If you need to remember anything at all about Racca’s Pizzeria Napoletana, it’s this:
Authenticity is so key to their pizza, they brought in someone from New York to ensure their water had the same lower concentration levels of calcium and magnesium, to mimic the “soft” water of NYC (and subsequently, the city’s notorious bagels and pizza).
As Smithsonian Magazine has said, New York City tap water is sort of the “Goldilocks” of water when it comes to dough-making.
When I heard that, I knew Racca’s was the real deal.
As an Italian, who has also been to Naples, I know about this stringent process first hand. This association gives very special designation to pizzerias who meet these strict requirements that respect the tradition and art of Neapolitan pizza that includes verifying ingredients they use like the Italian-imported Antico Molino Caputo 00 flour, San Marzano tomatoes, and cheese that is produced in Italy. Anyone certified must also adhere to specifically enforced processes and wood-fired oven techniques.
All of Racca’s ovens are imported from Italy, as well and they boast two side by side; one at 1000° and the other at 800° which is how the cook everything on the menu (no stove top). I love how in the pizza oven, their pizza cooks in under two minutes.
What’s In a Name?
You may have heard of Marco’s Coal-Fired Pizza in Denver that opened on Larimer Street in 2008. Fast forward to late 2015, this is still the same restaurant, just a shift in name. Husband-wife owners, Mark and Kristy Dym heard the confusion from patrons about Marco’s Pizza (Ohio pizza chain) adding a lot of restaurants in Denver and decided to change their name.
The name Racca’s is a short version of Kristy Dym’s maiden name, Latorraca.
Having won many awards including 2015 Independent Pizzeria of the Year from Pizza Today, and receiving votes for Denver’s best pizzeria by Westword and 5280 Magazine, they’ve had their share of success in a world filled with pizza despite having to shift the brand and name. Their aim for freshness and authentic, has always stayed the same.
They have locations in downtown Denver on Larimer, in Englewood, Lakewood at the Colorado Mills Mall, and just opened an outpost in Casper, Wyoming. I’ve visited the Larimer ballpark location and most recently, got to visit their newer location at Colorado Mills. I love that it’s right across from the movie theater – great for dinner and a movie.EMILIA ROMAGNA | Smoked Bufala Mozzarella, Walnut & Pine Nut Cream, Roasted Zucchini, Pecorino Romano, Fresh Basil, CALABRIA | Fresh Mozzarella, Pecorino Romano, Spicy Salami, Hot Dry Cured Coppa, Fresh Basil, San Marzano Tomato Sauce, EVOO PIEMONTE | Fresh Mozzarella, Pecorino Sardo Truffle Spread, Mushrooms, Prosciutto di Parma, Fresh Basil, EVOO
They also offer a classic Italian dessert offering from cannoli to panna cotta to tiramisu.
There’s one more thing worth mentioning that the pictures don’t properly show. Although I am not gluten free, upon encouragement from the staff, we tried a sample of their cooked, gluten free dough and I almost couldn’t tell the difference. It was fluffy and not thin and crispy like a cracker (how a lot of GF dough tastes to me). I think this offer is important especially in health-conscious Colorado and was a nice touch.
Locations: Denver – Larimer, Denver – Englewood, Lakewood – Colorado Mills, Casper, WY