porta via
Sunday night, Tim and I got the opportunity to attend a private event at Porta Via Italian Kitchen—Nashville’s source of authentic Neapolitan pizza (and you know how much I love that, whether in Chicago, in Seattle, in Chattanooga, or now here at home).

Porta Via atmosphere

For us, the event came at a pretty perfect time, too, because, take my advice, everyone should get a night of free pizza and wine in the weeks immediately following their engagement (i.e., the weeks following a realization that now you have to plan a wedding!). With the flurry of emails and inquiries lately (which, I know, are the things many girls dream of), the very thing we needed, I think, was a chance to sit down and eat the food we both called our favorite before we’d even met.

pizza

Sunday’s event was arranged to celebrate Porta Via’s recently acquired official VPN certification, something you can read more about here, which essentially means proof that their Neapolitan pizza is the real deal: made with the high-quality Italian ingredients, flash-baked in a white-hot brick oven, created without any mechanic preparation—just human hands tossing and pressing the dough.

i love that he loves pizza

There were pizzas with caramelized onions, pizzas with mushrooms and green peppers, a traditional margherita the moment Tim asked about one. Oh, and when we first walked in, we tried a couple slices without red sauce, which were topped with sprigs of rosemary and salt; these became my new favorite, and not just because we’ve been loving rosemary ever since the sourdough we ate in the park.

pizza at Porta Via

As is typical of Neapolitan pizza, Porta Via’s crusts are chewy and charred, very thin (although not as thin as what you’d find at Chicago’s Spacca Napoli or Nashville’s City House), bearing the marks of dough that’s been thrust into a wood-fire oven more than 700 degrees hot.

counter at porta via

And after we’d eaten our fill of pizza (which for me meant five slices—yes, five), we were given a glass dish of coffee gelato from the gelato bar right by the entrance.

coffee gelato

coffee gelato on a spoon

It was a simple night—just a bunch of pizza lovers gathered together, in a restaurant tucked away in an unassuming strip mall, with live music and free samples and a couple announcements—but it was a simple night we were glad to have, glad to be given.

menu at Porta Via

It was the kind of night that made me wish we could just have pizza at our wedding.

Oh, and for those of you who like hearing these things, we have a date! (look out, October!) We almost have a photographer! and once we figure out the little details of location and food, we’ll be well on our way. Chicago-area outdoor venue ideas are welcome!






Porta Via Italian Kitchen
21 White Bridge Rd #104
Nashville, TN 37205
website: eatatportavia.com
Twitter: @eatatPortaVia
Facebook: facebook.com/portavia

Shanna Mallon

Shanna Mallon started Food Loves Writing back in 2008, as a way to remember her grandma and write about her life through food. Since then it's become a place leading her to a lifestyle of eating whole foods, a new home in Nashville and the love of her life, Tim. Follow Shanna on Twitter @foodloves, keep up with Food Loves Writing on Facebook and stay inspired with the monthly newsletter.

This Post Has 14 Comments

  1. elisabeth

    I had tiramisu gelato last night, and thought of you and the memories we made in beautiful Rome. By the way, congratulations and best wishes on your engagement. I’m so happy for you!

  2. Shannalee

    Jenny, : ) How awesome would it be if we did?

    Gemma, I know!

    Sarah, OK, thanks!

    Elisabeth, Thanks so much! Gelato sounds so good right now. So does Rome!

    Rachel, : ) Thanks, friend!

    Tim, Hahaha. I love you and your random instructional sessions.

  3. Vicki

    Why not? My now mother-in-law served pizza at our rehearsal dinner (although I did politely suggest she also serve pasta and salad too since she was making the wedding party travel about 30 miles from the church to their house. But oh how you would have loved my rehearsal dinner with the tent, candles, strings of lights in my in-laws huge yard). Good luck with wedding planning!

  4. Brooke (The Flour Sack)

    I, too, absolutely LOVE authentic Neapolitan pizza. Your pictures are really nice. Looks delicious :) Congratulations on your recent engagement, by the way! Annnnd…. I love your site. This is my first time commenting, but I really do like to read and follow your posts :)

  5. Neil Butterfield

    No fair :-) this was the hardest blog to ever read. These pics are stunning and I really wish I was there. So glad that you had a blast. First time I have been here and it will not be the last, looking forward to more similar posts.

  6. Shannalee

    Duo Dishes, Ha! Me too.

    Vicki, That does sound beautiful! : )

    Brooke, Thank you so much, both for the comment and for reading. It’s so nice to hear from people who like to follow along here!

    Neil, Ha! I understand. : ) Good pizza is always hard to miss. It was such a great opportunity, and I’m really glad we got to enjoy it!

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