Author Topic: New York Pizza Tour - Need Advice  (Read 13740 times)

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Offline Cetus

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Re: New York Pizza Tour - Need Advice
« Reply #40 on: April 11, 2007, 07:35:11 PM »
Hey All,

I'm planning a New York pizza tasting tour for this Sunday and need some recommendations.  Right now I plan to hit the following places:

First Choices:
DiFara's Brooklyn
Totonno's Brooklyn
Luzzo's Manhattan
Una Pizza Neapolatana Manhattan
John's Manhattan

Alternates:
Grimaldi's Brooklyn
Patsy's Manhattan
Naples 45 Manhattan

Any suggestions of where to go instead of the above listed?  Should I go to one or more of the alternates instead of some of my first choice places?  I've already tried Lombardi's and is why I don't list it here.  Thanks.

Mike

Might want to try A Mano : Chestnut Street at Franklin : Ridgewood, NJ.... Enjoy!!!!
« Last Edit: April 16, 2007, 03:08:58 AM by Cetus »


Offline pcampbell

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Re: New York Pizza Tour - Need Advice
« Reply #41 on: April 11, 2007, 08:57:40 PM »
Tommy where do you live?  We are right over here in Hawthorne.

We tried "A Mano" tonight.  We actually took out, and went to my parents around the corner but we had the car waiting and my wife waiting inside, so from the oven to the table house was maybe 3 minutes.  We just the regular margherita and the bufala magherita.  My wife and I both preferred the regular margherita... could just be our taste buds are used to cow's milk.  It was definitely a great pizza, but between A Mano and Luzzo's at this point we both pick Luzzo's.  The crust just does not have that same insane consistency of being so light, fluffy, crunchy and chewy all at once.
.
It did seem like they are still "working things out." We went in very early and it was completely empty, and it took 30 minutes after they said come back in a few...

We'll definitely give it another try and dine in next time.
Patrick

Offline Barry

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Re: New York Pizza Tour - Need Advice
« Reply #42 on: April 12, 2007, 11:08:37 AM »
Hi scott r,

In an earlier post, you stated your first choices for a tour of New York pizzarias as
" Mano caio Roberto
 Luzzo's Manhattan
 Una Pizza Neapolatana Manhattan
 Grimaldi's Brooklyn
 Patsy's HARLEM
 Totonno's Brooklyn"

I will be visiting the USA during May, and, after visiting Chris Bianco in Phoenix, I plan to visit New York for 3 days. Could you please advise me of the addresses (and telephone numbers) of your first choices as listed above, and also let me know if I should reserve a table, or make sure that I get there by a certain time (and day) to ensure that I get in. Thank you.

Boy Hits Car,

I also enjoyed reading of your experiences in New York, and would appreciate any input here !

Thank you.

Kind regards.

Barry in Johannesburg, South Africa


Offline Boy Hits Car

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Re: New York Pizza Tour - Need Advice
« Reply #43 on: April 12, 2007, 12:30:26 PM »
Hi scott r,

In an earlier post, you stated your first choices for a tour of New York pizzarias as
" Mano caio Roberto
 Luzzo's Manhattan
 Una Pizza Neapolatana Manhattan
 Grimaldi's Brooklyn
 Patsy's HARLEM
 Totonno's Brooklyn"

I will be visiting the USA during May, and, after visiting Chris Bianco in Phoenix, I plan to visit New York for 3 days. Could you please advise me of the addresses (and telephone numbers) of your first choices as listed above, and also let me know if I should reserve a table, or make sure that I get there by a certain time (and day) to ensure that I get in. Thank you.

Boy Hits Car,

I also enjoyed reading of your experiences in New York, and would appreciate any input here !

Thank you.

Kind regards.

Barry in Johannesburg, South Africa




Barry,

I used the following website for all the info I needed:

http://nymag.com/listings/restaurant/difara_pizza/

Just use the search box to look for the place you are going to visit and it will give you the address, phone number and subway stop to get to the location. 

If you are going to Difara's in Brooklyn I recommend getting there 45 minutes before it opens so that you don't have to wait in line.  Also, you could call ahead and order your pizza which many people seemed to do.  But even if you do that, you should get there early.  You might be OK if you go around 3pm, but I'm not sure.

As for UPN, it opens at 5pm and I got there around 4:40pm and was the first in line.  Luzzo, I arrived at around 6-6:30pm and was seated right away.  This was on a Sunday.

I just went on another pizza tour last week and visited Sezz Medi, Da Ciro, and Grimaldi's Brooklyn.  Grimaldi's was only half full at around 5pm on a Monday, so I got seated and served right away.  The pizza at Sezz Medi was excellent and I arrived around 12pm and it was basically empty, so no wait at all.  I didn't have a typically pizza at Da Ciro, so I can't comment on that, except that the pizza's that I saw people eating looked fantastic; easily the thinest crust you will ever see; almost impossible to eat without a fork and knife.

Use google maps(www.google.com/maps) and printout a zoomed map of each location you are planning to visit.  Also, study the subway map(found here: http://www.mta.info/nyct/maps/subwaymap.pdf).  First thing to do when you arrive in New York is buy a One-Day Metro Fun Pass.  It cost $7.00 and you can use it all day no limit on subway and buses.  There is a 7-day pass, but that costs $24. 

My recommendations would be:

Start at Difara's(Brooklyn), get there 30-45 minutes before it opens.  Order a square pie or square slices.
Then go to Grimaldi's(Brooklyn).  This way you will be heading back towards Manhattan.
Rest or go site-seeing in Manhattan.
Go to UPN at around 4:30pm then Luzzo's

If you have the time, try Sezz Medi and Patsy's, both are in Harlem.

Mike

Edit:  Just wanted to add that Grimaldi's can be a pain to get to.  From Difara's, get on the Q-train towards Manhattan, get off at Atlantic Avenue and switch over to the 2 or 3 Train towards Manhattan, then get off at Clark Street.  You will need to walk about 5 blocks.  Head towards the Brooklyn Bridge.  Also, the easiest way to Difara's is to just get on the Q-train from Manhattan and exit at Avenue J.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2007, 02:11:58 PM by Boy Hits Car »

Offline scott r

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Re: New York Pizza Tour - Need Advice
« Reply #44 on: April 12, 2007, 01:04:01 PM »
mike, thank you so much for taking care of all that.  I am really short on time lately. I am still looking for a chance to write up something on my visit to Il Pizzaiolo in pittsburgh where I had the best neapolitan pizza I have found anywhere in the US. The new oven has brought it to another level.

Barry

What mike has said, including the order of visits is spot on.  I hope you enjoy your visit to the US immensely.

Offline Boy Hits Car

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Re: New York Pizza Tour - Need Advice
« Reply #45 on: April 12, 2007, 02:13:07 PM »
No problem Scott.  Just remember to post your experience at Il Pizzaiolo when you get a chance.

Mike

Offline tommy

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Re: New York Pizza Tour - Need Advice
« Reply #46 on: April 12, 2007, 04:31:19 PM »
if anyone is planning a trip to NYC for a pizza tour and is planning on using mass transit, i've found this site comes in handy:  http://www.hopstop.com/

it'll give you very good directions including subways and walking.

Offline varasano

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Re: New York Pizza Tour - Need Advice
« Reply #47 on: April 13, 2007, 11:54:47 AM »
my website has addresses and phone numbers for several one on that list.

http://jvpizza.sliceny.com/

Jeff

Offline Barry

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Re: New York Pizza Tour - Need Advice
« Reply #48 on: April 14, 2007, 03:54:14 AM »
Hi Mike (Boy Hits Car).

Thank you very much for your comprehensive reply. I am really looking forward to this trip. I just have to convince my wife to eat pizza 3 times a day !

Jeff, Scott and Tommy, Thanks for your replies as well. I will report to the forum on my trip when I get back to South Africa.

Kind regards.

Barry

Offline scott r

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Re: New York Pizza Tour - Need Advice
« Reply #49 on: April 23, 2007, 02:31:21 AM »
Hi everyone, I have been in Williamsburg Brooklyn for the past week working and the pizza scene here is out of control.  I can't believe how many pizzerias are in this area, wood burning, coal burning, and normal deck oven pies everywhere.  I haven't had time to take any pictures or take any notes, but I have found numerous pizzerias here that I have never even heard of selling really creative pies.  One place, which I didn't even catch the name of had a thin Sicilian square pie with a layer of fresh tomato, a layer of fresh mozzarella, and a layer of dressed arugula.  The quality of the toppings was some of the best I have found anywhere, but the crust could have been better. Still it is worth checking out for sure.  This place was a HOLE in the wall, and appeared to have been there for a very long time.  The dressing on the arugula, the cheese, and those amazing tomatoes I am still craving.  I never knew I would love a pizza like this, but I want more now! This place was on lorimar st. very close to the intersection of Metropolitan ave.  If you go one way on lorimar from metropolitan you hit it in about a block. 

If you go the other direction on Lorimar from Metropolitan ave you hit Sal's, which has an amazing street pie with a cheese to die for, plus grandma pies. This is some of the best street pizza I have had in the city.  They are blending Grande whole milk mozzarella with another brand and it is the perfect combination of melt and flavor.  The sauce is perfect, and made from whole tomatoes unlike most street slice places.  The crust was perfect the first few times I had it, and they were using All Trumps.  Unfortunately one day I noticed a big decline in the texture of the crust, and noticed that they were using balancer flour that day.  I guess they buy whatever is on sale for flour and that is not a good thing.  Still, it seems as if they use All Trumps most of the time, and that is what you want.

Another place I found called Fornino is making pies that are definitely worth traveling for. I am going to copy a post I just wrote in the review section.

This is typical high end Brooklyn/ny style pizza, not really Neapolitan in crust or cheese, but the toppings are just as fresh and flavorful as the best Neapolitan pizzeria.  My guess is that they are probably 3 minute pies.  This pizzeria is a must visit for any serious pizza enthusiast in the area.  They have a three tiered menu that starts with standard Italian/American, then another section for more classic Neapolitan, then finally some really creative and adventurous pies.  Maybe the largest menu of specialty pies I have seen yet.

The basic pie is just as good as the famous Brooklyn based grimaldi's and totono's that paved the way for a bunch of newcomers I have been finding in the area. This pie was also very similar to Bianco's in Phoenix for anyone that can't make it all the way over there.  The only major difference I could find is that it was a bit thinner here, and the dough had more salt in it. This is another pizzeria that proves that NY style pizza does not need a coal fired oven, and can be made just as good (or better) in a wood fired oven.

Definitely put this one on your radar!

http://newyork.citysearch.com/profile/41429589

I have heard from a local pizza enthusiast that a place called the Brick oven Project may be even better than Fornino.  I will be back in a few weeks, and will definitely report back on this place.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2007, 02:59:33 AM by scott r »


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.
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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