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Napoli’s offers old-world Italian in South Ogden

By Valerie Phillips - Special to the Standard-Examiner | Aug 3, 2022
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Antonio Geminiani of Napoli’s Italian Restaurant in South Ogden, with the restaurant’s seafood combo and house-made rolls and dipping oil.
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Napoli’s seafood combo of shrimp, scallops, mussels and clams, bathed in a choice of scampi or Alfredo sauce.
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Chicken Florentine at Napoli’s in South Ogden is a creamy garlic-sauced chicken breast with fresh spinach, mushrooms and green onions over spaghetti pasta.
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Cannoli stuffed with sweet ricotta filling and Italian cream cake are two popular desserts.

Napoli’s Italian Restaurant isn’t “fast food.” It’s an experience.

The South Ogden restaurant, which opened in June, serves authentic dishes in a white-tablecloth ambiance.

“We have customers here who want their food quick, but we can’t make it quick because we want to make sure it’s cooked right,” said Antonio Geminiani, one of the owners. “Our food doesn’t come frozen or prepared. We cook separately for each customer as they order.”

The restaurant’s traditional Italian tomato sauce is cooked for six and a half hours, with fresh basil, garlic and onions.

“We make our bread daily here,” Geminiani said. “We make most of the desserts and most of the pastas.”

So, sit back and take your time to enjoy old-world dishes like chicken Florentine, lasagna, fettuccine Alfredo or veal Marsala, polished off with ricotta-stuffed cannoli or Italian cream cake.

Although it’s new to Utah, Napoli’s comes from a family-owned restaurant group, with 37 locations.

Geminiani said his mother is from Napoli (the Italian language word for Naples) and his father is from Sicily, “so we went with ‘Napoli’s.'” They started their first restaurant in 1987 in the Bronx borough of New York. Then they expanded to Texas, Iowa, Arkansas and Missouri.

He followed the recommendation of a friend in Arizona that Utah could use more Italian food.

“I had Provo in mind, but I didn’t find a good spot,” he said.

Driving north, he found a building he liked on Riverdale Road — formerly a Café Rio.

“We opened June 27 and didn’t advertise until the next day, because we didn’t want to be too busy, being in a new area. But the first night, we were packed.”

Word is getting out, as South Ogden Mayor Russell Porter stopped by the restaurant last week to welcome the new restaurant.

A top seller on the menu is Little Italy — a trio of chicken Parmesan, lasagna and fettuccine Alfredo.

Another popular dish is chicken Florentine — chicken breast, fresh spinach, mushrooms and green onions in a garlic cream sauce over spaghetti pasta.

The seafood combo includes shrimp, scallops, mussels and clams, bathed in a choice of scampi or Alfredo sauce.

Geminiani has been surprised that two spicy-sauced dishes have sold so well: chicken Arabiata and shrimp Diavolo.

“The server is requested to ask how hot you want it, because some people want it very spicy and others don’t want it too spicy,” Geminiani said.

Each entrée includes a salad and house-made rolls with a mixture of olive oil and balsamic vinegar for dipping.

Two top appetizers are stuffed mushrooms and fried calamari. Favorite desserts include Italian cream cake and cannoli — a crunchy tube of pastry with a creamy frosting-like ricotta filling.

Geminiani’s personal favorite is penne Bravissimo: penne pasta with extra-virgin olive oil, garlic, basil, kalamata olives, capers, roasted peppers, sun-dried tomatoes and feta. “I sometimes add in shrimp or chicken,” he said.

“We know food, but we don’t know your taste,” he said, “I would tell every customer, if you don’t like something, give us a second chance and let us find something you like.”

The company has tentative plans to eventually open six locations in Utah.

“But we don’t rush,” Geminiani said. “After we establish the first base, we go to second and so on. We have to make sure everything is good, so that everyone comes in happy and leaves happy.”


Napoli’s Italian Restaurant

Location: 4015 Riverdale Road, South Ogden

Contact: 385-244-1637

Prices: Lunch entrees, $13-$18; dinner entrees, $16-$25

Hours: Closed Monday. Open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday and Sunday; and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday-Saturday.


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