From the moment I walked into Valentino's Pizza in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, I knew that it was going to be a winner. It might have been that the guy behind the counter was on the phone explaining the proper method to sauté broccoli rabe (and clearly knew that he was doing), or it could have been the impossibly thin pies on display behind the glass counter. Either way, there were good things to come.
I ordered a plain slice and a square Grandma Slice that ended up being one of the best in recent memory. The crust was thin enough to make me momentarily concerned about its ability to support the sauce and cheese, but when I picked it up, it had an impossibly crisp, cracker-like bottom and a thin layer of wonderful softness where the dough met the sauce.
The sauce was fresh and tangy, and the mozzarella mild and applied with restraint. It was one of those slices that tastes best in the shop, since I couldn't imagine that something this delicate would stand up to delivery or reheating. As far as slices go, this one was pretty magical. Now, if I could only get my hands on Valentino's broccoli rabe recipe.
1702 86th St., Brooklyn, NY 11214 (map)