Denino's in the 'New York Times'
Frank Bruni turns his meal into an adventure, sailing the seas to Staten Island's Denino's. He comes away with this review.
Allow me to posit something perverse: it is too easy to find the food of your choice in this city. Mexican? Two blocks away. Sushi? Half a block in the other direction. Don't want to leave home? Leaf through the towering stack of delivery menus in the cupboard. Almost anything is within reach. Almost nothing requires real effort.
Sort of dims the excitement of it all.
So recently, when I had a hankering for that most easily acquired food of all, pizza, I elected a different, more difficult course. I did not go to any of the many pizzerias, including an outpost of Patsy's, in my neighborhood. I did not go to John's on Bleecker Street, which would have required only a subway ride.
Along with three sporting, seafaring companions, I boarded the ferry for Staten Island late one Sunday afternoon. The beacon of Denino's Pizzeria Tavern flickered faintly in the distance, or at least in our minds' eyes.
Denino's has been operating in the Port Richmond section of Staten Island for more than five decades. Its name and legend pop up from time to time in the more comprehensive journalistic surveys of pizza throughout the five boroughs. Food cognoscenti occasionally mention it, just to show how all-encompassing their awareness is. ...
The pizza: great and merely good, depending on how many toppings it had. The plain cheese-and-tomato pizza wore its skin tightly, with a sheen that was slightly oily without being remotely greasy. Pepperoni slices had the same formidable virtues.
But Denino's trademark meatball, onions and ricotta pizza was gloppy and chaotic, and the tomato-less pizza with mozzarella, onions and garlic needed more onions, garlic and seasoning than it had.
All of those pizzas, from a brick oven, had terrific crusts, slender and sturdy, that lived up to the aphorism printed on Denino's takeout boxes: "In crust we trust."
In crust we trust. Heh. We'll have to pick up one of those take-out boxes to add to our growing library of pizza memorabilia.
Nice review. It makes me want to hop the ferry myself.