New York-style pizza comes to New London

Kelly Ruiz, co-owner of Napolitano's Pizza on Bank Street in New London, works behind the counter last week. (Lee Howard/The Day)
Kelly Ruiz, co-owner of Napolitano's Pizza on Bank Street in New London, works behind the counter last week. (Lee Howard/The Day)

New London — Husband-and-wife team Kelly and Victor Ruiz are looking to bring real New York-style pizza and affordable Italian cuisine to downtown with the opening last month of the 18-seat Napolitano’s Pizza at 221 Bank St.

“It’s New York style, with thin crust — chewy but crisp,” Kelly Ruiz said. “We want to bring really good pizza to New London with a different style.”

Ruiz noted that much of the pizza fare in New London, including the pies once served up by the much-missed Captain’s Pizza, have been Greek style. These pizzas, with techniques learned from a friend in Providence, are hand-tossed and cooked on a stone.

“They’re different from any other pizzas around,” she said, including nearby Daddy Jack’s, which specializes in wood-fired pies.

Ruiz, who lives with her husband in New London, said Napolitano’s is trying to distinguish itself in other ways as well, including delivery.

“We’ve got a lot of pizza places but not a lot of delivery,” she said.

Napolitano’s also is selling grinders, but trying to stay away from the usual turkey and ham varieties, instead offering eggplant, chicken and meatball parmigiana, along with what it calls the Italian Meat Lovers and the popular shaved steak and cheese, all in the $7 to $11 range.

Dinner entrees, ranging from $10 to $16, include penne alla vodka, baked ziti, fish and chips and grilled chicken with roasted peppers. Half-pound burgers, from $11 to $13, are served on a kaiser roll with garlic fries. 

Desserts, made on premises, include a Nutella-stuffed fried dough, cannoli and homemade ice cream.

Both of the Ruizes see New London as a good, growing market. And they like the new one-lane traffic pattern on Bank Street, saying customers feel safer getting out of their cars and crossing the road.

“We already have this great sense of community,” Kelly Ruiz said. “Customers have been so welcoming and friendly. I’m really glad we decided to come here to New London.”

Ruiz said the restaurant, still awaiting central air conditioning in a space that had been vacant for quite a while, currently does a lot of takeout. It does not currently do any specials, but she expects once the staff gets used to the menu there will be daily additions, including soups in the fall.

“It’s going to be more takeout and delivery until people know it more,” she said.

The restaurant opens at 11 a.m. every day except Sunday, when it opens at noon. It closes 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 9 p.m. Sundays and 10 p.m. the rest of the week.

l.howard@theday.com

Kelly Ruiz, co-owner of Napolitano's Pizza on Bank Street in New London, greets customers last week as  her husband, Victor Ruiz, and employee Alfonso Solis prepare food. (Lee Howard/The Day)
Kelly Ruiz, co-owner of Napolitano's Pizza on Bank Street in New London, greets customers last week as her husband, Victor Ruiz, and employee Alfonso Solis prepare food. (Lee Howard/The Day)
Employee Alfonso Solis prepares food as Victor Ruiz, background, co-owner of Napolitano's Pizza on Bank Street in New London, works with him last week in the open kitchen. (Lee Howard/The Day)
Employee Alfonso Solis prepares food as Victor Ruiz, background, co-owner of Napolitano's Pizza on Bank Street in New London, works with him last week in the open kitchen. (Lee Howard/The Day)

BUSINESS SNAPSHOT

What: Napolitano's Pizza

Who: Victor and Kelly Ruiz, owners

Where: 221 Bank St., New London

Website: www.napolitanospizzeria.com

Phone: (860) 440-3777

Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday; noon to 9 p.m. Sunday

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