To whet your appetite for The Pitch's annual Best of
Kansas City issue in October, we're celebrating our favorite 50 dishes
from restaurants, bakeries, coffeehouses, bars, drugstores, saloons and
other metro joints. Until October 7, we'll feature one outstanding dish
or beverage every weekday, starting today. Agree with us or make your
own suggestions -- just don't come between us and these 50 fantastic
things to eat or drink.
A great sandwich is like a symphony. All of the parts are in beautiful balance. The harmony is just right. And you literally can't help but make a bit of noise while enjoying the performance.
Well, cue up your mouth organ for Bella Napoli's (6229 Brookside Boulevard) Il Parma. This delicate combination of Parma prosciutto, fresh mozzarella, basil and roasted peppers from the Italian market and deli in Brookside is Mozart for meat eaters.
One half of the sandwich ($6.99) feels comfortable in your hand, like gripping a baseball you can eat. Looking down, I always think there is just too large a slice of fresh mozzarella, that it's going to dominate the sandwich.
But then I take my first bite, my teeth sinking into the soft ciabatta roll, and I understand why the Il Parma has been assembled this way. The creamy mozzarella sounds the first note before generous folds of salty, buttery Parma prosciutto. The roasted red peppers add a bit of sweetness before a slightly peppery finish from thinly chopped basil leaves. Everything is coated in a drizzle of olive oil, which brings out the smoothness of the prosciutto, but isn't heavy or greasy.
This was the first sandwich I fell in love with after moving to this city three years ago. And I still can't help but drum my fingers with excitement along the glass deli counter while I wait for it to be made.