As a pizza lover who takes her beat seriously, I'm constantly searching for the unsung heroes and the next best things in New Jersey pies. I file away suggestions from commenters; I read local reviews; I take note of the names that come up again and again in conversation. So when I saw foodie message board rumblings of an unassuming spot near Newark that had the best Sicilian pizza in the state, you know where I was headed.
I'm here to confirm those rumors: if not the best in New Jersey, the Sicilian slice at Nino's in Harrison is most definitely in the top five. And I say that as someone who's not particularly a fan of the Sicilian style most days.
The slice is a top-quality expression of a Sicilian: the dough in particular is the best of all worlds, tender, chewy, and gently yielding to the bite, with a thin, crispy edge from the pan. The sauce hits the palate with a tangy and saline hint of tomato instead of the overly sweet, dried-out paste I find way too often; the cheese, a satisfying layer of melted mozzarella, a gooey cherry on the sundae, as it were.
And there's good reason why the Sicilian slice is so great: owner Nino D'Angelo is also one of the masterminds behind Bruno's, the lauded square slice joint in Clifton. He opened Bruno's with his brother back in 1977 before moving on to open Nino's in 1980. (His squeaky-clean, no-frills space a stone's throw away from the PATH station and the Red Bull Arena is no longer related to Mr. Nino's III restaurant in Kearny, which D'Angelo sold a while back.)
Should you be a thin-crust gal or guy, the crunchy, flavorful bones at Nino's won't disappoint either. Grab a slice of each, along with a fork and knife, and dig in.
442 Bergen St., Harrison NJ 07029 [map] 973-484-5770; no website