Author Topic: New York Pizza Tour - Need Advice  (Read 14791 times)

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Offline scott r

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Re: New York Pizza Tour - Need Advice
« Reply #50 on: April 23, 2007, 03:28:57 AM »
I am going to touch on this here, since I plan a better post in the review section, but I did get to A Mano.  This pie was thicker than most Neapolitan pizza, and with a gum layer and a fairly watery sauce, but having said that it is still one of the best pizzerias in the New York area.  I am confident that it will rise to the top of the zagats survey in no time. 

I think part of the reason for the gum layer is that Roberto was kind enough to open the place an hour early when he recognized me from our previous meetings.  Since there is no website, and very little info about the place on line I just took a chance that they would be open for lunch on a sunday. They are not, but would have been any other day of the week.  Because of my early arrival the oven was literally heated up with a live flame for only 15 minutes by the time my pizza went in.  The pizza spent a lot more time held up into the oven's roof than I would have expected, but the pizza still cooked in 1 minute 45 seconds.  I suspect that on my next visit ( which will be later in the day) things will be different.  A hotter oven could totally transform this pizza into the absolute best the NY/NJ area has to offer.  One thing is for sure, even with the cooler than optimal oven the crust texture here is superb, and the calzones especially are to die for.  I really think the top of the line fork mixer he is using makes a difference in the crust texture.  As far as the watery sauce goes, that is as I have found out........well....... authentic Neapolitan! 

A Mano means by hand, and the Gelato which is made on premises is every bit as good as what I had in Sorrento Italy. The antipasto cheeses and salaumi provided by fellow forum member Fred Mortadi are as good as it gets here in the states.  Roberto is smart to have these meats and cheeses pop up all over the menu.  Way to go Academia/Orlando foods! It is the non pizza items on the menu and the toppings that are really special, and I urge anyone visiting to get apps, and save room for dessert.

Roberto (or maybe just his wait staff) is sort of a pizza Nazi in that I was unable to get Buffalo mozzarella with the topping combinations I wanted, and insisted when we ordered that they absolutely would not give us sauce for our calzone!  At first that had me worried about the overall experience, but once the food started arriving my worries were over.  Everyone at the table was more than happy.  I still would have preferred all the pizzas with Bufala for sure, but I have to say that this place is a must visit pizza destination if you are at all interested in Neapolitan pizza. 

The comments on the pizza at the beginning of this post may sound like I am harshing on the pies, but you have to understand that I have issue with every place mentioned in this thread on NY area destinations.  For the complete dining experience A Mano gets the Gold medal for the NY area pizzerias in my book.  Luzzo's might have a lighter crust, Difara's might have a more flavorful slice, but overall A Mano shines. If you are interested in calzones, go nowhere else!  I didn't even have a chance to sample any of the traditional Neapolitan pastries, but I know Roberto's sister (a pastry chef in Italy) came over for three weeks to teach the staff how to make her specialties.  If they are anywhere as good as the traditional Neapolitan vegetable samplings from the antipasto platter I can say that it will certainly bring in LOTS of business.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2007, 11:53:13 AM by scott r »


Offline tommy

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Re: New York Pizza Tour - Need Advice
« Reply #51 on: April 24, 2007, 05:01:02 PM »
scott r, i'm pleased you liked A Mano, for no other reason than it validates my thoughts.

fwiw, my last pizza was cooked in under 90 seconds.   i'll be looking out for your full review (with a hotter oven!)
« Last Edit: April 24, 2007, 05:11:41 PM by tommy »

Offline scott r

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Re: New York Pizza Tour - Need Advice
« Reply #52 on: May 11, 2007, 03:57:01 AM »
Got back to Fornino today, and my pie was burned.  I'm into char, but this was solid black on the bottom.  I had 2 out of 3 killer pies there, so maybe it was just a fluke.  Still, this worries me about the consistency, which is always the hardest thing for pizzerias to accomplish.

Tried to get a pie from the place I was mentioning earlier (with the wrong name), but they were closed for the week due to a burst pipe.  What I was calling the "brick oven project" is really the "brick oven gallery".  I ran into a few more people who said that it is the best pizza in Williamsburg, maybe even Brooklyn.  I am heading back this weekend when they say they will be open again.

Hit Di Fara's today and the pizza was outstanding.  Not my favorite crust, but definitely the most flavorful pies I have had in NY.  Tons of oil, basil, char, etc.  I actually liked it much more than the last time I tried it.  I noticed that Dom is using totally different ingredients than he did last time, I welcome the changes.  This place is back on my must try list.  Strangely I liked the thin better than the Sicilian this time.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2007, 11:58:47 AM by scott r »

Offline David

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Re: New York Pizza Tour - Need Advice
« Reply #53 on: May 11, 2007, 09:37:00 AM »
Any thoughts on Baci Abbracci Scott?
If you're looking for a date... go to the Supermarket.If you're looking for a wife....go to the Farmers market

Offline scott r

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Re: New York Pizza Tour - Need Advice
« Reply #54 on: May 13, 2007, 03:22:41 AM »
I checked it out for you today David.  It was just mediocre neapolitan style,  I'd rather stick with the NY styles in this area than go to Baci.  I could be wrong, but I think they are using an american flour and not caputo.  Either that or they are just doing something wrong with the mix or fermentation.

Unfortunately Fornino had a bad crust day again, so now my experience is 50/50 over there through four tries. Two great pies and two stinkers.  Toppings are always above average, but it seems they sometimes burn pies or underferment their dough.  If you get a good pizza it is up there with the best of them.  My suggestion is to get a calzone at Fornino because they are filled with great stuff and if the dough is screwed up it doesn't ruin the dish like it does for pizza.

« Last Edit: May 13, 2007, 03:30:47 AM by scott r »

Offline David

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Re: New York Pizza Tour - Need Advice
« Reply #55 on: May 13, 2007, 09:24:51 AM »
Thanks Scott.It's very rare that I get to Brooklyn (Though I do plan to to make a special effort to try Spicy Mina in Woodside / Queens for her food  Indian soon!).
A few years back I stumbled upon a Pizzeria also on Lorimar called San Marco.It was like a Saturday night live sketch with all of the characters seemingly caricatures of Brooklynites!Evesdropping on the conversation of the guy sat next to me at the counter,brought flashbacks of Goodfellas / Do the Right Thing.All the lights in the place were off,in an attempt to keep the place cool.A young muscle bound guy was slowly,  gently, stretching the dough,overseen by an old Italian man who should clearly be enjoying the fruits of his labor in Boca or Bari .A priceless moment on a VERY hot summer afternoon in the city.I liked it because the place seemed trapped in a time warp.Unfortunately I can't remember what the Pizza was like?
Next time.
If you're looking for a date... go to the Supermarket.If you're looking for a wife....go to the Farmers market

Offline scott r

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Re: New York Pizza Tour - Need Advice
« Reply #56 on: July 15, 2007, 11:50:47 PM »
I finally had a chance to try brick oven gallery.  Warning, do not go!  It was really bad.  It reminded me of those bake at home pizzas at the grocery store that are made on pizza shells.

On this trip I have had many chances to visit my old faves and I have a few observations.  First is that Patsy's is actually really consistent these days.  I had a great pie or slice there in my last six visits spanning over two months.  I had the best pies at Una Pizza, Amano, and Sezz Medi, with luzzos falling back a bit from the top of my list.  I have heard some reports questioning Una pizza's quality, but I think Anthony's pizzas are better than ever right now.  At one point they were a bit too dry and tough for me, but lately they have been very light, charred and soft. It almost seems as if he has started to mix in some new fluffier ingredients into his flour.  His use of wild yeast and the non soupy nature of the pies makes for an exceptional experience.  Unfortunately the last pizza I got there measured 9 inches across and cost 22 dollars, so it seems like a rip off.  OUCH!

Amano has also been blowing my mind with the fair prices, fried dough, TOP notch ingredients and this crazy 4 section calzone/pizza thing that is hard to describe.  Roberto it taking a piece of dough and folding ricotta and either ham/salaumi/artichokes/or mushrooms into each corner.  The middle which is left unstuffed is still sauced and cheesed like a normal pizza.  what you get are 4 mini calzones and a normal margherita all in one pie.  The flavors are amazing. He is also making pinweels, stuffed pizzas, and calzones in addition to the normal pizza and the 4 section calzone.  On top of all this his gelato is just as good as what I had in Positano Italy.  I don't think it can get any better.  Last night I had a spicy chocolate gelato and it was outstanding.  Amano definitely gets the most creative pizzeria award!

Offline KC

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Re: New York Pizza Tour - Need Advice
« Reply #57 on: July 16, 2007, 07:38:22 PM »
Hi! This is my first message to the group.  I joined a few weeks ago and have been enjoying this site a lot.  I how found myself forced to jump into the fray because of the message regarding Roberto Caporuscio and his new place opening in NJ.  I am from Pittsburgh and have been to his place here many times.  His pizza is amazing and he is quite a character.  About 7 years ago when he opened his first place here, he has said that his dream was to open a place in New York.  As an aside.  I also go to Penn Mac about three times a week and I am thrilled to have read about all of the ingredients that a lot of you order from there.  I am having fun trying them.  Thanks


 

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