While there are plenty of pizza places in Upstate South Carolina area, and quite a few good ones at that, there’s only one place right now where you can get Neapolitan pizza, and that place is Risata, a cute little restaurant located in Greer whose owner decided to come out of retirement, learn the art of making Neapolitan pizza and share his passion with us.
First, let’s discuss Neapolitan pizza, just in case you haven’t heard of it. Neapolitan pizza is a type of pizza with very specific rules, having mozzarella cheese and San Marzano tomatoes for the sauce. The pizza must also be cooked slowly in a wood-burning stove with oak wood. The original, and probably most well-known Neapolitan pizza is Pizza Margherita which consist of the San Marzano tomato sauce, slices of mozzarella, basil and extra virgin olive oil. While I’m sure I had you at pizza, you’re really trying to figure out the deal now, right? (shake your head)
So, yes, Risata…Neapolitan pizza…here it goes…
Risata’s menu has seven specialty pizzas, which include the Pomodoro (fresh cherry tomatoes, bufala mozzarella, garlic, basil and balsamic vinegar) and the Fig and Pig (fig preserves, Canadian bacon, mozzarella, gorgonzola and mint- it’s on my list for my next visit). They also allow you to build your own pizza, adding toppings to one of the three Neapolitan classics- Margherita, Bianca and Marinara. But pizza is not all Risata has, there are also a variety of sandwiches, salads and a featured pasta dish.
During my visit to Risata, I enjoyed two of their specialty cocktails. My first cocktail was the Scorppino, a refreshing cocktail with vodka, prosecco and lemon sorbet. (Two of my faves- vodka and prosecco!) For my second cocktail, I had the Amalfi G&T, which is their version of the gin and tonic. Now, let me tell you about this gin and tonic. It is a little different from most gin and tonics you’ve had before. It is made with Malfy gin, which is an Italian gin and doesn’t have the pine taste like other brands. I highly recommend trying it!
Also, I didn’t see it on the menu, but I saw the bartender mixing a fresh batch of sangria. It is on my list of things to try next time. They make it by the batch and actually make it the correct way, allowing it to sit and letting the flavors mix together.
For an appetizer, I had the whipped gorgonzola bruschetta. It was definitely a good choice.
Because I was by myself, I was only able to try one pizza. I have already told “S” we have to go back so I can try more. I had the Capo, which is basically Risata’s version of the meat lover’s. It is a delicious, hearty pizza with meatballs, pepperonis, San Marzano tomato sauce, mozzarella, basil, romano and parmesan.
I sat at the bar during my visit and was very impressed with how attentive and knowledgable the bartender/waiter was. He answered any questions I had regarding the menu, as well as gave me suggestions and information on the restaurant.