Admittedly, the previous item I blogged about was a week old*, and in that time Alan Richman has moved on to writing about some old standbys. He posted his thoughts yesterday on Grimaldi's (DUMBO), Patsy's (East Harlem), and Di Fara (Midwood). Again, let's take them in order.
The oven is just right, but the crusts are merely okay—they have a fresh, bready smell, but to me they’re a little too thick and slightly too soft, somewhat undercooked. The tomato sauce is vibrant and essential, which means the white pizzas are best skipped. These basically consist of soft, melted mozzarella atop soft, bland crusts. I tried a half-dozen pies and by far the best was topped with grated cheese, fresh mozzarella, tomato sauce, and excellent, spicy, thick-cut slices of pepperoni.
Agree or disagree with Richman's Top 25 Pizzas List, but I think he's spot on about Grimaldi's here. [Richman's take on Patsy's and Di Fara, after the jump. ]
On Patsy's (East Harlem):
The pies are so neutral that I found it impossible to get the friends I brought with me to agree on which ones they liked. Crusts are very thin—“paper thin,” according to the menu—and apparently deliberately undercooked. (The one pie I got that might accidentally have been left too long in the oven by far had the best crust.) The plain pie resembles classic New York street pizza, which means it has a smudge of cheese and sauce, so understated that my New Jersey friends complained that it amounted to nothing at all. Ordering your pie with extra cheese and sauce will assure you a pleasing level of gooiness.
Strange. I wonder if Richman ordered the fresh mozzarella pie or the standard aged mozzarella. The last few times I've been, the standard mozzarella pie has been overly cheesy.
On Di Fara, which was one of the more glaring omissions on his Top Pizza list:
The famous thin-crusted pie was crisp and crunchy, not my style, and DeMarco pours on the oil, way too much. The crust on the square pie was rich and heavy; when topped with cheese, tomato sauce, and broccoli rabe, it was enormously filling, like a gooey Italian Sunday dinner on bread.
And, OMG, check out this line: "I have to utter the unspeakable and, I suppose, unforgivable: To me it isn’t among the very best."
*So I got a little behind on my pizza-blogging this last week; sue me.