While the toppings are great, the incredibly short one or two hour fermentation of the dough makes for a relatively flavorless crust. Combined with a typically long wait, I highly recommend not wasting your time. Unless, of course, your restaurant concept incorporates some component of pizza theater. From a theatrical standpoint, Di Fara's is very entertaining.
Staten Island is a bit out of the way. If you are going to make the trip, hit all of the famous places and not just DeNino's (Joe and Pat's, etc.). How are you getting around? By car? A trip to Staten Island might be comparable, time wise, to a trip to New Jersey. Between the two, I would definitely do New Jersey first- pizzatown and Vesta.
Other then the toppings, I don't think you can get any more authentically Neapolitan than Paulie's. It's totally worth the trip, but if Neapolitan is not your thing, then this may not be up your alley. Again, if pizza theater will be a component of your concept, this is a must visit. No one does pizza theater better than Paulie. Is it possible that you haven't had Neapolitan pizza done well?
It depends when you are coming, but presently, I believe Totonno's is closed due to the damage from hurricane Sandy. Even if it were open, I'm not sure that the quality of pies they are putting out makes a visit worthwhile.
If you're in the area, sure, grab a slice, but, from my last two visits, I'm not sure that I'd classify best as a must visit destination.
This is pretty Neapolitan-ish. While I don't read a lot of negative comments about it, it doesn't seem to get many glowing reviews either. If you weren't visiting New Haven, then I might incorporate this on your list, but with a New Haven trip, I can't see this topping Pepe's at its best.
For New York style, here is my revised list:
Pizza town – New Jersey
Williamsburg pizza – Brooklyn
New park pizza – Brooklyn
Vesta – New Jersey
L & B Spumoni GardensLo Duca
- New Jersey (possibly Brooklyn
Lo Duca has, in my opinion, the area's best grandma style pie- at least, at their New Jersey location. Their Brooklyn grandma should be comparable (same family), but I haven't tried it fresh from the oven. The New Jersey location is in the middle of nowhere, but worth the trip if you have a car. Even if you don't have a car, a trip to New Jersey is worthwhile, as there's a bus that will take you straight out to Vesta that leaves from port authority.
Looks good. The only thing I'd add, because of consistency issues, would be an additional trip to Pepe's at another location. Pepe's in Yonkers is about 10 min. from Johnny's. Do that and Wooster.