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Offline gschwim

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Re: NYC Pizzeria Discussion/Reviews (Split Topic)
« on: January 06, 2013, 01:16:17 PM »
Peter,

Thanks for reminding me of the other “pizza genius”, Dom DeMarco of DiFara’s.  I know Dom has also done something like Buddy’s pizza in that he uses what is an emergency dough.  I didn’t know though that he once showed you a drawer or something similar under his oven where he kept the emergency dough balls warm and cozy, like I am trying to do in the Hatco Unit.  I wonder how long his dough balls stayed in the drawer.  Did you taste any byproducts of fermentation in Dom’s crust, or were the toppings the star of the pizza you tried something like Buddy’s pizza?

I also looked on the web for higher hydration Sicilian doughs without any salt, but didn’t find any.  

I also know Dom took what is basically an emergency dough and then added really high quality ingredients and fresh herbs on his baked pizzas.  I also agree that the media helped both DiFara’s and Buddy’s.  They both are “pizza geniuses".    

Norma

I'm not surprised about Buddy's, DiFara, etc., using same-day dough.  I think the whole "overnight ferment" thing is a recent "innovation" (starting with /popularized by Peter Reinhart?).  Buddy's and DiFara started making pizza decades ago and became popular doing it the way they started, so why change?  Even the "epitome" of pizza-making, the Neopolitan VPN method, specifies only a 6-8 hour rise (http://www.fornobravo.com/vera_pizza_napoletana/VPN_spec.html).

The main advantage for me of the overnight ferment is that if one combines it with the Lahey method and uses IDY, the "active" process is easy and fast - literally dump water, flour, yeast and salt in a tub, mix for 30 seconds and come back the next day - though again, I do find it better to use a mixer, but only for 30 seconds, just enough to combine the ingredients.  And, as Norma and I have found, the resulting dough is easier to spread out in the pan.  Why that is, I don't know, but I wonder if it's the same principle as pie dough, where recipes call on the baker to chill the dough for 30 minutes before rolling it out.

Or my theory is that molecules slow down as temperature decreases, so when one spreads cold dough, the dough is more likely to stay where it is than to spring back.  Also, the more solid mass is more susceptible to "multi-directional pressure" - basically, the difference between pushing water and pushing snow or ice.

Regarding thickness, while I obviously can't comment on taste, all the pies in all the photos look authentic to me, thickness-wise.

Gene
« Last Edit: January 07, 2013, 06:44:39 AM by Pete-zza »


Offline gschwim

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Re: NYC Pizzeria Discussion/Reviews (Split Topic)
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2013, 01:24:07 PM »
Norma,
My recollection is that the dough at DiFara's was made throughout the day, much as Buddy's does. I don't recall discussing how long the dough balls were held in the drawer. As far as the crust flavors were concerned, we made the mistake of ordering a lot of vegetable toppings and, as a result, the crust was on the soggy side. I don't recall that there were a lot of crust flavors per se.

Peter



Peter,

Were all the toppings under the cheese?  What toppings, specifically, did you get?  What I want to know (and don't remember) is whether ingredients such as mushrooms and peppers, if they were under the cheese, were raw, or did they pre-cook them.   Is the bake time alone enough to cook peppers and mushrooms and even assuming that they are, do the come out "right" when they are "shielded," beneath the cheese, from direct heat?

Or maybe Buddy's uses canned mushrooms?

I would think that sauteed peppers and onions, as for an Italian sausage-and-peppers hero (at least here in NYC), would be very good on (in?) a Detroit style pizza.
 
Gene

Offline gschwim

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Re: NYC Pizzeria Discussion/Reviews (Split Topic)
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2013, 01:49:28 PM »

I never tasted a DiFara’s pizza, but hope someday I can.  I almost got to taste one, but then my daughter and her friends wouldn’t stay long enough at DiFara’s to purchase any for me. 


Norma,

You'll probably do this anyway, if your coming from a ways, but the scuttlebutt is to order a whole pie because it will be made fresh.  Slices, on the other hand, can sit out awhile and I saw a photo of a DiFara slice that was literally burned black on the bottom.

For what it's worth, I've never tried DiFara, either; believe it or not, it's a bit out of the way for someone who lives in Manhattan, too.

If you do visit Manhattan, one spot I definitely would recommend for wood-fired oven pizza is Eataly, on the corner of Broadway and 23rd St. (http://www.eataly.com).  I can't absolutely guarantee that the pizza is "the bomb," "equal to Da Michele," etc., though it definitely is good, but Eataly, itself, is very interesting.  It's the brainchild of Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich - 50,000 sq. ft. of Italian specialties and several restaurants - definitely worth seeing.  And if you've heard of Shake Shack and want to try it, the original outdoor-kiosk location is right across the street, in Madison Park.

You can see photos of Eataly here:  http://www.google.com/search?num=10&hl=en&site=imghp&tbm=isch&source=hp&biw=1525&bih=631&q=eataly+nyc&oq=eataly&gs_l=img.1.1.0l10.1540.3226.0.6244.6.6.0.0.0.0.252.1089.0j2j4.6.0...0.0...1ac.tbi8AQiXr9k

Given the number of pizzas they must serve (the restaurant is enormous, two floors, packed every time I've been there, two wood-burning ovens, I would be surprised if they were not using a same-day dough.

Gene

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Re: NYC Pizzeria Discussion/Reviews (Split Topic)
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2013, 06:18:19 PM »
Were all the toppings under the cheese?  What toppings, specifically, did you get?  What I want to know (and don't remember) is whether ingredients such as mushrooms and peppers, if they were under the cheese, were raw, or did they pre-cook them.   Is the bake time alone enough to cook peppers and mushrooms and even assuming that they are, do the come out "right" when they are "shielded," beneath the cheese, from direct heat?

Gene,

It was so long ago that I honestly don't remember exactly what toppings we selected or how they were incorporated into the final pizza. I mentioned what Dom DeMarco had done not to tout his pizza per se but rather to point out the many similarities in the approaches that Dom and Buddy's used despite the different styles of their pizzas.

Peter

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Re: NYC Pizzeria Discussion/Reviews (Split Topic)
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2013, 06:57:54 PM »
Norma,

You'll probably do this anyway, if your coming from a ways, but the scuttlebutt is to order a whole pie because it will be made fresh.  Slices, on the other hand, can sit out awhile and I saw a photo of a DiFara slice that was literally burned black on the bottom.

For what it's worth, I've never tried DiFara, either; believe it or not, it's a bit out of the way for someone who lives in Manhattan, too.

If you do visit Manhattan, one spot I definitely would recommend for wood-fired oven pizza is Eataly, on the corner of Broadway and 23rd St. (http://www.eataly.com).  I can't absolutely guarantee that the pizza is "the bomb," "equal to Da Michele," etc., though it definitely is good, but Eataly, itself, is very interesting.  It's the brainchild of Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich - 50,000 sq. ft. of Italian specialties and several restaurants - definitely worth seeing.  And if you've heard of Shake Shack and want to try it, the original outdoor-kiosk location is right across the street, in Madison Park.

You can see photos of Eataly here:  http://www.google.com/search?num=10&hl=en&site=imghp&tbm=isch&source=hp&biw=1525&bih=631&q=eataly+nyc&oq=eataly&gs_l=img.1.1.0l10.1540.3226.0.6244.6.6.0.0.0.0.252.1089.0j2j4.6.0...0.0...1ac.tbi8AQiXr9k

Given the number of pizzas they must serve (the restaurant is enormous, two floors, packed every time I've been there, two wood-burning ovens, I would be surprised if they were not using a same-day dough.

Gene


Gene,

The one reason my daughter would’t purchase me a whole pizza, or a slice at DiFara’s was that the bottom crust did look burnt to her and also DiFara’s was too smokey for her and her friends. 

I was at the Eataly the last time members of the forum and I took a pizza tour in NYC, but I didn’t try the pies at the Eataly because we were going to go to many other pizzerias that day.  Steve and I looked around and I did post pictures on the forum of my visit to Eataly.  I saw how beautiful the ovens were.

Norma
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Offline gschwim

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Re: NYC Pizzeria Discussion/Reviews (Split Topic)
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2013, 12:20:06 AM »
Gene,

The one reason my daughter would’t purchase me a whole pizza, or a slice at DiFara’s was that the bottom crust did look burnt to her and also DiFara’s was too smokey for her and her friends. 

I was at the Eataly the last time members of the forum and I took a pizza tour in NYC, but I didn’t try the pies at the Eataly because we were going to go to many other pizzerias that day.  Steve and I looked around and I did post pictures on the forum of my visit to Eataly.  I saw how beautiful the ovens were.

Norma

Norma,

I didn't know you'd been to Eataly.  The pizza was good, but not so good that I would make a special trip for one.

Because I've never had DiFara's, I can't say why it's so popular, but given your daughter's reaction, I wonder if it might be the "NYC phenomenon," I've noticed occasionally in the years I've lived here, where something becomes popular for no apparent reason - or, in the case of food operations, some kind of romantic notion is attached to a place that makes the food seem to taste better than it actually is.  In DiFara's case, it might be because it's located on some obscure corner in Brooklyn, one guy makes all the pizzas himself, refusing even to teach his son, is close for a couple of hours a day, long lines, etc.  On the other hand, I understand that Peter or at least others on this site have tried DiFara's and thought the pizzas exceptional enough to want to duplicate Dom's dough/methods; perhaps one of them would care to weigh in.

There's a pizzeria - several locations - called Artichoke Basille's (http://www.artichokepizza.com/) - that gets rave reviews, especially for their "famous artichoke pizza."  They get anything from $24-$30(!) for a pie and $4.00-$4.50 for a slice(!!!).  Curious, I checked out their 14th St. location, where I saw bags of the usual All-Trumps flour stacked just inside the door and not only was the pizza (a "famous artichoke" slice and a Sicilian slice) unexceptional, but I actually got a bit sick and a friend of mine who tried it on another occasion, got sick, too, yet people line up, and pay, ridiculous prices for it.

Ditto for Shake Shack, by the way.  They've got multiple locations all over the world, and people line up in droves at the original Madison Square Park location and the new one on Eighth Ave. and 44th St., and as we do with pizza, people try to reverse engineer the "unique blend" (rumor is it's a combination of sirloin, chuck and short rib) and "secret sauce" (http://goo.gl/caBu), how Danny Meyer (the founder) traveled the country, trying various burgers to come up with the "perfect recipe," and so on.  And then there But to me, it tastes like a plain ol' hamburger.  The fries are frozen "crinkle cut" fries and the "Shackago Dog" (their version of a Chicago style hot dog), to me, is awful, but it gets high ratings from food critics.

Especially bizarre, and amusing, is The Halal Guys (http://goo.gl/jg2g), one of the typical "halal carts" - Arab guys selling chicken- or lamb-rice-salad plates or the same sans rice, in a pita.  And late at night, people line up down the block for it.  Certainly, the food is good, maybe a cut above the rest, but their business is so good that they opened a second cart, right across the street and a third on the corner at the other end of the block.  Same guys, same menu, same recipe, same yellow T shirts saying "Halal Guys" on the vendors - yet everyone (except me) continues to line up as before at the original cart, while patronage of the two identical carts, serving the same stuff, get just a fraction of the patronage.

As the old saying goes, "Go figure!", but what can I say, except Welcome to New York!

Gene

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Re: NYC Pizzeria Discussion/Reviews (Split Topic)
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2013, 08:51:41 AM »
Gene,

This is the thread about Eataly and what other places Steve and I saw before we joined the other members of the forum to go on our pizza tour if you are interested.  http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,17080.0.html

Craig met Steve and I at the Eataly before we started the pizza tour.  If you are interested in the pizza tour we took with the other members of the forum, the pictures start here.  http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,17885.msg175773.html#msg175773  If you look though those pictures we did visit Artichoke and had a slice of their pizza.  It was very good, but very different and I did enjoy it very much. 

This was another  pizza tour in NYC with the other members.  It was a lot of fun.   http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,17070.0.html

My daughter did live in Queens for awhile.  My youngest daughter also lived in Brooklyn for many years, so I got to try different pizzas in NYC.  That was my daughter first visit to DiFara’s, so I wouldn’t say her reaction might be valid.  It could have just been an off night.  I would like to try DiFara’s pizza someday if I can still make it touring around NYC.  After a day there and taking the subways sometimes, it does tire me out.  As Peter commented about on the other thread, I think the media did help DiFara’s out and also since Dom has been making pizzas so long with high quality ingredients for dressings that might be why his pizza are sought after. 

These were two other times I also posted about trips to NY and visiting different pizzerias.

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,12388.0.html

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,16573.0.html

Norma
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Re: NYC Pizzeria Discussion/Reviews (Split Topic)
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2013, 09:15:43 PM »
 john conklin and I had a pie from eatley last night and it was very good. we were able to watch them for a while and they crank out a lot of pies!!they probably cold ferment to stay ahead of the demand.

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Re: NYC Pizzeria Discussion/Reviews (Split Topic)
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2013, 09:32:36 PM »
AndHere it is!!! and The Za Man Himself we did a mini crawl  Via Tribunali, Co. and Eataly All were good and I will post others in review section but Eataly is an AMAZING place!I thought the pie was very good 4 of 5 stars. Nice fresh Ciao tomatoes and 1:24 bake I timed ours. Fun Fun Fun
John
« Last Edit: January 10, 2013, 09:34:29 PM by JConk007 »
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Re: NYC Pizzeria Discussion/Reviews (Split Topic)
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2013, 09:37:49 PM »
More of this crazy place Just Awesome for the pure size and variety Past , expresso, fish, oils, beef, >>>>.... just go
« Last Edit: January 10, 2013, 09:44:32 PM by JConk007 »
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Re: NYC Pizzeria Discussion/Reviews (Split Topic)
« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2013, 09:52:59 PM »
AndHere it is!!! and The Za Man Himself we did a mini crawl  Via Tribunali, Co. and Eataly All were good and I will post others in review section but Eataly is an AMAZING place!I thought the pie was very good 4 of 5 stars. Nice fresh Ciao tomatoes and 1:24 bake I timed ours.

Rather than ask you what Eataly does to earn 4 stars, I'm more interested in what aspects would cause you to take away a star from 5? In what way was it imperfect?

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Re: NYC Pizzeria Discussion/Reviews (Split Topic)
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2013, 07:50:54 AM »
John and Larry,

Thanks for posting about your visit to the Eataly and posting the pictures.  They are some fantastic pictures. 

Steve and I also thought the Eataly was awesome and wished we would have purchased more there and also wished we could have tried their pies.

Norma
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