Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Heaven is as hot as hell: Restaurant Navona

I found heaven on earth, and it's located on New Scotland Avenue in Albany, NY. And it's as hot as hell. Hot, like in baby, this place is HOT!!!  Smoke. Flames. Fire. Ash. Heat. Pizza. Beer. I looked around when I came in and I didn't see any other gods, but it was still early.

The pearly gates
The menu is limited but has real depth, much of which is taken to new heights by a sexy wood fired oven. Roasted bone marrow, charred eggplant, roasted veg, fire blistered tomatoes, and fire-kissed kale. Fire-kissed kale??? Baby, that's smokin'.

The back gets busy on weekends 

Heaven is where the god/s hang out, but it was still early
Our server brought us some charred, warm crusty bread flavored with olive oil and pepper and plated with fresh ricotta, liberally sprinkled with salt crunchies - too salty perhaps, but it was, all in all, feverishly good.
Crusty bread with ricotta
So let's cool it off just a bit. I went for a pint of Flower Power IPA ($7.50) out of Ithaca, NY. OK, yes, I had two by the end of the meal. Slightly cloudy, very hoppy and fresh, a nice pairing with their classic Spicy Sausage and Fennel Pizza ($13). Not too spicy (actually I would have liked it a bit spicier), with the perfect amount of toppings, cheese with real pull, and tender chewy yeasty pillowy crust charred to perfection on the bottom. It was a generous pizza for one, so I saved back half for later. Red hot delicious.

Spicy Sausage and Fennel Pizza - love those bubbly black bits!
Mistress of the Hounds also started cool, with the Autumn Salad ($12), loving the slightly bitter, incredibly fresh baby arugula with bits of gorgonzola, crunchy toasted almonds and crispy apples, tossed with a slightly sweet cider vinaigrette, plated with cranberry jam. We decided someone in the kitchen loves salad. Anyway, from there she tucked into a modest serving of Sea Scallops ($24), one of many daily specials, with roasted slices of sweet fingerling potatoes and brussels sprouts. A glass of Malbec (Bodega Sottano, Argentina, 2013, $9) was a rich treat.

Fifteen craft beers on tap, 8 from NY, plus Nine Pin cider - supreme bliss - as well as a thoughtful wine selection all available by the glass (except the bubblies) - all under $32/bottle so very reasonably priced as well.

A few service problems were followed up with heartfelt apologies and a bit of gratis on the bill. Excellent customer service all the way around, lovely decor - classy, light woods, comfortable lighting, clean - and excellent food licked with fire and creativity. What's not to love???


Love, Zena, Goddess of Fire

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