If you live in Geauga County and love pizza, you are very lucky, even if you don’t realize it. We have pizza everywhere, and many are little family owned operations. I like everything from “utility pizza”, for a quick lunch slice on the road , to deep dish style. One pizza can be elusive though; the traditional brick (or stone) oven pizza. Lucky for us, we have Noce Gourmet Pizzeria in Chardon!
For the uninitiated, here’s a primer on why brick oven pizza is special. You need three things to make authentic brick oven pizza: fresh ingredients (including the dough), passion for your product, and of course, a brick or stone oven. True brick oven pizza is cooked not in a pan, not on a conveyor, but directly on the stone floor of the oven, start to finish. This cooks the pizza by conduction from the bottom up, instantly crisping the bottom of the crust and producing an even chewy interior. When seeking the real pie, beware of the pizza posers. They may use par-cooked, mass produced dough. Many of the “posers” cook the pizza in a pan (lack of passion leads to short cuts). This defeats the instant crisping via conduction, because the pan takes time to warm up, cooling down the stone, and derailing the process.
The folks at Noce have the oven, for sure. I was the first paying customer to get a slice out of their new oven a couple of months ago. Passion? Head pie man Jay can wax poetic about dough, fresh toppings, and new combinations. Fresh ingredients? Not only are these guys making fresh dough in house daily, but in the summer, Jay is growing herbs on the window sill in tomato cans. Every once in a while he’ll have a special offering with some unique topping like a locally made sausage.
During dinner rush, expect to wait for your pie. Quality takes time. While you wait, try one of their signature salads. I am not a salad guy, but theirs I love. I recommend the Noce Orange, with orange slices, candied walnuts, and Gorgonzola cheese. It’s hard to recommend a pizza, though, as they are all great. Personal favorites are the Wild Mushroom or Molto Carne. They even have some vegan offerings, if that’s how you roll. If you want to sample, go for lunch and get pizza by the slice. Jay and his staff keep four varieties pumping out. Beverage selections include not only standard fountain sodas, but also San Peligrino sparkling orange and lemon. While they don’t offer alcoholic beverages, you are welcome to bring your favorite bottle of wine or craft brew, and they will happily provide the appropriate glassware. For Noce Gourmet Pizzeria’s “hours of deliciousness”, visit their Facebook page.
At Noce you could choose to dine in or carry out. They also welcome large groups and offer catering services for your event. Noce is located at 125 Main St in Chardon. Business hours are Tuesday – Thursday 11 am to 8 pm, Friday 11 am – 10 pm and Saturday 11 am – 10:30 pm.