If the truly pizza-mad among you haven't picked up a copy of the March issue of Every Day with Rachael Ray magazine (the one in which Ed Levine and I wrote an article bracketing out 64 pizzerias across the country), it's out on newsstands now. Additionally, the magazine's website has posted the online version here.
What you might find in that issue: That the champion pizzeria is Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix.
The final four pizzerias were Pizzeria Mozza (LA), Motorino (NYC), Great Lake (Chicago), and Pizzeria Bianco. The bracket that we posted here narrows down to only the final four. In the print version, this is so that when you turn the page, you'd be confronted with the winner there. The magazine made the call to go straight from the final quartet to the big winner.
That left some folks with the question: Who was in the championship round? It's clear that Bianco made it, but we will reveal here that Motorino was the other championship contender.
At the time we took this sort of "pizza snapshot," the pizza at Bianco was the best pizza we sampled for this mad, mad quest the magazine commissioned us for. To be clear, we ate it before Chris Bianco stepped away from day-to-day pizzamaking duties. Is it the same now that he's away? It may or may not be. (If Ms. Ray wants to send us to Phoenix again to find out, we'd welcome it.)
And that's the thing with brackets like this—just like with the Big Dance, there are so many variables involved. Take a sort of "snapshot" of the pizza scene once, and it may be completely different the next time around.
Which is to say that you haven't heard the last from us when it comes to finding great pizza, because who knows how the sands may shift or the flour may sift.