Piatto’s serve authentic wood-fired pizzas – you can see the oven from the seating area. It’s all part of the regulations of their VPN designation.

VPN stands for “Verace Pizza Napoletana,” which basically means “true Napolean pizza.” In the 1980s, a group of pizza makers from Naples started an international non-profit organization to ensure pizza makers claiming to make true Napolean pizzas were actually doing that claim justice.

The Italian government made this VPN designation “a legal entity able to give special designation to pizzerias who meet strict requirements that respect the tradition of the art of Neapolitan pizza making.” Verace Pizza Napoletana now has delegates in The West (VPN Americas) and Japan (VPN Giappone).

In a nutshell, VPN pizzerias must make their pies using specific ingredients and methods, and they can only use certain approved equipment in cooking them (like the wood-fired oven). The strict guidelines even dictate how long a pizza is allowed to cook, and what size the pizza can be – you’ll find no small, medium, or large on their menu.

As Piatto’s website states, “You experience a ‘true’ pizza like you would find in the energetic pizzerias in Naples, Italy (but without the airfare).” The certification is no joke: it costs $2,000, and has an annual fee of about $250. But ultimately, what matters more than marketable designations, is the taste test, and Piatto’s really is really good.

Recommended eating includes “The Stephanie,”a white-sauce pizza with goat cheese, crispy prosciutto, caramelized pears, Grana Padano and a drizzle of balsamic reduction. Take advantage of their $14 lunch special every day but Sunday, from 11:30-4: a 9 inch pizza with a small salad or soup.