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NYC Pizza Survey


slkinsey
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As for another pizza outing. Oh crap. Does this mean I have to drive four hours and spend a few hundred bucks again just for pizza? Oh well. Could be worse.

Owen dear, you are going to have to compensate by identifying the superlative pizza joints in your neck of the NY woods, and organize an outing so all the metro-area New Yorkers then will have to schlep upstate to you. :wink:

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Bux, have you tried their pizze? If so, how were they?

I thought they were very good, but I haven't had a thin crust pizza like that for some time and don't have much of a yardstick for comparison. It's not fair to compare them against the chewier crust of regular NY pizze. There's too much subjectivity there and for those who have a decided preference for thin, the news alone should be enough. I don't think they're a destination restaurant, but I think many would be glad for the opportunity to check them out. I'll go back.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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Owen dear, you are going to have to compensate by identifying the superlative pizza joints in your neck of the NY woods, and organize an outing so all the metro-area New Yorkers then will have to schlep upstate to you. :wink:

We'd have to make it a bit more diverse than pizza - there's exactly one place (outside of my own kitchen) in town that makes good pizza - Cosmo's on Marshall Street by the SU campus. Melkor and Ms Melkor joined me for lunch there during the holiday season when they were passing through town. We do a bit better on Polish, Vietnamese and BBQ (one good choice for each).

I'm definitely in unless unusual circumstances arise - count me as a definite. How adding in a visit that new spot in Park Slope - "bpearis" mentioned it in an earlier thread -

Franny's

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I just might have to go to Franny's tonight!

Adam Heimlich of The New York Press reviewed Franny's this week.

Heimlich thinks that the crust at Franny's may even surpass the crust at Grimaldi's. Here's how he describes the crust: "The first taste sensation is a floury crispiness, then comes chewy -- and the planet of pedestrian pizza recedes to a tiny point in the galactic distance."

As for toppings, how does house-smoked pancetta from Niman Ranch pork, with ramps and fontina sound to you?!

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Interestingly, he seems to take serious issue with the fact that it's a pizzeria more on the Italian model than the NY model.

YOU'D THINK IF a pizza joint got the crust right, the rest would fall into place. That's not the case—at least not so far—with Franny's, a new brick-oven restaurant on Flatbush Ave. Near the 7th Ave. stop, technically in Prospect Heights, the place tilts, culturally, too far in the direction of the hippie-snooty capital of White Brooklyn: the Park Slope Food Co-Op. This is someone's flighty Upper East Side aunt's idea of what Brooklyn pizza should be.

*          *          *

Franny's needs to acknowledge that New Yorkers' special love for pizza manifests at the intersection of simple and familiar. Major concessions to convention are necessary. Especially in Brooklyn.

When neither the pork pie nor the mushroom pie has tomato sauce (the latter has triple-cream mascarpone, though), the crust that arguably surpasses that of mighty Grimaldi's is cooling its heels in the minors. The crusts can't even go head-to-head, really, because one competitor stubbornly refuses to take the shape of Pizza When It Is Eaten. Unsliced Franny's can only be consumed in reverse—it's as awkward as eating an ice cream cone from the bottom. For Christ's sake, Franny's, your pies are four slices big. Slice the goddamn pizzas.

The restaurant needs a modest infusion of Bensonhurst. . .

I'll have to see what I think when I go there, but from what I have read this isn't anyone's idea of "what Brooklyn pizza should be." It does, on the other hand, sound exactly like my idea of what modestly upscale trattoria/pizzeria in Italy pizza should be.

It's hard for me to take a reviewer's opinion seriously with respect to informing my chices when he doesn't like ramps, fontina or pancetta on a pizza.

--

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triple-cream mascarpone on a mushroom pizza? :blink::blink:

I think I'm in love. :wub::wub::wub:

K

Basil endive parmesan shrimp live

Lobster hamster worchester muenster

Caviar radicchio snow pea scampi

Roquefort meat squirt blue beef red alert

Pork hocs side flank cantaloupe sheep shanks

Provolone flatbread goat's head soup

Gruyere cheese angelhair please

And a vichyssoise and a cabbage and a crawfish claws.

--"Johnny Saucep'n," by Moxy Früvous

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As for toppings, how does house-smoked pancetta from Niman Ranch pork, with ramps and fontina sound to you?!

Like something I'd be very skeptical of. I love mushrooms, but I've never thought much of ferns.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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As for toppings, how does house-smoked pancetta from Niman Ranch pork, with ramps and fontina sound to you?!

Like something I'd be very skeptical of. I love mushrooms, but I've never thought much of ferns.

Uh, ramps are like wild leeks.

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As for toppings, how does house-smoked pancetta from Niman Ranch pork, with ramps and fontina sound to you?!

Like something I'd be very skeptical of. I love mushrooms, but I've never thought much of ferns.

Ramps aren't ferns. Fiddleheads are ferns. Ramps I would tend to describe as a mild single clove of garlic with a stem coming out of it to which is attached a blade-like green leaf similar in flavor to leek greens. See some pictures of ramps here.

--

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Two nots on E Harlem Patsy's:

I'm sure y'all have already experienced this but just in case you haven't, I was shocked to find that Patsy's for dinner is a very different place from Patsy's at lunch. Very cozy, an excellent and dedicated waiter--an older fellow--and a full bar. I am committed to their plain cheese pie and try to eat one for lunch at least weekly. The wife and I went last week for dinner and were offered a fresh mozarella pie and after we polished it, a portabello mushroom pie. As much as I love fresh moz, I think this pie was not as good as their straight cheese one. The portabello pie however. . . well that was something entirely different. Very thin slices of mushroom, not too assertive, just lending a baseline of rich flavor. I'll go back in for that one, minimalism be damned.

They've been working on the space next door for a couple of years and it's finally open. It's a long, rather lovely bar. If it were somewhere else, I'd go there pretty regularly. Finally, and I say this with sort of a sheepish NYC transplant grin, the crowd at dinner is colorful. I kind of expected Artie Buco to come out of the kitchen and offer me some crazy Italian-American dish that there's no spelling for.

I guess this is a long way of saying that if you haven't been to Pasty's for dinner, you had ought to go.

You shouldn't eat grouse and woodcock, venison, a quail and dove pate, abalone and oysters, caviar, calf sweetbreads, kidneys, liver, and ducks all during the same week with several cases of wine. That's a health tip.

Jim Harrison from "Off to the Side"

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As for toppings, how does house-smoked pancetta from Niman Ranch pork, with ramps and fontina sound to you?!

Like something I'd be very skeptical of. I love mushrooms, but I've never thought much of ferns.

Ramps aren't ferns. Fiddleheads are ferns. Ramps I would tend to describe as a mild single clove of garlic with a stem coming out of it to which is attached a blade-like green leaf similar in flavor to leek greens. See some pictures of ramps here.

Hmmm...Well, I didn't like ramps the last time I had them, but I like every other member of the onion family, so maybe they just weren't high quality or something.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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As for toppings, how does house-smoked pancetta from Niman Ranch pork, with ramps and fontina sound to you?!

Sounds like something the average eGulleteer would like to try on their pizza :biggrin:

And since when does a pizzeria have to yield to the expectation that toppings should always be familiar if not downright pedestrian? (I love the traditional toppings but am not wedded to them).

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Skinsey, bergerka, and I were at Franny's tonight. We're going to start a separate thread for Franny's. For now let me just say that Franny's is perfect in every way. Do not wait for Asimov to discover Franny's - you'll be too late.

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No small praise indeed. next time I'm in NYC. Franny's is just a block from where I grew up.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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It seems like every time we visit an established pizza place, a new one opens. Will we ever keep up with all this pizza?

NYMetro and Slice are reporting the opening of Luzzo's, a new coal-fired pizza parlor in the East Village.

Add it to the list!

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I can't imagine better pizza than Grimaldi's. I hadn't been for several months until tonight. The pizza (and calzone) tasted better than ever. My real reason for posting, however, is to point out the water taxi we just missed that would have dropped us off near home at East 90th Street. I can't think of a better, more enjoyable way to go there and back now that it's summer time. I think the web site is nywatertaxi.com. The boat landing is about a 90 second walk to the restaurant. Consider also that there is no subway stop very close by and the expensive cab ride from the UES or UWS.

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:laugh:! Interesting. I was there with JosephB, Donna, Eric_Malson and bergerka tonight. We enjoyed it, but thought they were a little off their game with respect to the crust (a little soft and doughy). Afterwards, we had an ice cream at the pier and watched the water taxi arrive/depart. Maybe we were there at the same time?

--

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Thanks, Rich. They mentioned Nick's Pizza in Forest Hills. I went there a few years ago and liked their pizza very much. We should visit Nick's some time as part of the Pizza Survey. It's easy to get to by taking the E or F to 71 St. and walking a very short distance.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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You all may have seen this, but...

For the Pizza Makers of Naples, a Tempest in a Pie Dish

NY Times article; free registration required to view link.

Here's my favorite bit:

"Under [the details of the new national standards], the pizza must be round, no more than 35 centimeters (13.8 inches) in diameter. The crust cannot be too high. The dough must be kneaded by hand. Only certain flour, salt and yeast can be used. Extra virgin olive oil is a must, as are tomatoes from the Mount Vesuvius region and bufala mozzarella. For cooking the classic pizza Margherita, only mozzarella from the southern Apennine Mountains is allowed."

Now here are some rules to respect!

:biggrin:

Jamie

EDIT: grammar

Edited by picaman (log)

See! Antony, that revels long o' nights,

Is notwithstanding up.

Julius Caesar, Act II, Scene ii

biowebsite

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You all may have seen this, but...

  For the Pizza Makers of Naples, a Tempest in a Pie Dish

NY Times article; free registration required to view link.

Here's my favorite bit:

"Under [the details of the new national standards], the pizza must be round, no more than 35 centimeters (13.8 inches) in diameter. The crust cannot be too high. The dough must be kneaded by hand. Only certain flour, salt and yeast can be used. Extra virgin olive oil is a must, as are tomatoes from the Mount Vesuvius region and bufala mozzarella. For cooking the classic pizza Margherita, only mozzarella from the southern Apennine Mountains is allowed."

Now here are some rules to respect!

:biggrin:

Jamie

EDIT:  grammar

I'm ironic and sardonic, BUT.

I've checked out these new "Authorized" APIZZA Places and the 2 I've tried that were given approval and authorization aren't even close to being nearly as good as any NYC Pizza Joint that actually gives a dam.

The "Tutta Bella" in Seattle is pathetic, sure the principal owner went to Naples to learn the trade, but I've been to his place 7 times and he has never been present.

The Oven in all the times I've ever been in the place has never been properly fired up to the required temperatures, nor have his employees known how to correctly work the dough to put together a pie. The fillings have been tasty, but never authentic and the most positive thing to date has been the very pleasant salads served with good value.

I'm being fussy, but it's because I had the honor of being in Naples with James Beard and trying the Pizzas recommended by the Institute prior to opening a NYC Restaurant with a Italian Wood Burning Oven.

The best Neapolitan Pizza that I've enjoyed east of NYC was in of all places "Phoenix, Az." at "Pizzeria Bianco" operated hands on by owner "Chris Bianco" from Italy. I learned about this place from "Peter Rinehart" author of the book, " American Pie: My Search for the Perfect Pizza" it's a interesting book and worth checking out.

Aside from the pies in Phoenix I'll stick with NYC's Metro Area, Connecticut and Boston for my favorites. This includes any pies I've tried in Italy.

I've had excellent Pizza from Gas, Coal, Wood Burning, Kerosene, Diesel and Electric Ovens and it all was based on the Chefs experience, heat utilization and timing to do it right seems like alchemy.

My son-in-law growing up in Bensonhurst and Flatbush worked at "L&B Spumoni Gardens" and we had his wedding rehearsal dinner/snack outside there on a Saturday afternoon at about the same time eGullets trying the place, be prepared for the crowd if the weathers nice. He also worked on and off in Coney Islands, "Tortinos" since he was schoolmates with the son who operates now.

Irwin :wink::biggrin:

Posted this but forgot something that I originally wanted to post.

Being Jewish, non-observant but respectful I somehow associate what the ""Associazione della Vera Pizza Napolentana" has recently begun to do providing accreditation to Pizza Places Worldwide is something like a "Rabbi" giving his Hecksher or Kassaruth Approval to a establishment under his auspices for a fee. Then not following up. [Doesn't Happen] So far after only a few authorizations I'm begining to question the motives and standards this implies to those of us who seek the PIZZA Grail.

Edited by wesza (log)

I don't say that I do. But don't let it get around that I don't.

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Here are some initial photos of L&B Spumoni Gardens. We ended up sitting under a red awning in the outdoor Spumoni Garden, which suffice to say was probably not a good idea from the standpoint of food photography -- so I am hoping Sam's photos of the actual pizza come out OK.

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Spumoni, small and large sizes. We universally decided that it was "Italian" flavored. Really good.

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Interior of Dining Room. Nice Cherubs.

i8355.jpg

Heavily color-corrected shot of a pizza slice.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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These phjotos really bring back some long forgotten memories. Wow! That place hasn't changes much over the years. If I wasn't having such a good weekend up here in northern NY, I would really , really be yearning to be back in NYC between this and the BBQ!

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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