Author Topic: NYC trip in Jan 2013 Need suggestions on NY style & Neopolitan pizzerias  (Read 6962 times)

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Offline CopperTop

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I'm on a mission trip to NYC in a couple of weeks.  I'm looking forward to trying  NY style pizza and what a true Neo pizza tastes like. Been to NYC & Italy but never ordered pizza before.  Now, I want to know what an authentic  NY style and authentic Neo pizza (in NYC) taste like.  

Any suggestions on where to go?  

We will mainly be in the city - so thought of checking out  Keste and Motorino.  I've read the "Keste & Motorino Quick NYC Trip" that TxCraig1 started in 11/30/11 as well as the "Fanatic Pizza 2012 NYC Tour" on 1/6/12...I've enjoyed reading everyone's comments and opinions when comparing tastes, recipes...etc. Any new thoughts?

Like Communist, I will bring my kids there for dinner for a taste test.  Never been to Puppatella, so we have no other places to compare it too, but my own pizza. It's by far the best pizza I've tasted. Ha!   Living in Central Va, we don't have any decent pizzerias. It will be interesting to see what they think.

Don Antonio by Starita made it in the top 10 new restaurants (Chowhound).  Will interested to try out their lightly fried pie, the Montanara Starita Pie...Has anyone been?

http://www.chow.com/food-news/131938/new-yorks-10-best-new-restaurants-of-2012/


Sharlene


Online scott123

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Re: NYC trip in Jan 2013 Need suggestions on NY style & Neopolitan pizzerias
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2013, 09:56:34 AM »
Sharlene, are you driving or flying? If flying, will you be renting a car? In what borough will you be staying? How long will you be in the area and on what days of the week? Your means of transportation, lodging and trip duration will all impact where you can go.

The Neapolitan places are pretty well centralized, but, unfortunately, the best NY style slice places are in fairly remote areas- areas that you will most likely need both a car for, as well as plenty of time. To really cover everything, I think 4 days are necessary, and preferably 4 days in the middle in the week since the weekends can get hectic.

Here are, imo, places worth visiting (in no particular order):

NY Style
Johnny's (Mount Vernon)
Patsy's (Harlem)
Pizza Town (NE NJ- Elmwood Park)
Vesta (East Rutherford NJ- Neo NY hybrid)
New Park Pizza (Brooklyn)
Williamsburg Pizza
Lo Duca (Somerset NJ - if you're driving up)

Neapolitan
Keste
Motorino
Don Antonio
Forcella
Paulie Gees
Co.

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: NYC trip in Jan 2013 Need suggestions on NY style & Neopolitan pizzerias
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2013, 10:53:07 AM »
Scott's list is a good one. My personal favorites in the NYC area (in no particular order though Motorino is probably my #1):

Motorino (if you have time Luzzo's is right around the corner and an excellent coal fired Neapolitan which is somewhat unique).
Paulie Gee
Best (NY Style)
Roberta's (Paulie Gee, Best and Roberta's are all near each other)
frannie's (Brooklyn/Prospect Heights - if Di Fara is on your bucket list, it's not much farther)
Keste (if you visit Don Antonio skip Keste or vice-versa).
Forcella (I would go to Forcella over Don Antonio if the Montanara is what interests you)
New Park (I love the salt on the bottom)
A square at Artichoke it worth the stop if you find yourself near
If you make the drive to Pizza Town and Vesta, hit A Mano too (excellent and in the same area). This is a worthy group.
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Offline CopperTop

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Re: NYC trip in Jan 2013 Need suggestions on NY style & Neopolitan pizzerias
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2013, 12:01:43 AM »
Sharlene, are you driving or flying? If flying, will you be renting a car? In what borough will you be staying? How long will you be in the area and on what days of the week? Your means of transportation, lodging and trip duration will all impact where you can go.

Scott, we are taking the train to Penn Station and renting a townhouse in Murray Hill area from Monday-Monday.  So we planned on using taxi and subway during the week, maybe lunch time or whenever it's least crowded.

Scott & Craig, thanks for making a list for me, differentiating the styles.  I will just hit the places in the city on this trip.  Really appreciate both of your recommendations.

I just found out about Scott's Pizza Tour on TripAdvisor, rated as top 10 tours/attractions in NYC.  Are you guys familiar with the tour?  There is a 6 hour bus tour that drives you to pizzerias in other boroughs-but it's all booked up.  So I'm thinking of the walking tour - either the Greenwich Village Pizza Tour or the Crosstown.  Based on the reviews, sounds like Lombardi's, Joe's, and John's in Bleeker are the pizzerias visited in the Crosstown.  Greenwich Village tour offers Keste (Neo), John's (NY style), and one that offers Sicilian style. Tough decision....  I just emailed Scott to get his recommendation.

We've enjoyed Food Tours in NYC, Seattle and Portland, and thought this could be fun, especially for the kids. It's 3-3.5 hours for $38/per person.  

Then I wonder if the pizzerias on the tours are more touristy, and possibly not as good ( with the exception of Keste)...

Needless to say, I'm REALLY looking forward to trying different pizzas and using my new 50 mm lens on the slices!!!

Oh, and if you know of any places to buy Italian goods, let me know.  I only know of Eataly...Would be fun to pick up more Calabrian chillies, and other goodies that I can't find in Central Va!

Sharlene


Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: NYC trip in Jan 2013 Need suggestions on NY style & Neopolitan pizzerias
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2013, 12:25:06 AM »
Sure sounds like you know how to do it Sharlene....hope you have a great, safe trip! :chef:
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Offline norma427

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Re: NYC trip in Jan 2013 Need suggestions on NY style & Neopolitan pizzerias
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2013, 10:01:55 AM »
Sharlene,

If you are interested, in this thread is where members recommended pizza businesses and other foods for me to try in NYC back in 2010.  http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,12388.0.html  There are pictures on that thread of the pizzerias we visited.

I also liked the slice of pizza I had at Sullivan St. Bakery, which is not far from Penn Station.  They are served cold though and even though I donít normally like cold pizza, did enjoy the slice from Sullivan St. Bakery which is owned by Jim Lahey.

This is also another thread were I visited NY for a day and tried some new pizzas with pictures if you are  interested.  http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,16573.0.html   I thought Best Pizza was good.  Rizzoís pizzas were also different.

Have lots of fun while you are in NY!

Norma
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Offline TXCraig1

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Re: NYC trip in Jan 2013 Need suggestions on NY style & Neopolitan pizzerias
« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2013, 11:09:43 AM »
I just found out about Scott's Pizza Tour on TripAdvisor, rated as top 10 tours/attractions in NYC.  Are you guys familiar with the tour?  There is a 6 hour bus tour that drives you to pizzerias in other boroughs-but it's all booked up.  So I'm thinking of the walking tour - either the Greenwich Village Pizza Tour or the Crosstown.  Based on the reviews, sounds like Lombardi's, Joe's, and John's in Bleeker are the pizzerias visited in the Crosstown.  Greenwich Village tour offers Keste (Neo), John's (NY style), and one that offers Sicilian style. Tough decision....  I just emailed Scott to get his recommendation.


IMO, Lombardi's Sucks with a capital "S." I shudder just thinking about it.

Keste, John's (whole pies only), and Joe's are basically all on the same block. Olio Pizza e Piu (Neo) is only a couple blocks away from them, and I've had some great pies there as well (their Nostrana is one of my all-time favorite pies).

Motorino (the Brussel's sprout pie and the sopressata pie are two of the best I've ever had), Luzzo's (the bufala - a margherita pizza -  is great), and Artichoke Basille's (Sicilian slice) are all about within a block of each other as well.

Here is another thread to check out with a lot of these places (the link is to page 12 where the pictures start): http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,17885.220.html
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Re: NYC trip in Jan 2013 Need suggestions on NY style & Neopolitan pizzerias
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2013, 11:22:53 AM »
Sharlene, the Monday-Monday aspect is excellent.  That will give you plenty of time to see everything. The lack of car, though... not so great.  As I said before, though, it's going to limit the NY style places you can get to.

Scott Wiener is one of the area's greatest historians.  If the history is important to you, I'd definitely do a tour.  If consuming the area's best possible pizza is your goal, then I might skip it.  You couldn't pay me to eat at Lombardi's.  And Joe's is pretty nondescript these days. If you're down at Keste and want to grab a slice at Joe's, sure, but I don't think it's worth a stop on a tour.

Coal oven pizza can be very inconsistent.  The oven temps are hard to control.  There's also, I think, in the case of places like Lombardi's and Totonno's, a lot of apathy/resting on laurels.  No matter where you go, it's going to be a gamble, but I think you should experience at least one coal place.  I don't think it should be John's.  I've never been to Patsy's, but, after reading countless reviews and tracking their progress over the years, I think they show the most promise.

http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives/2011/08/nyc-quintessential-patsys-pizza-east-harlem.html

The one thing besides history that Scott Wiener might offer could be some VIP treatment.  Eating at Keste- nice.  Eating at Keste while conversing with Roberto- amazing.  If Scott can guarantee some Roberto face time, then that might be worth it.

Speaking of apathy and coal, I just noticed that Patsy Grimaldi's new place has opened.

http://www.julianaspizza.com/

I would definitely add this to the list.  Patsy's getting on in years, but he has a lot to prove, and Craig's buddy Matt Grogan, a self professed 'pizza nerd,' is running the place. You're not going to find any apathy here.

http://newyork.grubstreet.com/2012/10/pizza-legend-patsy-grimaldi-gets-his-good-name-back.html

Slice, amazingly, hasn't reviewed Juliana's yet, so, if you go, the obligation for feedback will be very high :)

This idea is pretty far out there, but, with a week at your disposal and your passion for wood fired pizza... I might consider contacting Giulio Adriani at Forcella and see if he'll either let you shadow him for a day or two and/or give you a training session or two in the mornings.  Giulio's a VPN instructor, and, while you can't take a whole class with him, any kind of one on training/shadowing would be beneficial to your craft.  I don't know what you'll do with the kids, but I think you could get a tremendous amount of knowledge out of this.  You also might want to see if you can contact Roberto as well.  Roberto has been incredibly busy, so he's probably not doing anything along this vein, but, you never know. In addition to Roberto and Giulio, you can take a train out of the city that will take you right across the street to Amano.  Roberto won't be there, nor will there be anyone of Giulio's caliber, but, out of all this list, the guys at Amano are the friendliest and most likely to be open to training/shadowing. As Craig said, it's one of his favorites in the area, so there's definitely knowledge to be learned there. Training/shadowing at Amano also might not be quite as expensive as what Roberto or Giulio might charge you. If you're interested, I would touch base with Carlo at Amano, perhaps through John Conklin on this forum, who knows him well.

One last option, a bit of a long shot, is see if Roberto's daughter (now in charge of Keste) will train you. She hasn't been doing this all that long, but I still think you could learn a lot from her.

Roberto and Carlo (and most likely Giulio) are all part of the ambassador, open book, education trumps propriety business knowledge mentality. They have no secrets when it comes to pizzamaking.  Paulie would be fantastic to train with, but he guards his secrets like Fort Knox.  If he trained you, he'd have to kill you  ;D

Bottom line, while you're here, I really think you should try for some form of training with someone. You might be able to find an au pair with impeccable references to watch the kids for the day(s).

Even if you skip the training aspect, if you can find out where Roberto will be at a given time, I'd try to meet him in person.  I don't know how much time Don Antonio is spending at Don Antonio, but, if you speak Italian, he'd be a massive resource.

A train and a cab will get you up to Johnny's in Mount Vernon.  It's going to take a chunk of time, but I'd definitely invest it. You can probably do Patsy's at the same time.

Vesta (East Rutherford) has a bus stop a block away for a bus that goes straight into Manhattan.  Craig has taken it and can vouch for it's ease of use.

As I mentioned, there's a train out to Amano in Ridgewood.  That's going to be a long ride, though.  If you're training out at Amano, then I'd definitely take the train.  To go that far of a distance to eat a meal, that's a tough call.

Williamsburg pizza is a very well received up and comer, but you'll need a real NY slice beyond that.  New Park is kind of out in the sticks, but accessible by bus and train/taxi.  The bus, according to google, from Murray Hill, is an hour.  I'd save some time and take the 7 train out to Brooklyn, getting away from some of the congestion of Manhattan, and then taking a taxi from there.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2013, 11:26:56 AM by scott123 »

Offline bfguilford

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Re: NYC trip in Jan 2013 Need suggestions on NY style & Neopolitan pizzerias
« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2013, 02:17:49 PM »
Sharlene:

I would echo what Scott123 said about the tour. We did the 3-hour walking tour (not with Scott W.; with someone else that works with him... I would imagine that it would be better with Scott W.). The history was pretty cool, but the pies (except for John's, which was good)... not so much.

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Offline CopperTop

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Re: NYC trip in Jan 2013 Need suggestions on NY style & Neopolitan pizzerias
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2013, 12:23:08 AM »

Norma,

Thanks for all this great information - I must have spent an hour reading the posts! Enjoyed your pictures too.  You are so lucky to live so close to the Big Apple. My husband used to play his guitar @ the Bitter End and Kenny's Castaways eons ago to put himself through college...and he loves going back to his old stomping ground.  ~ Sharlene


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Offline CopperTop

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Re: NYC trip in Jan 2013 Need suggestions on NY style & Neopolitan pizzerias
« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2013, 01:28:45 AM »
@ Norma:  I read the thread about your visit to Keste where you got to meet and watch Roberto in action.  Great info!  I only hope I can be as lucky as you.

@ Craig: Ok, now you've helped me narrow it down to Keste, Motorino, Luzzo's and Artichoke.  Lombardi is out the window!!! I suspect Scott takes his tours to Lombardi because they showcase the oldest ovens in town.

@ Scott & bfguilford: Thank you for your suggestions!! Since the kids love history, we're still signing up for the Greenwich Village Tour with Scott.  This tour goes to Keste - just another opportunity to meet Roberto, if I'm lucky. Greenwich Village tour means no Lombardi, Craig. Thanks to your idea, Scott - I'm lining up a time to spend the morning with Guilio Adriani @ Forcella's. I'm really excited about the one-on-one time. I will have to go to the pizzerias in Brooklyn on another trip.

My personal quest for tasting real NP and NY style pies in the city is coming to life...thanks to all your suggestions. While I wish for more time to see other places, I think this is a good start.  This was a last minute business trip - we're attending a conference during the midweek which is cutting into my pizza quest - and we're celebrating my husband's success on his newly published ebook!

Offline norma427

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Re: NYC trip in Jan 2013 Need suggestions on NY style & Neopolitan pizzerias
« Reply #12 on: January 06, 2013, 08:14:33 AM »
Sharlene,

I donít know if you saw the whole thread ďChauís Coming to New York! Tour Time!!!, but if you didnít  the pictures start at Reply 227 http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,17885.msg175773.html#msg175773

Artichoke pizza was very good, but also very different.

I was lucky to be a part of that tour and everyone seemed like long lost friends.  Looking back at those pictures makes me smile.

Norma
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Re: NYC trip in Jan 2013 Need suggestions on NY style & Neopolitan pizzerias
« Reply #13 on: January 06, 2013, 10:46:44 AM »
Sharlene,

I know you have your husband's conference, but, with proper motivation and good planning, you can do Manhattan pizza in a day and Brooklyn pizza in another. You could probably make it a bit more leisurely if you could add one more day. With subways and taxis, you can cover a lot of ground pretty quickly, though. How long is the conference? If you can arrange time with Giulio at Forcella (which I think could be the highlight of your trip), that's going to put you in Brooklyn already, so why not go to some places while you're there? Williamsburg pizza is a third of a mile away.

At night, when there's not much traffic, you can be, from Murray Hill into DUMBO (Julianna's) or Williamsburg/Greenpoint (Paulies, Best, Williamsburg Pizza, Forcella) in less than 20 minutes. Even if it's during the day and there is traffic, a train will get you there just as fast. In Murray Hill, you're, at the most, 4 miles from Williamsburg.

Motorino is top notch, as is Keste, but if you're taking the time to go to Luzzos and Artichoke and missing Paulie Gees, that would be tragic. There will be places (such as Paulies) that will only be open at night, making the logistics tricky, but coming to NY and missing out on Brooklyn- you're breaking my heart here :)  Manhattan has absolutely nothing in the way of a decent NY style slice. You can great Neapolitan without leaving Manhattan, but you won't get a great NY style pie, and that, too, would be even more tragic.

Meeting Roberto is a crap shoot.  Out of all the places, since he opened Don Antonio last, I think that's the best chance to find him, but even that might not prove fruitful. I have a nagging suspicion that Roberto might be taking some days off. Maybe.  It's just a gut feeling based on how much money he's making from all his pizzerias and the natural desire to spend that money :)

Scott's the renowned historian. No offense to him- he's a member here, but if he's not the actual person doing the tour, I'd skip it. Until we meet the Vulcans and develop mind meld technology, Scott can't transfer his vast knowledge to another person. :) If you take the time to do a non Scott guided tour and miss Paulie Gees, I'm going to be angry  ;D

Edit: Re; Roberto's whereabouts- A couple days before you make the trip, I'd give Keste a call, maybe in the late afternoon (4ish), talk to his daughter, Georgia, and see if she knows his schedule. If you're lucky, she'll respond with something like "he'll be at Don Antonio every day this week." Don Antonio is just a stone's throw from Murray Hill.

« Last Edit: January 06, 2013, 11:23:29 AM by scott123 »

Offline CopperTop

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Re: NYC trip in Jan 2013 Need suggestions on NY style & Neopolitan pizzerias
« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2013, 10:40:17 PM »
Scott123,

Thanks for the comments...you have made good points!  I didn't realize how close some pizzerias were to each other - will need to study the map more.  My husband ate a lot of pizzas during his time in the city - so I am excited to take him to great places for the NY style slice.

I made sure that Scott is working on the day of the tour and that Keste is a stop.  First one, for that matter! I will be meeting with Giulio Adriani for 3 hours in Brooklyn the day before. I hope to be taking videos and lots of pictures, to share.  And will be sure to stop by Williamsburg pizza.

It's suppose to be 70 this weekend - perfect timing for lots of pizza making.  I want to get my hands in plenty of dough before next week's class.

I will give Keste a ring to see where Roberto will be.  There's a video on YouTube called:  "Neapolitan Pizza Making with the Masters!"  Parts 1, 2, and 3 documented by EatItalian.com.  Great videos of Roberto explaining and showing how dough is prepared. He really doesn't speak a lot of English, but it's a lot better than my Italian!!  Would be fun to run into him.

Sharlene


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Re: NYC trip in Jan 2013 Need suggestions on NY style & Neopolitan pizzerias
« Reply #15 on: January 11, 2013, 10:52:46 PM »
Quote
Manhattan has absolutely nothing in the way of a decent NY style slice

That's a damning indictment. ;)

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Re: NYC trip in Jan 2013 Need suggestions on NY style & Neopolitan pizzerias
« Reply #16 on: January 11, 2013, 11:14:42 PM »
I made sure that Scott is working on the day of the tour and that Keste is a stop.  First one, for that matter! I will be meeting with Giulio Adriani for 3 hours in Brooklyn the day before. I hope to be taking videos and lots of pictures, to share.  And will be sure to stop by Williamsburg pizza.

Sounds good, Sharlene.  I'm excited that you'll get to spend some time with Giulio. I'm also happy that you'll be hitting Williamsburg. Get the Grandma, the Signature (plain) and the garlic knots- and don't be surprised if the service is especially rude.

If there's any chance you can squeeze in one more place, I'm making one last plea for Paulie Gees or Julianna's.  It looks like you're going to make it to John's (coal) on the tour so you may not feel like another coal place is necessary, but Julianna's is a rare combination of a NY pizza legend and a pizzeria with a lot to prove.

Offline JConk007

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Re: NYC trip in Jan 2013 Need suggestions on NY style & Neopolitan pizzerias
« Reply #17 on: January 12, 2013, 08:35:05 AM »
OK 1 late entry Via Tribunali !!!
WOW I met larry there  wed. and was blown away by the Neapolitan pizza.
Place is very cool tiny!! but cute. The oven is an MVforni built in place  and the pizziaolo has beend Doing this for 14 year and makes avery nice pie. We have the Margherita and the Vogle? Garlic Clams. What  stood out was the freshness of the sauce Tomatoes and salt thats it! Loved the clam pizza !!
« Last Edit: January 12, 2013, 08:36:39 AM by JConk007 »
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Offline thezaman

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Re: NYC trip in Jan 2013 Need suggestions on NY style & Neopolitan pizzerias
« Reply #18 on: January 12, 2013, 11:29:50 AM »
 sorry, i would take co off of the list.i guess you expect a lot from such a renown baker who makes truly wonderful breads.the pizza was just like his book pizza that i can make at home.the only difference was the price 15.00 for a margherita.the margherita was not very good.the second pie a Popeye was much better.even the dough was better with the Popeye. they must partially bake the crust apply the spinich and finish it. the dough was a little thicker and a little more charred.
 i will agree with john on via tribunali great pizza,great feel to the joint.if you go tell the manager Jamie that you heard about via from pm.com he took good care of our group.

Offline thezaman

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Re: NYC trip in Jan 2013 Need suggestions on NY style & Neopolitan pizzerias
« Reply #19 on: January 12, 2013, 11:32:15 AM »
 one more note if you want to meet roberto he is now at don antonio most of the time.we ate their monday and it was great,the pies were outstanding.


 

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