Emmett's, a three-month-old South Village tavern, has everything a local pub could need. There's a cozy room, a surprisingly good wine and beer list, and tastefully eclectic decor that skirts TGI Friday's kitsch. It has two problems: food that is not very good and a long queue of prospective diners who think that it is.
Ditmas Park, Brooklyn, pizzeria Lo Duca will play host to a one-day pizza "pop-in" helmed by John Wozniak, who you may know from the comments here on Slice/SE. Wozniak, an alumnus of Paulie Gee's prep kitchen, describes his pizza as "a bastard child of early '90s chain pan pizza, Detroit, and grandma style."
From re-opened classics like Totonno's and Franny's to newbies like Brooklyn Central, we've chowed down on some top-notch pies this year. Here are the reviews we most enjoyed writing (and, um, "researching") in 2013!
On a Monday night not long ago, I popped into Via Tribunali New York, the sole East Coast outpost of the Seattle-born pizza chain. My companion and I were taken into the dining room (about the size of a rich man's tool shed), and seated under a picture of the Bay of Naples. The vista depicted the Naples of a bygone era—a nostalgic vision of the old country.
Whenever I hear that an acclaimed pizzeria has expanded with a second (let alone third) branch, I can't help but let loose a skeptical eyebrow raise, a tilt of the head, a smirk of a shrug. If you're like me, get ready for a pleasant surprise, because Rizzo's latest outpost is turning out pies that stand up to the original storefront's (and give them a run for their money, to boot).
In a neighborhood with lots of solid pizza but little that's exceptional, a place that makes destination-worthy pies remains Astoria's golden unicorn. Though Basil Brick Oven is a go-to spot for Neapolitan pizza in the neighborhood, the market's gotten more crowded lately, wood burning ovens and all.
One of the most recent additions to the Ditmas Park food scene is Wheated, the new pizzeria from husband and wife team David Sheridan and Kim McAdam. First time restaurateur David is probably familiar to some of you—Adam interviewed him back in 2010 about the WFO he built in his backyard, and he's worked at Paulie Gee's.
At Ribalta, pizzas are leavened by a natural starter that was brought back from Italy—it's somewhere between 80 and 100 years old, and over the course of a five to seven day rise it brings a noticeable lightness and cultured flavor to the dough. But unlike certain Neapolitan pizzerias that take a monastic approach to the One and Only pie, Ribalta plays around with tradition—just ask the hot dog and fries pizza or the limoncello-marinated chicken wings.
When Rosco's opened up on Franklin Avenue last summer, there was murmured skepticism among my friends—our neighborhood was already loaded with a wide range of great pizza options (Barboncino, Pete Zaaz, Amorina, and Franny's, to name a few), so what did we need with a fairly basic slice joint? One visit answered the question: what we needed was a fairly basic slice joint. Rosco's hits the nail on the head, turning out consistently good, moderately priced, straightforward New York-style pies.
Located high above midtown on the top floor of Macy's department store, Stella 34 serves Neapolitan pizza that's worth talking about. The Cavolfiori is a white pie with a base of creamy cauliflower purée, strewn with thinly sliced Meyer lemon and roasted cauliflower florets, and finished with golden breadcrumbs for texture. Although your kitchen may not have the same stunning view of the Empire State Building as the Stella 34 dining room, you can still recreate the restaurant's Cavolfiori pie at home.
A Brooklynite myself, I'll admit to a tinge of favoritism when I declare that there's no better borough for pizza. Or, to be a little more diplomatic, let's say that it's home to the city's greatest concentration of top notch pies. We've got the classics, like Totonno's, Grimaldi's, and Di Fara, along with a slew of (relative) newcomers—Roberta's, Paulie Gee's, and Best Pizza, to name just a few. And, of course, there's Franny's. We finally made it over to their new-and-improved location to check in on their pies.
Shock, dismay, shame...let's just say it was quite the humbling moment when I realized we had yet to review—let alone try— the pies at Emporio. Not only is the modest, inviting restaurant located mere blocks from Serious Eats HQ, but we really, really like the place. The two Roman-style pizzas I encountered on a recent visit proved revelatory—if not on a city-wide scale, certainly on a how-did-I-not-know-this-was-in-my-neighborhood one.
New York has long been regarded as a, if not the, pizza Mecca. But these days, many of our city's most highly publicized pizzerias share increasingly less with the slice joints and classic pie shops that engendered that reputation in the first place. Whether you're a native New Yorker or a first-time visitor, here are 12 old-school pizzerias you should definitely know.
We set out for Coney Island last weekend for a long overdue taste of Totonno's. The pizzeria has only been open for a matter of weeks, since completing post-Sandy repairs, but they haven't skipped a beat. The pies? Better than ever.
Contrary to recent news coverage, Totonno's did not have to replace their oven following last fall's hurricane damages. Read what co-owner Antoinette Balazano has to say on the matter.
A new slice joint, in the vicinity of our office, getting all the stars on Yelp? Jumping up from my desk and immediately heading over to La Margherita was a no-brainer.
Yesterday, Di Fara, a.k.a (one of) the best pizza joint(s) on planet Earth, announced that they'll be opening a take-out spot later this month.
Yesterday, Totonno's opened its doors once again. It's not every restaurant—or family—that would display the kind of resilience that we've seen from this iconic Coney Island pizzeria. And we cannot wait to get our fix.
New York-style pizza cooked in a wood-fired oven became a thing a few years ago when Best Pizza of Williamsburg introduced it to the masses, but I never expected it to make its way all the way up to my 'hood in Harlem. If you discount the now 80-year-old East Harlem institution Patsy's (and we're talking the real Patsy's, not the inferior spin-off locations around the city), Harlem doesn't have much going for it pizza-wise. 1Forno is a step in the right direction.
We've been writing about Franny's since 2004, when the Park Slope pizzeria first opened its doors. In the years since, the pie shop has grown into a Brooklyn institution. Now, owners Francine Stephens and Andrew Feinberg are simultaneously relocating Franny's and opening a new, non-pizza restaurant in its place.