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Pizza Republica Has Work to Do

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My meal at the month-old Pizza Republica began with our server announcing that the San Marzano tomatoes and pizza dough were flown in from Italy each week. The iconically sweet tomatoes perhaps, but the dough? I think not. Truth be told, it’s the Caputo 00 flour–the building block of authentic Neapolitan pizzas–that’s imported.

That hiccup aside, the menu looked promising, with artisan pizzas, sandwiches, and a handful of pastas and entrées all featuring local and organic produce whenever possible. (The Landmark restaurant also makes its own marinara and mozzarella.)

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Which is why I was surprised that the cheese was as rubbery and tasteless as grocery-store brands. I tried it fresh in the mozzarella salad (coupled with delicious roasted fennel, basil, and cherry tomatoes) and melted on the margherita pizza. Neither were particularly impressive, though more flavor came through in the slightly spicy rustica pie, topped with prosciutto, pepperoni-esque housemade sausage, red pepper flakes, and more of that mozzarella.

To its credit, Republica’s space is striking, with an airy, modern dining room fit with an open kitchen and a few very cool watch-the-cooks counter seats. But, the eats need work to compete with spots like Proto’s or Marco’s, both of which serve bang-up Neapolitan pies.

5375 Landmark Place #113, Greenwood Village, 720-489-2030

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