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THE BEST: NYC Pizza Favorites


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Allright, so has anyone here tried Luzzo's, on 1st Ave. between 12th and 13th?

We walked by on Sunday evening on our way to Flatiron and Boqueria, poked our heads in the door and it looked very good - nice menu, too, with lots of housemade pastas.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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  • 1 year later...

I think Luzzo's is fantastic, and better than Una Pizza Napoletana. I have read reports of others having on and off visits, but both times I have been it was really great.

Vinny Vincenz, IMO, is a solid slice place but not terribly much more. Not worth a specific trip but a good enough stop if you are in the area and up for a quick stop.

KOBI

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Pala is the best I've had.

Very good stuff at Pala, but far removed from a NY style pizza, don't you think? Though you can get a "slice," as opposed to having to order a whole pie at some of the favorites.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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Pala is the best I've had.

Very good stuff at Pala, but far removed from a NY style pizza, don't you think? Though you can get a "slice," as opposed to having to order a whole pie at some of the favorites.

yeah, but NY style sucks.

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Pala is the best I've had.

Very good stuff at Pala, but far removed from a NY style pizza, don't you think? Though you can get a "slice," as opposed to having to order a whole pie at some of the favorites.

yeah, but NY style sucks.

Oh c'mon, not all NY style - there's Arturo's, Patsy's East Harlem, Joe's, et. al.

Today I met a friend up in the Bronx and had a couple of delicious slices at Louie & Ernie's.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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The pies at Otto are really great. Though they are griddled, which some people have a problem with, they're crisp, thin but not too thin, and the quality and selection of toppings is creative and absolutely divine.

Plus, then you can have some killer pasta like the Cacio e Pepe, which is worth crying over it is so good. Great wine list, too.

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  • 10 months later...

My brother and I got plain slices at Sal & Carmine's today, and our experience was weird. Everything seemed good about the slice, except that it was WAY TOO SALTY! Seems they put too much salt into that pie's crust. I hope it's just a one-off mistake, but man was it disappointing! Fellow pizza lovers, please tell me whether you've noticed anything off about Sal & Carmine's lately, so that I can know whether to go there again.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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  • 7 months later...

Time for some updates here! I'll be in the city in a few weeks and I want to eat some pizza. You just can't get pizza worth eating where I live right now. I'm particularly interested in crust-centric pies and coal ovens, but I could branch out. Stick with the old standards? Patsy's? Lombardi's? Grimaldi's? Anyplace new that seems worth investigating, like Co.?

Chris Hennes
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chennes@egullet.org

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I haven't been to Co, but go to Keste on Bleecker. Very good Neapolitan-style wood-fired pizza at gentle prices.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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Over in this topic, Fat Guy waxes rhapsodic about a pizza he recently had at Patsy's...perhaps still the sine qua non of Manhattan pizzerias.

Lombardi's is a mere shadow of its former self, overrun by the tourist hordes in Soho, though if you ask for your pizza prepared a certain way, perhaps you'll be rewarded with an excellent pie from the original (1905) coal oven - see above topic for more info about that.

The invasion of "real" pizza Napoletana has brought to NYC many new pizza joints. Keste, Co., Una Pizza Napoletana et.al. in Manhattan; others, like Motorino, in the outer boroughs (btw, looks like Motorino is applying to buy UPN, according to the community board calendar for this month). They have both their supporters and their detractors...I happen to really like that style, and find Keste quite good. Sneak loves Franny's.

I have a big soft spot for Arturo's on West Houston St. Their blazing hot coal oven runs at close to 1000 degrees, and it produces some excellent pies. Also fairly high on the tourist radar, it nonetheless is a bit of an NYC wonder. With a jazz trio often playing in the front room, snagging a seat at the bar and eating a pie there, while listening to the disgruntled regulars talk about the good ole days, is an experience that wont be replicated in any of the other pizza joints. Only open for dinner, it's really close to Pegu Club... :smile: .

Roman pizza is represented too. Of course, Jim Lahey (of Co. fame) started us all off with his pizza bianca, back when he was "just" a baker and the founder of Sullivan Street Bakery. Pala, on Allen St., has been around now for close to 3 years, and does a fine job with their take on this specialty pie.

For my money, the best "slice place," which is really what many of us grew up with, is Joe's on 6th Avenue at about W. 3rd St, on the west side of the avenue. No seating, only a few stand-up tables. Others like Vinny Vincenz on 1st. Avenue for their "grandma" slice and Artichoke on 14th St. YAMMV.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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Over in this topic, Fat Guy waxes rhapsodic about a pizza he recently had at Patsy's...perhaps still the sine qua non of Manhattan pizzerias.

Lombardi's is a mere shadow of its former self, overrun by the tourist hordes in Soho, though if you ask for your pizza prepared a certain way, perhaps you'll be rewarded with an excellent pie from the original (1905) coal oven - see above topic for more info about that.

The invasion of "real" pizza Napoletana has brought to NYC many new pizza joints.  Keste, Co., Una Pizza Napoletana et.al. in Manhattan; others, like Motorino, in the outer boroughs (btw, looks like Motorino is applying to buy UPN, according to the community board calendar for this month).  They have both their supporters and their detractors...I happen to really like that style, and find Keste quite good. Sneak loves Franny's.

I have a big soft spot for Arturo's on West Houston St.  Their blazing hot coal oven  runs at close to 1000 degrees, and it produces some excellent pies.  Also fairly high on the tourist radar, it nonetheless is a bit of an NYC wonder.  With a jazz trio often playing in the front room, snagging a seat at the bar and eating a pie there, while listening to the disgruntled regulars talk about the good ole days, is an experience that wont be replicated in any of the other pizza joints. Only open for dinner, it's really close to Pegu Club... :smile: .

Roman pizza is represented too.  Of course, Jim Lahey (of Co. fame) started us all off with his pizza bianca, back when he was "just" a baker and the founder of Sullivan Street Bakery.  Pala, on Allen St., has been around now for close to 3 years, and does a fine job with their take on this specialty pie.

For my money, the best "slice place," which is really what many of us grew up with, is Joe's on 6th Avenue at about W. 3rd St, on the west side of the avenue.  No seating, only a few stand-up tables.  Others like Vinny Vincenz on 1st. Avenue for their "grandma" slice and Artichoke on 14th St. YAMMV.

As a supplement to all the advice given, I also think it's appropriate to point out (as implied by weinoo's "YAMMV") that pizza is a form that's very susceptible to variation. This is certainly true at Joe's and Arturo's, where on a given day you might get very good pizza or fairly mediocre stuff. It's hard to determine all the factors that go into this, but human error seems to be a big part of it (both in the preparing and cooking stages). And this is also independent of the obviously variable tastes different people have in different pizza. Bottom line is that you may have to try a given place more than once to get a sample of how it performs at its best.

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As a supplement to all the advice given, I also think it's appropriate to point out (as implied by weinoo's "YAMMV") that pizza is a form that's very susceptible to variation.  This is certainly true at Joe's and Arturo's, where on a given day you might get very good pizza or fairly mediocre stuff.  It's hard to determine all the factors that go into this, but human error seems to be a big part of it (both in the preparing and cooking stages).  And this is also independent of the obviously variable tastes different people have in different pizza.  Bottom line is that you may have to try a given place more than once to get a sample of how it performs at its best.

Absolutely agree. Case in point - one night, a couple of friends and I had seen a show at the Blue Note. Since we were hungry upon leaving the show, and noting the Blue Note's proximity to Joe's slice place, we decided to have a whole pie there.

Engaging the pizza maker, we asked for our pie to be prepared with less cheese than normally used and to cook it a bit more too. What emerged from the oven that night was a pie that was the equal of any NY style pizza I've had in Manhattan. The 3 of us stood at one of the 2 or 3 high-top tables and devoured it. We could have eaten another - which is also a sign of greatness, as many who have eaten a great pie at Patsy's can attest.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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Engaging the pizza maker, we asked for our pie to be prepared with less cheese than normally used and to cook it a bit more too.  What emerged from the oven that night was a pie that was the equal of any NY style pizza I've had in Manhattan.  The 3 of us stood at one of the 2 or 3 high-top tables and devoured it. We could have eaten another - which is also a sign of greatness, as many who have eaten a great pie at Patsy's can attest.

That's interesting. Joe's has a nice sweet sauce and a thin airy crust, if not remarkable breadwise... I do believe that they have to pull those pies our medium-rare because of the ever-present line, and if given the chance to bake a little longer they'd be much better... never thought they had too much cheese, but couldn't hurt to try it with less...

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Okay, so the latest news about DiFara's, leaked to Slice , a great resource for pizza-philes around the country, is that:

the celebrated Midwood pizzeria will be raising slice prices to $5, a sum that we at Slice believe is the highest priced plain slice outside a ballpark or airport.

A bit much, don't you think? What's that make a pie, $40?

Ahhhh, and just to be treated like crap?

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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Okay, so the latest news about DiFara's, leaked to Slice , a great resource for pizza-philes around the country, is  that:
the celebrated Midwood pizzeria will be raising slice prices to $5, a sum that we at Slice believe is the highest priced plain slice outside a ballpark or airport.

A bit much, don't you think? What's that make a pie, $40?

Ahhhh, and just to be treated like crap?

Pies are $25. Yep, buy 5 slices get 3 free. Dom's not so keen on selling slices anymore. Negative incentive plan.

By the way, meals cost more at EMP than at Redhead. I love 'em both but I know why there's a price difference. In DiFara's case, it sure ain't the ambience or service, so it must be the ingredients and resulting product. :smile:

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The Bruni weighs in on the NY pizza explosion in today's NY Times - click me.

He tastes lots of pies, and rates his favorite newer joints as well as his favorite actual pies.

I looked for the most dependable pizza verities and the most enjoyable pizzas, and didn’t confine myself to one style: Neapolitan, Roman (thinner, more crackerlike crusts) or Sicilian (deeper, though not deep-dish, pies).

But shouldn't the same type of pie be tasted in every place in order to do a decent comparison?

Sneak gets props for his love of Franny's, as it's one of Frank's faves too.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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Fornino operates in the same stylistic space as Keste, which is to say new-Neapolitan style pizza. 

Can you explain what you mean by "New-Neapolitan", Sam? To me, Keste is pretty darn old-Neapolitan.

Keste pushes the envelope about as far as it can go in the soft and wet direction.

Agreed. For those that like that style (I do), I think Keste is probably the best in the city right now. For those that like a crisper crust, my allegiance is to Motorino.

Motorino is the place that charges $34 per pizza, right? It'll be a cold day in Hell before I pay those kinds of prices!

Anyway, I'll take a stab at how Keste is new-style. Have you had their butternut squash puree and smoked mozzarella pie? That ain't your grandmother's Neapolitan pizza, is it? I admittedly have limited experience in Campagna (less than 2 weeks total), but I sure didn't see those kinds of toppings for sale on my two trips there (1991 and 1998). Instead, you could get a margherita, margherita plus prosciutto, and such-like - nothing unusual. I went to Trianon and the Antica Pizzeria Porta d'Alba (off the Piazza Dante in Spaccanapoli) a couple of times; I also had pizza in the town of Pompei (which I believe wasn't as good). Not sure where else, but probably a couple of other places.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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Motorino is the place that charges $34 per pizza, right? It'll be a cold day in Hell before I pay those kinds of prices!

Actually, I believe it's Lucali that's charging those prices. Motorino's are more in line with the $10 - $15 per pie; as a matter of fact, their menu only shows one pie at $16.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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Motorino is the place that charges $34 per pizza, right? It'll be a cold day in Hell before I pay those kinds of prices!

Actually, I believe it's Lucali that's charging those prices. Motorino's are more in line with the $10 - $15 per pie; as a matter of fact, their menu only shows one pie at $16.

Yep. And, as much as I weighed in on still going to DiFara's and paying the $5 and dealing with the potential wait, my response to Lucali (which is about a 10 min. walk from home for me) has been to not go for a year or so now. It's very nice pizza but way out of line, even given the ingredients and attention paid to production.

By the way, everyone does know that the owner of Lucali's never made a pizza before deciding to open a place and basically hung out at DiFara's, watching Dom, for months before going forward, right? He learned quite a lot about ingredients & technique, but also (apparently) about pricing and marketing as well. Mark is a good guy but...

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Motorino is the place that charges $34 per pizza, right? It'll be a cold day in Hell before I pay those kinds of prices!

Actually, I believe it's Lucali that's charging those prices. Motorino's are more in line with the $10 - $15 per pie; as a matter of fact, their menu only shows one pie at $16.

On what basis is Lucali charging anywhere near $34 for a pizza? As far as I can tell their base pizza is either 18 or 19 bucks for a large (18-inch) pizza. V&T, a decidedly mediocre pizzeria in my neighborhood, charges 15 bucks for a large pizza. Well, call me crazy, but I think 3 or 4 dollars is well worth the upgrade in quality for a large pizza. V&T also charges 3 bucks for each topping added to a large pizza. Do we have any evidence that Lucali is charging significantly more for similar-quality additional toppings? Of course, if they're making an 18-inch pizza with white truffles shaved over it or something, it's going to be a lot more expensive.

IMO, the ridiculously high priced pizzeria is Una Pizza Napoletana, charging $21 for a Neapolitan-sized pizza margherita. Not to mention that, at 5 bucks a slice, DiFara is getting $30 for a pizza. And that's assuming he cuts it into only 6 slices and not 8. If he cuts it into 8 slices, he's getting 40 bucks for a pizza! Surely no one is suggesting that a DiFara pizza at $0 bucks is "worth the money" but a hypothetical $34 pizza at Lucali is a "rip off"? These two positions seem incompatible, unless you believe that Lucalu's product is far inferior to DiFara's (not to mention believing that gold drips from Dom DeMarco's hands).

Edited by slkinsey (log)

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