Author Topic: NYC best Pizza  (Read 3923 times)

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Offline Rick

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NYC best Pizza
« on: September 13, 2005, 03:29:35 AM »
Hi, on the 30th of December for 10 days I'll be in the Big Apple for vacation, and I'd like to try the quality of NY Pizza...
Anyone can advice for a good place to eat pizza there ?
I've been many timed in NY but I've still not found a really good one.

I want to come back to Rome and tell to my friends that I've ate a very good pizza in NYC.

Bye

Rick


Offline scott r

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Re: NYC best Pizza
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2005, 10:35:09 AM »
Rick,
check out this thread about a trip to NY I took a few months ago.

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1616.0.html

Here is how I would rate the pizzerias based on my preferences

#1  Una Pizza Napoletanna,   this is very similar to the pizza in Naples, but with a more sour dough, and much more olive oil on top of the pizza.  Although it is my favorite place I have found in NY, you might not want to bother trying it because it is so similar to what you can find in Italy. They use a woodfired oven.

#2  Grimaldi's,  In my opinion this is almost a perfectly even cross between a typical Neapolitan pizza, and a typical NY pizza.  I have found this place to be very consistant.   This pizzeria uses a coal fired oven, and has a really tasty crust.  I have only tried the original location under the Brooklyn bridge, which is pretty easy to get to, and quite close to Manhattan. 

#3  Patsy's original location.  this is closer to a typical NY style pizza, but really thin.  They do have the high heat advantage of a coal oven, but they can be inconsistent. I would suggest upgrading to "fresh" mozzarella. This pizzeria uses a coal fired oven.

#4 Lombardi's, this is supposedly the first pizzeria in America, and still one of the best.  This pizzeria could easily tie with Patsy's for my third favorite.  The pies are more consistently good, and the sauce is amazing.  The crust is just slightly too bready for me (high gluten flour mixed too long), and since I am really a crust guy above all else Patsy's wins out.  Lombardi's uses a coal oven.

Now, I have named my favorite "elite" NY pizzerias.  As you are walking around the city, (especially in the Greenwich Village where you must go!) you will find a pizzeria on every major street. 99% of these places use normal gas fired ovens, and make the typical NY style pizza that we refer to as "street pizza" here on the forum.  In general the quality of these places is high.  I named some of the famous ones on the link above, but every time I go to NY I just wander into a place randomly and find the best NY street pizza of my trip.  I suggest you try one that seems busy, and has fresh looking pies.  Chances are you will not be disappointed.  Also don't forget to try some garlic knots with a side of pizza sauce. 

Also, I think NY has the best Chinese food and falafel sandwiches in the US, so you might want to try some while you are there.

Offline PizzaBrewer

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Re: NYC best Pizza
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2005, 10:56:37 AM »
Don't miss DiFara's in Brooklyn.

---Guy
Man does not live by bread alone.  There's also tomato, cheese and pepperoni.

Offline scott r

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Re: NYC best Pizza
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2005, 11:32:15 AM »
Pizzabrewer, I don't mean to shoot down your suggestion in any way, but I have been meaning to ask this question on the forum for a while, and this seems like a good time.

Am I the only person that has been disappointed by Di Fara's?

Di Fara's is really great pizza, and one of the most famous places in the area.  I just wish the crust was better.  He is using mostly Caputo pizzeria, which is my favorite flour by far, but the crust just seemed tasteless (this is hard to do with Caputo), and lifeless to me when compared to the other NY elite.  Also, my pies had so much Grana Padano on them (which is a really sharp cheese) that it actually tasted like the pies were made with a cheddar cheese blend. My wife grew up on pizzas made with cheddar cheese, and without any prompting from me she exclaimed "this tastes just like the bar (Greek) pizzas back in Boston". As far as I am concerned this is not a good thing! I was shocked, because after extensive comparisons on my own pizzas two of my favorite cheeses are the same ones that Dom uses, Grande fresh, and buffalo mozzarella imported from Campania.

These issues combined with the fact that Di Fara's is a decent journey from Manhattan (especially if you don't have a car) made me leave it off my list of places for Rick to try. I know I am probably in the minority here, as I read so many reports about how great this place is.  Did I just get there on a bad day?  I tried a slice of the square pizza, and a whole round.

I think I must need to try it again, because Patsy's was an eye opener when I gave it a second chance.


Online Pete-zza

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Re: NYC best Pizza
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2005, 12:27:29 PM »
Having spent a lot of time trying to reverse engineer DiFara's dough, along with a visit to DiFara's, I came to the conclusion that at DiFara's it is the toppings, in terms of both quality and amount, that dominate. The crust will have flavor developed mainly from the bake. Dom DeMarco uses a combination of Caputo 00 and All Trumps high-gluten, both of which are very good flours, individually and together. However, Domenic makes his doughs within a few hours, at room temperature (no refrigeration), so there is little opportunity for the byproducts of fermentation (including enzyme performance) to develop to contribute in their own right to the flavors in the crust.

Peter

Offline scott r

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Re: NYC best Pizza
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2005, 01:03:29 PM »
Rick, I forgot to mention that Pizzanapoletanna, a fellow countryman of yours, and someone who knows more about all aspects of pizza than anyone I have ever met, suggests that Totonno's had some of the best crust of the NY places he has tried.  Like my Di Fara's experience, Totonno's was a dissipointment.  I have to admit, though, that I have tried a lot of the famous places in NY many times, and Di Fara's and Totonno's I have only visited once. I realize that with my own pies even weighing ingredients, fermantation temperature monitoring, etc. I sometimes come up with a lackluster pizza.

Offline Sacs

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Re: NYC best Pizza
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2005, 01:13:26 PM »
Scott r- I see what you're saying about DiFara. I had him #2 on my list mainly because of the toppings. The crust is good, but nothing like coal oven pies.  I actually would say he makes the best non-coal/wood oven pie in NY. Its funny you mentioned the gran padano cheese. After he cut my slice, he put a huge handful on top which melted in seconds. I actually liked it, but then when I tried it at home, I didn't really care for it at all. Looking back at my reviews, I would now probably put Lombardi's and Grimaldi's at 1 and 2, and DiFara's at #3. By the way, if you take the subway it is very easy to get too. Take the Q train to Avenue J, when leaving the station, turn left an walk one block. Its right on the corner.

I'm going back to NY in October with friends and I plan on trying as much pizza as they will put up with. Definitely Angelo's, John's, DeMarco, and Joe's. Maybe Sal & Carmines, No. 28, and Patsy's in Harlem.

Offline PizzaBrewer

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Re: NYC best Pizza
« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2005, 03:00:24 PM »
Pizzabrewer, I don't mean to shoot down your suggestion in any way, but I have been meaning to ask this question on the forum for a while, and this seems like a good time.

Am I the only person that has been disappointed by Di Fara's?


All I know is I love the pizza.  I must admit I haven't analyzed it by component, it could well be as Pete suggests that the toppings are the star.  Next time I go I'll have to pay closer attention to the crust.

I'm not one who believes coal/wood fire is necessarily the best way to make pizza so I'm probably in the minority here.

---Guy
Man does not live by bread alone.  There's also tomato, cheese and pepperoni.

Offline scott r

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Re: NYC best Pizza
« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2005, 04:24:31 PM »
Guy, I'm with you on the oven thing.  Varasano's suggestion of Johnny's in Mt. Vernon was the proof of that one for me.  I liked this place even better than Patsy's.  It seems like if you are using high protien flour, that as long as you have something around 650 (unfortunately for most of us at home), you can do a really great pie. Most of the good commercial gas ovens go up that high if you want them to.  Some of the older places like the original Pizzeria Regina here in Boston, and Difara's still have the ancient gas ovens that can do 700.  I think the actual temperature is much more important than any flavor imparted by the fuel.  I have noticed that with the lower protien flours you seem to need a little more heat to get the same results.

Sacs, thanks for the hookup on the subway.  I had no idea it went right there.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2005, 04:50:11 PM by scott r »

Offline Rick

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Re: NYC best Pizza
« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2005, 02:06:58 AM »
Hi Guys, thank u for your precious advices on NYC pizzerie....  I'll try the most of them!!!!
Me and my girlfriend  will plan a NYC PIZZA tour while in the big Apple and the I'll let U know how the pizza were in my humble opinion .

Bye

Rick


Offline Sacs

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Re: NYC best Pizza
« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2005, 11:04:04 AM »
Rick- When you plan your NYC pizza tour, don't forget that many places don't sell slices. One mistake we made is to plan too many places that only sell whole pies. By the time we hit the last place we were totally full. Try to bring as many people as you can to help eat the pizza. If you are not from NYC, it will also help to buy a map of NY and of the subway system so you can plan the whole trip ahead of time without wasting time figuring out where to go next and how the hell to get there. By the way, if you plan on going to Grimaldi's in Brooklyn, try taking the water taxi. It gives a great view of Manhattan and drops you off two minutes from Grimaldi's. I think it only cost me 4 dollars one way. www.nywatertaxi.com

Offline scott r

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Re: NYC best Pizza
« Reply #11 on: September 14, 2005, 11:21:43 AM »
sacs makes a great point.  Every place but Patsy's in Harlem that I have mentioned do not sell slices.

Offline pizzabuff

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Re: NYC best Pizza
« Reply #12 on: September 17, 2005, 12:53:12 AM »
IF YOU HAVENT BEEN TO L&B SPUMONI GARDENS YOU HAVENT HAD THE BEST PIZZA THEY ARE KNOWN FOR THERE SQUARES TRY IT HERES THERE WEBSITE  www.spumonigardens.com YOU CANT EVEN COMPARE THIS PLACE

Offline Arthur

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Re: NYC best Pizza
« Reply #13 on: September 19, 2005, 10:51:15 AM »
IF YOU HAVENT BEEN TO L&B SPUMONI GARDENS YOU HAVENT HAD THE BEST PIZZA THEY ARE KNOWN FOR THERE SQUARES TRY IT HERES THERE WEBSITE  www.spumonigardens.com YOU CANT EVEN COMPARE THIS PLACE

i love fellow brooklynites!  it is true, you can't even compare this place.   Like so many of us, I have tried so much pizza in my lifetime and can separate my "best" pizza places into categories - street, neo, wood-burning, coal, home-oven....I love them all.  For some reason, even with the 1000's of slices of pizza I have eaten in my life (probably more than that) I have never tried sicilian pizza like spumoni gardens - just like candy, just like candy.



 

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