Jake’s Bella Napoli
Kansas Citians may know Jake’s as La Cucina di Mamma, but a recent name change ties this little neighborhood gem more closely to the deli next door, which Jake Imperiale also owns.
Though I’ve bought pastas, olives and sandwiches at Bella Napoli for years, it had been quite some time since I had eaten at Jake’s–when it first opened I was less than enthralled. The food was good, but I didn’t care for the ambiance or the plastic dishes. However, Jake has learned a few things since then, and the small changes he made (including the use of china), transformed the place. It’s now an adorable little spot where diners can enjoy a quick bite or linger over a bottle of wine. So now it’s a pleasant experience all the way around.
We shared the Margherita pizza made with fresh Marzano tomato sauce and buffalo mozzarella. The crust was thin and chewy, though I prefer a bit more crispness and char, nothing that a bit more time in the oven wouldn’t fix. The Penne Siciliano was tossed with chunks of Italian sausage and ricotta in a spicy tomato sauce and was captivating.
The menu is broad–diners can choose from salads, pizza, pasta, as well as antipasti and panini. If you go on a Tuesday or Wednesday night, all bottles of wine are half-priced, making an already reasonably priced meal even more affordable.