People who stopped in to test out Alex & Teresa’s within the first few months after its beginning had been greeted by way of Sinatra tunes and ground-to-ceiling work of art of the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building. If they took these cues to intend that that they had entered a New York Italian pizza-pasta joint, they have been in for a surprise after they opened the menu.
Instead of a catalog of Italian-American favorites, they located offerings like cuoppo di Gennarino, polpettine Alla diavola, and trofie salsiccia e friarelli. Instead of any other strip mall Italian-American eatery, these lucky gastronomic explorers stumbled across a restaurant specializing in actual Italian delicacies.
To be particular, Neapolitan is the local delicacies of the restaurant’s owners, Teresa Russo (whose circle of relatives owned a restaurant in Naples) and her husband, Alex Greco, an experienced pizzaiolo who also helps out inside the dining room. The couple, who come to Cary via New York, opened Alex & Teresa’s in January. Their enthusiasm for the meals of their adolescence is plain as they answer your questions and describe dishes, some of which you could in no way have heard of.
They explain that cuoppo di Gennarino is an appetizer sampler stimulated by using snacks that can be served in a paper cone (“cuoppo”) at Naples’ streets. I’ll add that it’s a first-rate way to begin your exploration. A current sampler included creamy-targeted potato croquettes, triangles of fried pizza dough, and a saffron-tinged rice ball as big as a baseball, full of molten mozzarella, bolognese sauce, and green peas — all organized around a small dish of San Marzano tomato dipping sauce.
Polpettine alla diavola, miniature red meat meatballs simmered in a spicy tomato sauce, is another winning starter. So is self-made burrata with speck— a herbal accomplice for the crusty house-baked bread you’ll be served hot out of the oven. Fried calamari (Alex proudly informs you that the squid is clean, no longer frozen) wanted a little salt once I ordered it but have been otherwise exemplary.
Fresh pasta is a house distinctiveness, with alternatives from classically easy spaghetti cacio e Pepe (cheese and pepper) to trofie salsiccia e friarelli (a quick, twisted pasta with Italian sausage and broccoli rabe). Ravioli, whose ricotta filling can be tinged with orange or lemon (chef’s desire), is a pleasing change of tempo, regardless of which citrus is featured. The ravioli is one in every of a handful of vegetarian alternatives, in conjunction with gnocchi alla Sorrentina (fresh mozzarella, tomato, and basil), trofie al pesto, and tagliatelle with porcini mushrooms (which additionally happens to be gluten-free).
If you definitely ought to get your Italian-American restore, you’ll find a completely saucy spaghetti with meatballs among the half of-dozen or so listings underneath the Dry Pasta heading. Other alternatives cover an extensive spectrum from penne alla Siciliana (some other departure from Neapolitan domestic turf, presenting eggplant, tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and basil) to linguine al scolio (seafood and cherry tomatoes in white wine, olive oil, and garlic).
The essential course presenting meanders throughout Italy, from pollo alla Romana (Roman-fashion fowl with mixed bell peppers) to cioppino Siciliano. And if you idea cioppino originated in the San Francisco Italian fisherman network (I did), Teresa Russo is glad to dispute that starting place tale. It’s safe to say that nobody in San Francisco could recognize the version served at Alex & Teresa’s as cioppino (it comes off greater like Zuppa di Pesce). However, there’s no denying that it’s tasty, tomatoey seafood stew. Chef Alberto Di Somma, who has cooked all over the globe from Naples to Brazil, does his place of birth of Milan proud with worth dishes: Osso Bucco alla Milanese (with risotto), and cotoletta alla Milanese con melanzane a fun ghetto: gently breaded veal cutlets served with a medley of eggplant and tomatoes cooked “mushroom fashion.
New York-fashion pizzas are some other prevailing choice. The emphasis on genuine Neapolitan fare notwithstanding, Alex & Teresa’s doesn’t invoice their pies as “Los Angeles vera Napoletana.” More than two dozen toppings are available, in addition to residence specialty pies including eggplant parmesan and prosciutto San Daniele — on a thin, nicely-browned crust. Alex & Teresa continues to be a piece in development. However, the kitchen’s progress has been astonishing considering my first go to in February, while beneath-salting became a habitual issue. Other than a Caesar salad marred via hard, dense croutons, the entirety I’ve had on subsequent visits has been right to very good.