Marc Sgrizzi has been blessing northwest Vegas with great food for more than a decade. It started with Marc’s on Lake Mead and Tenaya, then Mezzo on North Rancho, then the fantastic Parma on Buffalo behind Trader Joe’s. (The latter is still his and has become one of the best neighborhood restaurants in all of Las Vegas, in case you haven’t tried it yet.)
- Novecento Pizzeria
- 5705 Centennial Center Blvd., 685-4900.
- Daily, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
Taking risks is always part of Sgrizzi’s approach, whether he’s playing with unorthodox menu specials or expanding into a tricky space. He’s done it again, rolling the dice with a new pizza joint in the Centennial Center strip mall off Ann Road and the 95. This is a community of fickle eaters with an addiction to reliable chains. Is the ’hood ready for authentic Neapolitan pizza? I hope so.
Novecento is the west-side’s answer to Settebello, a comfortable, convenient restaurant concentrating on eat-in pizza with some salads and sides. It’s just weeks old, and Sgrizzi the perfectionist is still tinkering with the experience, but his pizza is as good as it gets. Fresh out of a 900-degree wood-fired oven, these pies have thin but still satisfying crust—much more substantial and chewy than Settebello’s—with ideal textural balance. The flavor is light, allowing traditional toppings like slightly sweet marinara, fresh mozzarella, and rich olive oil and balsamic vinegar to grab the spotlight. Start by choosing with tomatoes or without, then go to town building your own with pepperoni, pancetta, meatballs, ricotta, eggplant, pesto, or many more options. I’d recommend no more than three toppings, so as not to overwhelm the natural awesomeness. If you need more variety, just get another pizza; they’re sized for one.
You can always stick with a classic margherita ($7) or try house specialties like the Bianco ($11), with pesto, gorgonzola, roasted onions and arugula or the spicy Calabrese ($10), a blend of vinegary peppers with hard salami. Round things out with outstanding pasta fagiole soup ($4.50), a chopped salad in red wine vinaigrette ($5 for a small), or a dish of sautéed escarole and beans ($4.50). There’s even a little gelato for dessert, and beer or wine to go with your meal. Every choice is a good one at Novecento. The northwest has lucked out again.