'New York' on Serious Eats
As a New Yorker, I'm unfit to make the call on whether or not we have the best pizza in the world. It's against my basic upbringing to even entertain the notion that our pizza, bagels, pastrami, and hot dogs aren't the best. But if you, as a visitor to our fair city, want to make the call for yourself, you should start by getting the best that the city has to offer.
The five boroughs are dotted with numerous cuisine-unspecific kosher restaurants, serving everything from shawarma to pizza to sushi, all rabbinically approved for Orthodox Jewish consumption. Benjy's Kosher Pizza Dairy Restaurant & Sushi Bar in Flushing is one notable example. According to the restaurant's extended name, a woman I spoke to while having lunch there, and this blog post (picked up by Gothamist), the pizza is the thing to order at Benjy's. And having read that post, there was no way I'd be ordering anything other than the Falafel Pizza.
In the ongoing battle between Jon Stewart and what seems like all of Chicago, the Daily Show aired the latest installment last night in a three-part series called "Strife of Pie."
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.
Last week, we ran Part 1 of our in-depth interview with Paul Giannone, pizzaiolo extraordinaire and owner of the acclaimed Brooklyn pizzeria Paulie Gee's. As he readies himself to open a new branch in Baltimore, Paulie agreed to sit down with us and talk about his whirlwind journey from IT desk jockey to pizza legend. Today, we pick up with Part 2!
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.
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.
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, 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.
There's a definite Ben & Jerry's element to American Flatbread, and not just because these folks happen to hail from Vermont. Humble beginnings and boundless enthusiasm are part of it—both brands seem to reflect a genuine excitement for executing a classic American staple, with an of-the-people-by-the-people, can-do attitude.
Partners Nancy Silverton, Mario Batali, and Joe Bastianich have made quite the splash in L.A.'s restaurant scene since opening Pizzeria Mozza in 2007. Now, the trio is getting ready to open new branches in San Diego and New York.
I have been eating Patsy Grimaldi's pizza for a long, long time. How long? Long enough to have thoroughly enjoyed his pizza before the added emotional spice of pizza lawsuits. Long enough to have eaten the pies that he himself made in the original incarnation of Grimaldi's, back in 1990 when it was still called Patsy's. Long enough to have engaged in lengthy conversations with Patsy and his wife Carol at the Corona Heights Pork Store, where they used to buy their mozzarella and sausage from Frankie Capezza in the '90s. Long enough to know that Patsy started to learn his craft in 1941 at his uncle's East Harlem pizzeria, the truly original Patsy's. So you can imagine how excited I was when I heard that Patsy and Carol were coming out of retirement and embarking on yet another comeback, returning to run the show at his original location under yet another name: Juliana's, after his late mother.
Pizza Luca teased Gothamites earlier this year when it debuted at few locations in Lower Manhattan. Since then, owner and head pizza man Dean Medico has centered his operations primarily on the lower Hudson Valley. But New Yorkers can try Medico's pizza when he rolls into town for Meatopia this weekend. Get a preview here.
If you were to believe their own hype, you'd think that Goodfellas, a mini-chain started over on Hylan Boulevard in Staten Island back in 1992 was the "WORLD'S BEST PIZZA." Don't believe them? What if they were to tell you that they were voted World's Best Pizza? Yeah, I'm a little skeptical too. I haven't been to the Staten Island locations (there are two now), but I've walked past the Lower East Side storefront on my way up to the pizza haven of the East Village many times. It looks like a generic, cookie-cutter, corporate pizza restaurant—like a Sbarro's with more brick and less brass. But I'm not the kind of guy who judges a pizza before it passes my lips, and I was willing to give the pies a fair shake.
Other than the bright "Pizza. Beer. Wine." sign hanging over the door (things don't stay that shiny-white outside in NYC for long), there's nothing to suggest that Rosco's Pizza out in Brooklyn's Crown Heights is a neighborhood newcomer. Or anything remotely resembling a pizza destination. But look a little closer and you'll find things a little more up-to-date—and you'll find pizza that's pretty excellent, at least on first taste.
I've been following the recent developments within and around my favorite dive bar—Mulberry Street Bar on Mulberry between Grand and Broome—with great interest. It's always a little frightening when one of your favorite haunts comes under new ownership, especially when it's a relatively recently discovered new haunt. I mean, we were still in our honeymoon phase before she up and changed on me. So how do the new pizzas stack up?
As a New Yorker who has known and loved and chronicled New York pizza as much as anyone, I guess, I regret to inform Slice'rs that the state of our pizza union in general in Gotham, and our much-storied slice in particular, is pretty damn sorry right now.
Wow. A resounding recommendation from the New York Times for Polpettina, a small pizzeria just north of NYC in Eastchester, New York.