'artisanal pizza' on Serious Eats

Gialina, Glen Park, San Francisco: A Quickie

[Photographs: Adam Kuban] Gialina Pizzeria 2842 Diamond Street, San Francisco CA 94131 (map); 415-239-8500; gialina.comPizza Style: ArtisanalOven Type: Gas-firedThe Skinny: With only one (Margherita) pie sampled here, I can't really say, but I'm guessing that the reason people love this place is more for the inventive toppings than any masterfully rendered crust Ed Levine has already written about Gialina in San Francisco's Glen Park neighborhood here on Slice, so I'm linking to it and just giving my quick impressions, since I only sampled a lone Margherita pizza there Tuesday night. The GF and I had already done a late... More

Frank Bruni on the Great Artisanal Pizza Boom

New York Times restaurant critic Frank Bruni examines the Great Pizza Boom of 2009 in his story "The Cult of Artisanal Pizza." It's a must-read that packs a lot of info. Let's summarize. The Cliffs Notes Version Bruni makes the claim that the artisanal boom started in 2004 with the opening of Franny's and Una Pizza Napoletana within a few months of each other. "Both brought a new kind of cachet (and vanity) to pizza making and pizza eating in this city. Both changed its demographics" He purposely focuses on newer pizzerias, leaving out old favorites "because they’re products... More

Antica Pizzeria: A Culinary Oasis in a Pizza Desert

Antica Pizzeria 13455 Maxella Avenue, Marina del Rey CA 90292 (2nd floor of Marina Marketplace; map); 310-577-8182; anticapizzeria.net Pizza Style: Neapolitan, VPN-certified Oven Type: Wood-burning The Skinny: Delicious Neapolitan pizza from the president of the U.S. branch of the Verace Pizza Napoletana association Price: Margherita pie (serves 1), $12.50 As a transplanted a New Yorker living in Los Angeles, I have often suffered pangs of homesickness for the streets of my youth. All I have to do is close my eyes and allow imagination and sense memories to transport me back to the Bronx. One of the most poignant... More

F-Words of Wisdom from Pizzaiolo Chris Bianco

Chris Bianco, assembling a pizza. Photograph by Robyn Lee Matthew Amster-Burton writes on Gourmet.com about the philosophy of legendary Phoenix pizza man Chris Bianco (Pizzeria Bianco). Readers here are more than familiar with the place, so here are a couple choice quotes: “Don’t worry about eight hundred degrees, don’t worry about the bullshit of time, don’t worry about tripping out your fuckin’ home kitchen to reproduce something. Those things to me are not organic. I mean, if you have a hot sidewalk and a magnifying glass, you can make something.” He paused while I imagined how this would work.... More

Pizza in the Bay Area: Rising Like a Phoenix at Pizzeria Delfina

pizzeriadelfina.com For a city with a historic and world-renown Italian community (North Beach), San Francisco and the Bay Area has, until the last few years, been sorely lacking in great pizza. While there are several excellent Italian delis and restaurants like Molinari's, Lucca, and, my favorite restaurant when I lived in San Francisco in the '80s, Caffe Sport, no pizzaioli were creating memorable pies. Thankfully, that woeful state of culinary affairs has been remedied. One of a handful of great purveyors of pizza is Pizzeria Delfina. Opened by Craig and Ann Stoll on 18th Street in the Mission in... More

Pizzeria Delfina, in San Francisco's Mission District

I recall a certain episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation in which the android Mr. Data is told that although his recital of Mozart's "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik" is technically perfect, it lacks soul. That's how I feel about most of the Neapolitan-style pizza I've tried. When it's done right, it's delicious but often lacks a nice crispness, and its daintiness is almost always just a little less than satisfying. So when Girl Slice and I met up with some of her friends at Pizzeria Delfina in San Francisco's Mission District over the holidays, I was prepared to be... More

First Taste: A Pizza Preview of Jim Lahey's Upcoming Pizzeria, Co.

Co. 230 Ninth Avenue, New York NY 10001 (at West 24th Street; map) The Skinny: Actual round pizza from Jim Lahey, the bread man behind Sullivan Street Bakery (as opposed to his Roman-style flatbread pizzas found at the bakery). And, oh, it is awesome Pizza Style: A sort of Neapolitan–New York-style hybrid Oven Type: Earthstone gas oven; Lahey may burn a couple logs of wood or add wood chips to aromatize the crust Opening: Target open date is Tuesday, December 2, but Lahey says, "realistically the 5th or the 9th" Related: Update on Jim Lahey's Co., Co. Is 'Pizza... More

Apizza Scholls: One of the Top Five Pizzerias in America

In my pizza book, A Slice of Heaven, the last chapter was devoted to the "Keepers of the Flame," people whose dedication and single-minded devotion to making great pizza made them worthy of inclusion in what could have been called the Pizzaiolo Hall of Fame. Today, I induct Brian Spangler of Apizza Scholls into this hallowed society. More

Pizzeria Bianco: The DJ Bubbles Drive-By

"What does DJ Bubbles think of the pizza at Pizzeria Bianco? Short answer: It is unquestionably great." Above: The Margherita from Pizzeria Bianco—mozzarella rich and buttery, sauce sweet and tangy, basil fresh and evenly spread, and crust crisp yet soft. As usual, I've taken my sweet-ass time between articles, and I know that has been a cause of concern for some of you out there looking for the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Well, I think you may be in luck, because I think I've found it—and it ain't in New York City, suckas! No, it... More

'The Chronicle' on Pizzaiolo

Michael Bauer, food critic for the San Francisco Chronicle, continues his Pizza Friday series on his blog Between Meals with a trip to Pizzaiolo in Oakland, California. Pizzaiolo makes a Neapolitan-style pizza and is owned and helmed by Charlie Hallowell, a longtime pizza-maker at Alice Waters's famed Chez Panisse: Bauer says: Crust: The thin crust has well-formed blisters that shatter into a dozen pieces on contact, and a chewiness that gives the jaw a good workout.Pizza tried: The classic Margherita has a restrained swipe of savory tomato sauce, pools of buttery mozzarella and shards of intensely flavored basil. We also... 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

Michael Bauer's Pizza Fridays

"It hurts me, because they act as if I'm trying to get something over on them. I wish I had the nerve to charge $50, because that's what it's worth." —Anthony Mangieri Michael Bauer, the food critic of the San Francisco Chronicle, has apparently gone pizza mad after eating at Pizzeria Mozza in Los Angeles. The pies there inspired him to talk to some of the acknowledged masters of pizza: Anthony Mangieri (Una Pizza Napoletana, New York), Chris Bianco (Pizzeria Bianco, Phoenix), and Nancy Silverton (Mozza). Not only that, but readers hungry for San Francisco pies will be pleased to... More

Franny's in the 'Times'

Oh. I forgot to blog about this yesterday. And many of you have probably seen it already, but Frank Bruni, food critic for the New York Times, reviewed Franny's in yesterday's paper. Here are the relevant pizza snips: Artisanal pizza may be all the rage, but it’s the rare pizzaiolo who spreads dough thin enough and gets a brick oven hot enough to produce the gorgeous blisters like those on Franny’s best pies. And the restaurant’s soppressata has a suppleness that would make Armandino Batali blush. And A clam pizza at Franny’s isn’t one of those clumsy pies studded with... More

The Wine Is Fine at Una Pizza Napoletana—And the Pizza, Too

New York Times wine columnist Eric Asimov takes his two sons to Una Pizza Napoletana in NYC and pronounces both the wine and the pizza A-OK. Of their kind (traditional Neapolitan–style) Anthony Mangieri's pies are as good as you can get in New York City. People carp about the price (more than $20 for an individual pie), but the fact is that Mr. Mangieri is slavishly devoted to each and every pie that comes out of his oven, and his devotion results in an ethereally light and tangy individual pie. His last-minute Sicilian sea salt shake is a stroke of... 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: 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


Or, 'Solidarity Through Pizza' When the subways stopped rolling, everyone tried to roll with the punches. Some people pounded the pavement while others simply slept in. I ate pizza. Two weeks ago, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority illegally refused to negotiate a contract with the workers who move New York. This courageous yet unfortunate work stoppage brought the city’s transportation infrastructure to a screeching halt. It was like Independence Day without the bombs. For the Slice czar, it meant a treacherous commute by shoe leather. For me, it meant a car ride from Queens and an impromptu commuter club with three... More

Una Pizza Napoletana and Fornino in the 'Village Voice'

The Village Voice's Robert Sietsma visits newcomers Una Pizza Napoletana and Fornino. On Fornino: Fornino takes a historical approach to pizza, dividing pies into three categories melodramatically entitled Naples, the First Generation; Italy, the Second Generation; and Fornino, the Third Generation. I won't bore you with the absurdity of this breakdown, which fancifully assigns pizzas to places. Section one features a nicely charred version of the margherita, the pie that, in 1889, dumped cheese on Naples pizza for the first time. Section-two pies showcase signature ingredients of regional Italian cuisines, with good results in the case of the Siciliana (eggplant,... More

Una Pizza Napoletana: This Is Hardcore

UNA PIZZA NAPOLETANA Location: 349 12th Street (East Village, b/n 1st/2nd aves.) Nearest train: L Train to First Ave. Phone: 212-477-9950 Hours: Thurs. & Fri., 5 p.m. until sold out of dough; Sat. & Sun., Noon until sold out of dough Payment: Cash only The Skinny: Get there early; proprietor Anthony Mangieri stops making pizza when the day's allotment of dough runs out. For now, it's BYO on the ALCO. No take-out, no delivery. It took some convincing to get me out to Una Pizza Napoletana last night. I'd already eaten enough pizza for the week: an entire plain... More

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