Daily Slice: Leone's, Somerville, Massachusetts
Daily Slice gives a quick snapshot each weekday of a different slice or pie that the folks at the Serious Eats empire have enjoyed lately.
One of the unsung heroes on Boston's Sicilian scene is the square slice from Leone's in Somerville. Unless you are willing to splurge for a half ($13) or whole ($26) sheet tray, then lunch is the time to hit the Winter Hill pizzeria. While Leone's offers some slices in the evening, you can't necessarily count on their availability and the variety is much more limited. The lunchtime counter is known to accommodate a half dozen or so varieties at a time.
Limitations aren't necessarily a bad thing; the straight up cheese ($2) is pretty great on its own. The biggest pitfall here is consistency. On the same visit, slices from different trays can vary in doneness, particularly in the bottom browning department. Their dough has more body and heft than other Sicilians in town, so getting one that has developed a crisp, pan-fried undercarriage is key. But due to the yeasty depth of flavor that develops in the well-oiled dough, even the below average slices are solid.
The sauce, applied in good measure, has a concentrated sharpness and acidity that makes a little go a long way. There is a slight metallic zip (of the tomato paste variety) that provides a bright contrast to the cheese and crust. Leone's incorporates herbs into their equation with a light finishing sprinkle on top, allowing the affect to be more aromatic than anything else.
One to two slices should appease the average appetite—either way, at 2 bucks a slice, it's a meal for under $5. For lunch, go on the early side to get the best variety and selection.
Leone's292 Broadway, Somerville, MA; (map)