The crust was thin, well-salted and blistered along one edge from the oven's high heat. As it cooled, it stayed crisp, a sign of first-rate pizza. The fresh, light tomato sauce was barely flavored with oregano, the cheese was high-quality, and there were slivers of basil and a kiss of grated Parmesan on the top. Altogether a superior product.
I found it odd that on her first visit, Sax ordered a meal that did not include pizza. It wasn't until seeing pies on the tables around her that she felt a second visit would be in order. She redeems herself (partially) with the following statement, "That's why I went back with my pizza maven to share a small pie for $11. No toppings: Would you taste-test ice cream with hot fudge and nuts?"
That's my M.O. when eating an unfamiliar slice or pie. The plain slice or pie is a pizzeria's benchmark, and you should always start there.
Nick's (Upper East Side)
Address: 1814 Second Ave. at 94th St.
Notes: All cards accepted. 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily
Nick's (Forest Hills)
Address: 108-26 Ascan Ave (b/n Austin and Burns streets)
Notes: cash only, lunch and dinner daily