'Pizza A Slice of Heaven' on Serious Eats

Flo Consiglio of Sally's Apizza, a Keeper of the Flame

Flo Consiglio adds up the receipts by hand in a back booth at Sally's Apizza in New Haven, Connecticut. [Photograph: Adam Kuban] I thought I had lost this photo of Sally's Apizza matriarch Flo Consiglio in a hard-drive crash. But I was able to recover some files from my camera's memory card today. Flo is a real character, as I found out during a recent visit to Sally's. But more than that, she's what our man Ed Levine calls a "Keeper of the Flame," a direct link to some of our country's fading food heritage. Here, after the jump, I... More

New Hyde Park NY: Eddie's Makes an Excellent Bar Pizza

I'm not a big fan of cracker-thin pizza crust, so I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked Eddie's pizza, which features a crust not much thicker than one of those pieces of cardboard sandwiched inside my laundered shirts. Though the crust is cracker-thin, it's surprisingly pliant. You can fold a slice of Eddie's pizza. Through five owners and seven decades, Eddie's has been pleasing Nassau County residents determined to save the bulk of the room in their stomachs for beer, not pizza. Eddie's 2048 Hillside Avenue, New Hyde Park NY 11040 (at Denton Ave.; map) 516-354-9780 This entry... More

Rose & Joe's Italian Bakery

Frankie and Mary Lou Cappezza, the former owners of the now-closed Corona Heights Pork Store, are my culinary E. F. Huttons. When they talk, I listen. So when they told me I had to check out Rose & Joe Italian Bakery in their old Astoria stomping grounds, I wasted no time getting there. As usual, they were right. Rose & Joe's wondrous braided semolina bread has plenty of character and flavor. But as good as the bread is here, Rose & Joe's ultimate triumph is their Sicilian pizza. In the back of the bakery a young woman sells slices:... More


Most Sicilian pizza is just too thick for me, but Rizzo's in Astoria is the home of the wondrous thin-crust Sicilian slice. For 40 years, Joe Rizzo has been making thin-crust Sicilian pizza the way his father learned in Sicily. That means he uses homemade sauce (slightly sweet), full-cream mozzarella that lies ever so gently on top of the light—almost demure—crust, and just enough Romano cheese to give his pizza a little zing. When you walk into Rizzo's, all you'll see on the counter are rectangular trays of fresh-out-of-the-oven Sicilian pizza. After years of maintaining Sicilian-only pizza purity, Rizzo's... More


At Denino's, the pizza box says it all: "In Crust We Trust." They should trust their crust, because it is light and crisp and pliant. Denino's is a classic red-brick tavern pizzeria (with a separate dining room), but it is just as welcoming to kids after a little league game as it is to middle-aged softball players coming in for a pie and a brew after a game. I'm crazy about Denino's sausage pie, which features fine sweet Italian sausage made fresh every day by a local butcher. If you want to go vegetarian, try the white pie, made... More

Joe & Pat's

Giuseppe Pappalardo, an owner of Joe & Pat's in Castleton Corners, Staten Island, mastered his craft at three legendary Staten Island slice establishments: Nunzio's, Ciro's, and Tokie's. His slices are distinguished by a superbly thin, crisp crust. "They're easier to digest," he says, "so you can eat a lot of them." And believe me, I do. Giuseppe's son Angelo has now joined him at the pizzeria. He's a serious chef whose last stop was at Esca in Manhattan. I'm sure he'll do wonders for all the other food at Joe & Pat's. The only way he could improve the... More

PJ Brady's

It's not always easy searching for pizza. I had just eaten a fine pie in the outdoor café at Tosca in the Throgs Neck section of the Bronx. It was really hot and muggy, and I was on foot, looking for PJ Brady's, which a couple of locals had insisted was just a few blocks away. I headed east on East Tremont Avenue. I crossed Interstate 295 on a bridge and walked two hundred yards. I reached Philip Avenue and made a right. The first house number I saw was 2800, and the numbers were going up, a good sign... More

Bella Via

Salvatore Pollito is a pie man, no two ways about it. Ten years ago he opened a solid slice joint in Queens. Then, when he felt he had mastered the art of the slice, he decided to tackle coal-fired, brick-oven pizza, inspired by his many ttips to Totonno's and Patsy's. He has done that successfully at Bella Via, which, with its brick walls and big windows, is one of the more cheerful pizzerias I have come across. Pollito had a local guy build the oven at Bella Via, and tucked it into the back of the place in full... More

New York Pizza Suprema

If you find yourself headed to Madison Square Garden for a Knicks or Rangers game or a concert and you have 15 minutes or less to get something to eat, Pizza Suprema is the answer to your prayers. A mere two blocks from a Garden entrance, it looks like a generic pizzeria. Don't be fooled. The regular slices have a crisp crust, a fine if overly sweet sauce and a little too much cheese. Have one regular slice and one slice of the marinara pie—a Sicilian slice coated with marinara sauce containing flecks of fresh onion, then sprinkled with... More


A slice from Nunzio's is a pristine exercise in elegant pizza minimalism. It's not very big, so pizza-by-the-ton Ray's fans should go elsewhere. Yet everything about it is right: the ratio of sauce to cheese, the crisp yet pliant crust, and the tangy sauce enlivened by fresh basil. I love the sausage Nunzio's puts on its slices. It's nubby, loaded with flavor, and has plenty of fennel in it. Nunzio's even looks the way a pizzeria should: It is a white stucco shack with a tiny dining room brightened by black-and-white photos of the original Nunzio's in South Beach, Sraten... More

Forno Italia

The first time I tried to have a pizza at Forno Italia, the place had been reduced to rubble by a complete renovation. I worried that the wood-burning pizza oven I had heard so much about would not be part of the new restaurant. I needn't have worried. What makes Forno ltalia's pizza so good is the gorgeous oven, a skilled pizzaiolo, and the house-made mozzarella, which is so good that the proprietors wholesale it to other Italian restaurants and pizzerias in the know. The pies are individual Neapolitan-style beauties, with a chewy, puffy crust that is pretty swell.... More

A Slice of Heaven: Domino's

The clock was about to strike six when I called Domino's. I ordered a large Classic Hand-Tossed Italian sausage and a plain cheese pizza. The woman who took my order was exceedingly polite and said my pizza would be $12.45 and would take 30 minutes to arrive. I checked my watch a number of times, and then, like magic, at exactly 6:29 p.m., our doorbell rang. How did she know it would take exactly 30 minutes? What could Domino's possibly teach its employees in order for them to be able to tell me, to the minute, when my pizza would... More

California Pizza Kitchen

I have had a number of pizzas at CPKs all over the country in the last ten years, and though the pizza was never better than acceptable, I wasn't prepared for just how awful the pizza would be when I went into the only Manhattan location for a late lunch. We ordered the pizza that made CPK founders Rick Rosenfeld and Larry Flax rich and almost famous, the Original BBQ Chicken pizza, and a Margherita, described on the menu as authentic thin-crust pizza made with both aged and fresh mozzarella. The toppings on the Original BBQ Chicken pizza—smoked Gouda, red... More


Photograph from ElvertBarnes on Flickr "Hi, welcome to Bertucci's. My name is Johnny, and I'll be your server today." When I heard that, I knew I had wandered into a different kind of pizza chain. The state of the art Wood Stone brick oven I was staring at across from our table was another giveaway. It's fueled by gas, though there are other Bertucci's locations with wood-burning ovens. The first Bertucci's opened in 1981 in Somerville, Massachusetts. At one point, Bertucci's had even received certification from the VPN. These days its membership has been suspended because as VPN America... More

A Slice of Heaven: Chain Pizza

I wrote earlier today on Serious Eats about chain restaurants, and that prompted Serious Eater leilacohan to mention Bertucci's, a small pizzeria chain I sampled for my book Pizza: A Slice of Heaven. I figured I'd excerpt information from the book's chapter on chain pizza, starting with Bertucci's, for publication on Slice. Is chain pizza as bad as serious food people say it is? I was determined to find out—and determined to give chain pizza a fair shake. So, as part of my research for Pizza: A Slice of Heaven, I resolved to eat only chain pizza for dinner for... More

A Slice of Heaven: Washington, D.C.

Hey, Slicesters, Ed Levine here. If you follow this site regularly, you know we've been excerpting chapters and info from the pizza book I wrote, Pizza: A Slice of Heaven. Since Adam has been talking a lot about D.C. pizza as of late, I thought I'd post my chapter on the subject. Enjoy! —EdIt was at Ella's Wood Fired Pizza, the first stop on my Washington, D.C., pizza tour, that I developed my owner-occupied pizza theory. I sat down at a table across from the beautiful, fire-engine-red, wood-fired brick oven and ordered a Margherita and a marinara pizza. I asked... More

It's Not Easy Makin' Pizza in the Heart of the City

Über-chef, restaurateur, and television personality Mario Batali found out the hard way that even for famous chefs, cooking is easy and pizza is hard. When I wrote Pizza, A Slice of Heaven, I asked Mario to write about the difficulties of a well-known chef opening a pizzeria. Words by Mario Batali | I'd always wanted to make pizza—not the regular, great New York City slices like the ones I eat at Joe's, right around the corner from two of our restaurants, Babbo and Lupa, or the great whole pies made in coal-fired brick ovens like the one at Totonno's in... More

A Slice of Heaven: Chefs and Pizza

Cooking is easy. Pizza is hard. That's the prevailing sentiment among the many serious chefs across America who tackle pizza in their restaurants. What used to be the province of slice counters and "red sauce" Italian American restaurants has now become required eating at many of the seminal American restaurants in this country. From Alice Waters, Wolfgang Puck, and Nancy Silverton in California to Todd English and George Germon in New England, it seems you can't find a chef who's not crazy about pizza. How did this come to be? Why would men and women who have spent years behind... More

A Slice of Heaven: Frozen Pizza

I've always had a thing for frozen pizza. As a kid, I devoured box after box of Pizza Fours, individual snack-sized pies that unsurprisingly came four to a box. By the time I got to college, I had kicked the frozen pizza habit, mostly because we could buy pizza pretty late into the evening at Pagliai's and Ahrvano's. It wasn't the greatest pizza in the world, but I was in Grinnell, Iowa. I needed sustenance, and it was cheap and filling. Frozen pizza has come a long way since my Pizza Four days. In fact, according to a May 2004... More

A Slice of Heaven: In Defense of Gourmet Pizza

Editor's note: My friend and neighbor Brian Koppelman (writer of Ocean's 13, among others) loves pizza with designer toppings, for which he gives an impassioned defense here. It's an excerpt from my book Pizza: A Slice of Heaven. Words by Brian Koppelman | MY FATHER, WHO FIRST INTRODUCED ME TO PIZZA, IS A PURIST. To him, a pie isn't legit unless it's built like the ones he ate during his high school years in Far Rockaway, Queens. Out there, among the row houses by the Atlantic Ocean, the neighborhood joints served it straight up: crisp crust, tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella.... More

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