The ‘Starita a Materdei’ pizzeria is a legend in Naples. Now it has arrived in Milan too, close to Corso Sempione. The restaurant was founded in 1901 as a cellar and it has since then evolved in a ‘friggitoria’ (a place for frying fish and other food) and then an actual pizzeria. It has been the set of the ‘L’oro di Napoli’ movie (‘The Gold of Naples’ in the US edition) where Sofia Loren was playing the role of a pizza maker girl, and it has also received recognitions from the Vatican. In other words, a legend! But let’s go back to the present days: Starita has opened in Milan about one month ago and we couldn’t but give it a try!
After a quick look at the menu we reluctantly decide to skip the antipasti and order the pizzas rightaway: a margherita, as the pizza purists we are, but with lots of basil, and a ‘Notte e Giorno’ (night and day) calzone, half filled with sheep ricotta, salame, provola and pepper and half margherita, a tradition of the restaurant. After less than ten minutes the waiter is back with our plates.
Make it simple, but significant. No, it is not a Neapolitan saying, but it perfectly describes the feeling after the first bite of Starita’s famous pizza Margherita. The dough is low, dry, light and crunchy, the basil is good and fresh, the tomato sauce is at the right point of sweetness and the very fresh mozzarella blends and balances all the flavours very well. It is truly an A+ pizza. The calzone too is very good, more flavourful but not too heavy, and it leaves some space for dessert.
We decide to order the traditional ‘angioletti dolci‘ (sweet little angels), fried dough with sugar and Nutella on top: boom, a delicious bomb! Our hearts and bellies where very happy and satisfied!
Starita, with pizza makers and wooden ovens that can be seen from the window, is located in Via Gherardini, a cross-street of Corso Sempione. It is easily reachable by metro (Cadorna stop) and tram (number 10 or 1), but is less convenient for those getting there by car because of the lack of parking spots in the area.
The restaurant is very simple, with brick walls, big glass cups and simple cutlery. The chairs are colourful, the glass plates are quite big and there are no table cloths. Lots of family photos can be seen on the walls, along with pictures of the scenes of the movie that has been shot at Starita’s Materdei location. Overall the interior is still very new and the Neapolitan coziness is cooled down by the Milanese sense of order, but it is probably just a matter of time since the restaurant has just opened!
For two pizzas of excellent quality, water and a dessert (in the XL version) we spent about 25 euros. The bill might seem too high if compared to a restaurant in Naples, but it is absolutely in line with average Milanese prices. But be careful please: just as in Naples and as at Sorbillo, you can’t make a reservation…so be ready to wait in line!
Via Gherardini 1, corner Corso Sempione, Milan
+39 02 33602532
Open every day (12–15 and 19–00)
Read the original article on Conosco un Posto. This English version was translated by Tamara Ilic.