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Daily Slice: Margherita from Luna Pizza, NYC
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.
I was as surprised as anyone to discover that there's actually good New York pizza right in Chinatown (though honestly, who wants pizza when there are cheap fried dumplings nearby?), but yep, it's there right at the bottom end of Mott Street. Luna Pizza is actually quite large and offers a pretty full pizzeria menu. This does not always bode well for high quality slices, and if you get a plain slice, you wouldn't be particularly impressed.
The Margherita slices ($3), on the other hand are pretty great.
Plenty of really bright tomatoes and fresh mozzarella that's properly melted under a scatter of basil. It's a classic NY-style Margherita, but done well. The crust could be a tad chewier in the very center, but it's nicely cooked with a crisp bottom that just barely stands out when you do the lengthwise fold-hold. A tiny bit of corn meal adds some extra crispness (I find it neither necessary nor distracting).
They also have regular grandma slices ($3) and vodka slices ($3), which look great in the window, but aren't that special. The grandma tastes pretty much the same as the Margherita, but with a slightly thicker crust that just ends up diluting the flavor of the sauce and the cheese. While the vodka slice might be good for people really into vodka sauce (I never realized how many slice joints carry vodka slices in this neighborhood. Are they around anywhere else?), I find it to be just a bit too rich and greasy in the way that, say, an artichoke dip would be.
225 Park Row, New York, NY (at the end of Mott Street; map)
About the author: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt is the Managing Editor of Serious Eats where he likes to explore the science of home cooking in his weekly column The Food Lab. You can follow him at @thefoodlab on Twitter, or at The Food Lab on Facebook.