On Slice, we've always resisted the urge to do numerical rankings of pizzerias. How can you possibly post a credible Top 8* list that's anywhere near accurate? There are so many factors involved in making a great pizza — the temperature of the oven at any given moment, the humidity of the air, the age of the dough, the amount of time (down to the second) the pizzaiolo keeps the pie in the heat. You may eat pizza nirvana one night only to go back the next and find pizza mediocrity.
But I'm setting aside my reservations on ranking in order to hip you to the No. 1 pizza in the city.
Those of you following Slice for some time know that I've long since tired of Neapolitan-style pizza. So for the last several months I've been exploring the quintessential pizzas of New York City and New Jersey. That stuff has begun to bore the shit out of me, too.
Thin, wimpy crusts that are no thicker than — and have about as much flavor as — the cardboard box they're delivered in? No thanks. Gimme this instead:
Uno Chicago Grill serves the best pizza in NYC. Hell, it's even in the name. Uno, doncha know, is Italian for 1. As in No. 1.
The rim of the pizza, what Italians call the cornicione, has a height and majesty that's untouchable by even the puffiest of wood-oven-cooked pizzas.
And where else are you going to find that a single slice fills you to the point you can't get your ass up out of the chair?
And I don't know about you, but I'm tired of eating my pizza with my hands. Such a messy affair. I want a pizza you have to use a steak knife on.
No, the No. 1 pizza in NYC is not Di Fara, not Kesté or Motorino or even those guys at Best Pizza. The king of the New York pizza scene is a Chicago deep dish pie.
Uno Chicago Grill
432 Columbus Avenue, New York NY 10024; 212-595-4700
89 South Street, New York NY 10038; 212-791-7999
220 East 86th Street, New York NY 10028; 212-472-5656
* We don't do Top 10 here. Eight (slices in a pizza) is the magic number at Slice.