that makes for a wonderful pie with a superb crust!
Ed Roper June 20, 2012 at 01:24 PM
Hey Frank, if you're reading these comments, I'd love to try a tomato pie or vegan cheese pizza. Sorry to say I'm one of those lactose free types. I'd love to support your business though if the menu was accommodating. Either way, good luck to ya.
B June 20, 2012 at 01:25 PM
It's flour, not flower.
Solomon Kleit June 20, 2012 at 01:44 PM
“You want some pizza?” an employee asked a reporter, who politely declined. Why was that included in the story and why did he decline?
Tom Sunnergren June 20, 2012 at 01:49 PM
Thanks B. Your trusty editor has been all thumbs this week.
Tom Sunnergren June 20, 2012 at 04:19 PM
Worth adding here: Vecchia is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner and is a BYOB establishment. Great news on both fronts.
Roby June 20, 2012 at 06:11 PM
Great pizza!!! Very different taste but very yummy! Nice atmosphere. Be back soon Frank! Oh and the crust was my favorite part!
Bill N. June 20, 2012 at 09:10 PM
Is there a website yet? I'm curious about the menu.
Tom Sunnergren June 20, 2012 at 09:17 PM
Doesn't appear so Bill N., but you can follow them on twitter at @VecchiaPizza
Nichole Stec June 20, 2012 at 10:22 PM
Bill. Like the page on fb and the menu is in the Photos
Ed Roper June 20, 2012 at 10:27 PM
Facebook search for Veccia doesn't seem to find anything for me. Post a link to share? I'll 'like' the page and maybe Tom can update the article. If you'd like some advice on establishing a web presence feel free to drop me an email.
Nichole Stec June 21, 2012 at 01:40 AM
http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Vecchia-Pizzeria/412871648755485 hope this works... search Vecchia Pizzeria , Phoenixville PA
David Dawson June 21, 2012 at 07:52 AM
EXCELLENT PIZZA!!!
Don Heller June 22, 2012 at 02:20 PM
^ Ed Roper. They have a tomatoe pie.
Richard Roth June 23, 2012 at 06:08 PM
Richard R. Just came from Vecchia pizza. Anytime i see a wood fired pizza i'm excited. As someone who lived 7 y in Italy i know what a good pizza is, but Vecchia is nowhere close to it, unfortunately. Their pizza is dry, obviously not enough tomato sauce/cheese, and the edges of the pizza are so thick.You can import what ever ingredients from Italy you want, but at the end you must know how to take advantage of it. I know this place just opened but they absolutely must improve to get me back . Very disappointed....
Erin June 25, 2012 at 04:39 PM
Not sure where you're getting dry from and the crust is delicious! Frank's pizza is definitely unique. Vecchia sells out of pizzas almost every night...enough said.
Nichole Stec June 26, 2012 at 02:48 AM
Richard R. I am Frank's cousin, I let him know of your review and based on your time and comment , he knows exactly what batch was a little dry. He appreciates your honesty and hopes you give Vecchia another try. If you do, let him know who you are.
Christyn Marie Kraft July 22, 2012 at 04:43 PM
Congrats! Coming for lunch tomorrow. Looking forward to it:D
christine September 03, 2012 at 12:02 PM
Was not impressed. Expensive and unmemorable.
christine September 03, 2012 at 12:26 PM
Just read the bashing the Roth review got obviously from the Vecchia camp......absolutely disgraceful. Everyone is entitled to their opinion

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