Almost every time I'm on Staten Island, I pop into Nunzio's for a slice. And while I wait for the quick reheat I always stare at the photo above. It's from when Nunzio's was in SI's South Beach neighborhood, before it moved to Grant City, along Hylan Boulevard.
Nunzio's today is an uninspiring-looking beige stucco blok of a building with almost no character whatsoever. But, you know what? Who cares? The pizza there is great.
I've read online reviews and have even heard people mention that they think Nunzio's has slipped. Ladies and gents, that's just not the case. The most recent slice I had is identical to all the to-go slices I've had there over the years.
A minimally beautiful little slice. Life rafts of mozzarella float atop a bright-red sea of fresh-tasting, chunky sauce—it's little more than crushed canned tomatoes, some salt, and a some basil. The crust is crisp and pliant and thin. You'll probably want a couple.
I prefer the take-out counter to a sit-down pizza here. It's always seemed that the sit-down pies have more cheese than the take-out silces, throwing off the crust-sauce-cheese balance. Plus, the dining room lacks any kind of ambiance. It's not new and hip, nor does it have old-school charm. It's just very ... beige.
This longtime Staten Island favorite is located in an area that Jeff Orlick calls the Pizza Capital of the World. Maybe something nearby can sate the Nunzio's naysayers. All I'll say is that if the place has indeed slipped, I'd kill to have tasted it in better days. Because it is pretty great right now.
2155 Hylan Boulevard, Staten Island NY 10306 (at Midland Ave.; map)