Best Neapolitan style pizza in the desert? We have the answers
Frustrated with the dearth of authentic New York-style desert pizza, I long ago opted for the Neapolitan variety – the personal-sized wood-fired pizza that originated in Naples, Italy. I’ve tasted them everywhere I could find them in the Coachella Valley, noting the restaurants that nail the crispy yet chewy and airy thin crust and the simple ingredients: a basic dough, raw tomatoes, fresh mozzarella cheese , basil and olive oil – aka , Pizza Margarita. No one in the desert does it better than Piero’s PizzaVino on El Paseo in Palm Desert and Khaki Bistro and Wine Bar at the Palm Springs Museum of Art in Palm Springs.
In both restaurants, I almost always choose the Margherita, the traditional choice.
But Piero’s offers 21 options – 13 with red sauce, eight with white sauce – with ingredients ranging from crispy speck to a savory mix of ham, mushrooms, artichokes and Kalamata olives. I sometimes order the polpette (with meatballs and peppers).
At Persimmon, where I like to find a shaded table in the museum’s sculpture garden, I’m often tempted to order the pepperoni. Be sure to ask for the pizza of the day. Owner/Chef Arthur Vasquez is a pizza enthusiast, always innovative and eager to please.