Located in a strip mall off Route 46 in Clifton, New Jersey, Bruno's has been around for decades, and the worn oven tells the tale—you can barely read the Bari logo on the door. It has all the hallmarks of a neighborhood pizzeria: The wall is decorated with pictures of Little League teams sponsored by the restaurant, and the menu is an unadulterated affair—no chicken wings or wraps to be found anywhere. Just two kinds of pizza: round and Sicilian. The regular round is decent, not extraordinary, but the Sicilian slice is exquisite.
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Emma Barilari liked her pizza thin. So thin that dollar bills laid flat next to a slice threatened to tower over it. So thin that light passed through it. But, at the same time, she didn't like it as crisp as a cracker; she wanted some pliancy and textural contrast. This takes skill and a particular set of circumstances to achieve, a feat that might even require a "secret family recipe." That might have been a problem, except that Emma and her husband happened to own a restaurant called Mario's.