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Author Topic: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits  (Read 16698 times)

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Offline PizzaJerk

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Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
« Reply #140 on: November 26, 2019, 10:48:18 PM »
I think a DiGiorno would have been better than that Gabby's slice.

I always enjoy reading your reviews by the way. In depth but straight to the point and always a good read.

Offline hammettjr

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Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
« Reply #141 on: August 07, 2020, 03:36:06 PM »
Lucia Pizza - 3rd visit (1 year after my first 2 visits)

I called in a "large" pizza (18") when 15 minutes away by car. With my wife driving, I navigated the pie in the front seat, cutting slices in half and passing them to my kids. I don't think I've ever heard them this quiet while eating. Not a sound until "more pizza".

I still love this pie. The first thing I noticed (I think) was a bit of garlic. But perhaps I was looking for it.

But the real thing that stood out was creaminess. On top of whatever is in that sauce, and the tomato flavor, I kept tasting cream. Certainly driven by the mozz, which was melted but not pulverized. But I couldn't figure out if there was a hard cheese too. Either way, for my own pies I'm going to 1) experiment with different bakes to see what happens if I melt less, 2) see if I can find another mozz to try, 3) cheat and try adding a touch of cream to my sauce. I love what cream adds to pasta sauce, and while eating I was reminded of my wife's favorite (and now my daughter's favorite) pasta sauce which is a blend of 75% vodka sauce and 25% meat sauce.

The tomato has an underlying sweetness.

Could there be a bit of onion? Some fresh basil that soaks in the sauce then is removed?

When I tasted the sauce on its own, I did taste a tiny bit of pepper. I like the direction I'm going with cayenne.

My wife tasted it when it was significantly cooled. And this pie is better warm. Her comments were that this pizza is different. The cheese is different. It's not super sweet. It's not super salty....I said she's right, it's not super anything, except for a super blend of things in perfect harmony.


Matt

Offline wb54885

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Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
« Reply #142 on: May 25, 2021, 05:32:39 PM »
Matt, I made it back to Lucia this afternoon. There was a pallet delivery on the sidewalk as I came up from the subway. I ran across traffic and started taking pictures, hoping for a case of tomatoes, but all I saw was cheese and flour.

Iím so stumped by this slice. I would never put that much cheese on a pie, and when making my own I tend to lean toward salty and savory flavorsóbut this is extra cheesy, juicy, and mysteriously sweet. It was a knockout. The sweetness made me think of apple cider vinegar, cherry Coke, and orange juice. I have no idea.

I went back in and told the oldest guy there I needed to ask him a question. I said ďIíve been talking to somebody about this pizza for two years and we canít figure out what makes it so good. I know youíre not going to tell me any secrets, but... Itís something about the sauce, right?Ē

He stared at me for a few seconds, straight in the eye. ďWhat is your question?Ē he asked.

ďWhat makes this pizza so special, itís in the sauce right?Ē

He said ďI donít know,Ē something-something, ďmy boss...Ē something-something.

I wouldnít tell me anything, either.
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Offline erickso1

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Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
« Reply #143 on: May 26, 2021, 10:01:28 AM »
I guarantee you I'm way off base, and I've never had it, but when you described the flavor, and showed the pic, the first thing that came to my mind was the spaghetti-o sauce. 

Offline Fiorot

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Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
« Reply #144 on: May 26, 2021, 03:36:41 PM »
What is all the fuss about this Place?  It looks under cooked, the bottom is nothing special, and loads of cheese and runny sauce.  To me it looks like a typical slice joint slice.  And if you use Alti Cucina it is sweet if you don't add salt.

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Offline wb54885

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Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
« Reply #145 on: May 26, 2021, 03:53:03 PM »
To me it looks like a typical slice joint slice.

And yet...
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Offline hammettjr

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Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
« Reply #146 on: May 26, 2021, 05:05:24 PM »
Awesome WB, glad it was still a knockout!

Incredible timing to see the delivery. What do you think, whole milk for the pizza and the part skim for something else? Could be a blend, but the ratio would be so dominant whole milk then why bother?

Thanks for trying on the sauce. We seem to be gravitating towards the sweetness being the biggest mystery.

I guarantee you I'm way off base, and I've never had it, but when you described the flavor, and showed the pic, the first thing that came to my mind was the spaghetti-o sauce. 

Funny enough, I'm trying to remember which pizzeria it was, but I remember once being hit with the familiar flavor of what I remember spaghetti-os tasting like. Seems rediculous, and not a complement, but I've gone as far as trying fruit punch mix in my sauce, so I'm down for anything. Spaghettios has high fructose corn syrup and cheddar cheese in it currently.

Anyone know what high fructose corn syrup tastes like?

Matt

Offline hammettjr

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Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
« Reply #147 on: May 27, 2021, 03:06:59 PM »
Not sure what this tasted like, but it wasn't good!

Matt

Online jkb

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Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
« Reply #148 on: May 27, 2021, 06:45:05 PM »
What is all the fuss about this Place?  It looks under cooked, the bottom is nothing special, and loads of cheese and runny sauce.  To me it looks like a typical slice joint slice.  And if you use Alti Cucina it is sweet if you don't add salt.


I must be looking at the wrong pictures.
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Offline hammettjr

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Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
« Reply #149 on: May 27, 2021, 09:44:54 PM »
So...

...
But the real thing that stood out was creaminess. On top of whatever is in that sauce, and the tomato flavor, I kept tasting cream. Certainly driven by the mozz, which was melted but not pulverized. But I couldn't figure out if there was a hard cheese too. Either way, for my own pies I'm going to 1) experiment with different bakes to see what happens if I melt less, 2) see if I can find another mozz to try, 3) cheat and try adding a touch of cream to my sauce....

My wife tasted it when it was significantly cooled. And this pie is better warm. Her comments were that this pizza is different. The cheese is different. It's not super sweet. It's not super salty....I said she's right, it's not super anything, except for a super blend of things in perfect harmony.

...turns out it was good old grande! I think using alot of cheese and melting it less and gently enables the mozz flavor to come through. But I'm still drawn to cheese oiling into the orange grease. I dont think I can achieve both. That's where my heavy cream hack came from. I'm planning to mess with some hard cheese too.

Matt

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Offline wb54885

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Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
« Reply #150 on: June 03, 2021, 11:15:40 AM »
I keep thinking and thinking about this slice. Iíve been rereading everything Harry wrote about the steady 500F bake and heavy cheese and the orange oil, and I think itís 90% that and 10% whatever unique sweetener theyíre using (the orange oil was very present this day!). I see nothing but a smooth orange/red color in the sauce, no flecks of spice or anything. I had some carrot juice the other day and thought ďmaybe...oh thatís ridiculous!Ē Who knows!!?

After this latest NY trip I finally accepted that I need my sauce to be sweeter. My favorite plain slices are less salty and more sweet than I think they are when Iím tinkering at home. Onward and upward, as they say  :)
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Offline hammettjr

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Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
« Reply #151 on: June 03, 2021, 12:27:26 PM »
I keep thinking and thinking about this slice. Iíve been rereading everything Harry wrote about the steady 500F bake and heavy cheese and the orange oil, and I think itís 90% that and 10% whatever unique sweetener theyíre using (the orange oil was very present this day!). I see nothing but a smooth orange/red color in the sauce, no flecks of spice or anything. I had some carrot juice the other day and thought ďmaybe...oh thatís ridiculous!Ē Who knows!!?

After this latest NY trip I finally accepted that I need my sauce to be sweeter. My favorite plain slices are less salty and more sweet than I think they are when Iím tinkering at home. Onward and upward, as they say  :)

I dunno...I've spent a ton of time working on my melt, and while it delivers a ton of a flavor that I crave, I have to really cook the cheese and I lose the creaminess. Maybe they use so much cheese that it enables both a grease layer and a white cheese layer? I remember my photos from Margherita Pizza in Jamaica where the cheese was more than 2 times as thick as the crust! (I also remember the classic video where the guy says that the grease should get on your hand, and "down your arm on a really good day".)

But I think whatever they are including as sweetener and maybe hidden herbs is more than 10% of it. There are many pizzerias around me that use the same screens, good ovens and Stanislaus/Grande, but they don't come close to the same flavor.


Matt

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
« Reply #152 on: June 03, 2021, 12:49:01 PM »
I keep thinking and thinking about this slice. Iíve been rereading everything Harry wrote about the steady 500F bake and heavy cheese and the orange oil, and I think itís 90% that and 10% whatever unique sweetener theyíre using (the orange oil was very present this day!). I see nothing but a smooth orange/red color in the sauce, no flecks of spice or anything. I had some carrot juice the other day and thought ďmaybe...oh thatís ridiculous!Ē Who knows!!?
wb54885,

Yup, who knows? ;D

https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=645.msg5861#msg5861

Peter

Offline hammettjr

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Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
« Reply #153 on: June 03, 2021, 01:46:34 PM »
Mama's Too evidently uses carrots in their vodka sauce. He said he doesn't put sugar into anything they make. It's at 12:37 in the video linked below.

https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=51896.msg653718#msg653718
« Last Edit: June 03, 2021, 01:51:49 PM by hammettjr »
Matt

Offline foreplease

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Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
« Reply #154 on: June 03, 2021, 02:19:51 PM »
wb54885,

Yup, who knows? ;D

https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=645.msg5861#msg5861

Peter
Peter,


Grated carrots in pasta and meatball sauces is something I have been using for 20-25 years. I was nowhere to be found on this forum in 2004 though! In the last few years I hVe suggested it here a couple times to people who were trying to change their sauce.
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Offline wb54885

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Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
« Reply #155 on: June 04, 2021, 09:53:58 AM »
Should have searched before I spoke  :-D

Tony, absolutely! We used to do a mirepoix for the meatball sauce in a restaurant that had the best meatballs Iíve ever eaten. Fully cooked in the sauce. Equal parts ground beef, pork, and turkey. Microplaned garlic. The sauce was sweet and spicy and we treated it like a hoard of dragon gold, and when it ran out for the night everybody got a little sad.

Anywho, Iím curious enough to try a carrot juice sweetener for sure. But the mere idea also goes to show just how many ways there are to make a plain cheese pizza...

Somebodyís just going to have to get a job there. Iíll wash dishes at Lucia if it comes to that. Dishwashers see everything.
Every oven is a law unto itself and only itself.

Offline foreplease

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Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
« Reply #156 on: June 04, 2021, 10:23:06 AM »
Should have searched before I spoke  :-D

Tony, absolutely! We used to do a mirepoix for the meatball sauce in a restaurant that had the best meatballs Iíve ever eaten. Fully cooked in the sauce. Equal parts ground beef, pork, and turkey. Microplaned garlic. The sauce was sweet and spicy and we treated it like a hoard of dragon gold, and when it ran out for the night everybody got a little sad.

Anywho, Iím curious enough to try a carrot juice sweetener for sure. But the mere idea also goes to show just how many ways there are to make a plain cheese pizza...

Somebodyís just going to have to get a job there. Iíll wash dishes at Lucia if it comes to that. Dishwashers see everything.
Hereís mine. Sauce and meatball recipes are posts 29 and 33, but itís more of a story than a recipe.
https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=45810.0
-Tony

Offline hammettjr

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Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
« Reply #157 on: June 05, 2021, 09:49:33 PM »
My wife uses a mirepoix in a tomato sauce too. I'm wondering what celery does to a sauce. I was just looking at the ingredients of Campbell's tomato soup (kindof along the lines of the spaghetti-os) and it has celery extract. Just a thought.


« Last Edit: June 05, 2021, 10:07:03 PM by hammettjr »
Matt

Offline hammettjr

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Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
« Reply #158 on: June 09, 2021, 04:00:55 PM »
Ok all, I visited Lucia again and think I'm getting there. This post will outline my thoughts on flavor. I hope to do another post in the future with some more background and details of my visit.

I'm very confident that a (and likely 'the') dominant flavor of this pie is hard cheese. From my very first bite I was thinking hard cheese. I believe that this explains the "creaminess" that I've written about previously. I also think it contributes to the "sweetness". While I obviously dont know what hard cheese they are using, or even if it was parm or romano, it made me think of a parm-reg that I used to get from a pizzeria distributor...it also made me think of Boar's Head Romano because it demonstrates that romano can exist without a strong romano-kick. This pie did not have that usual romano flavor.

The key was WB's discovery above, that they had cases of Grande delivered. I was previously off track searching for some kind of mozz that doesn't exist. I've eaten enough grande to say that this flavor wasn't from the grande.

A separate thought I had towards the very end of my dinner was butter. Butter is both creamy and sweet, and (IMO) seems to make everything better. I'd think it's more likely that they use butter if the sauce is (at least partially) cooked. The flavor of the sauce doesn't scream raw tomato. Moreover while I cant see seasoning in it, I think it is seasoned. So cooked is certainly possible.

Edit: also, they don't sprinkle any hard cheese when dressing the pie. It could be that hard cheese is cooked into the sauce.

The last thought I had was that fresh basil may contribute to the sweetness. But it would be very faint and not visible. This prompted me to ask on the sauce board whether flavor could be extracted from a basil leaf without cooking it in the tomato (as I'd like to still with my uncooked sauce for my next round of experiments).

I baked up a pie where my 1.25 cups of tomato had added 2 teaspoons of butter and 3/4 teaspoon of Boars Head Romano. My other seasonings (oregano, garlic, pepper) were there, but light. The pie was really good, and I think on the right track. I'd like to try a little less butter and the parm I mentioned above, but not sure when I'll get to the store. Will post about my bakes in my main thread as I proceed.



« Last Edit: June 09, 2021, 05:09:57 PM by hammettjr »
Matt

Offline hammettjr

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Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
« Reply #159 on: June 10, 2021, 02:11:34 PM »
Some of my comments below from my first visit 2 years ago. I seem to be coming back to that first impression. Looks like he was telling the truth regarding Grande. And perhaps the look he gave me when I asked about romano/parm was more than just a 'stop bugging me' look.



The words to describe the flavor that hit me at the time were: tomato, grease, hard cheese. It was seemingly simple, yet so good (and Iím sure not as simple as it appears).

I tried to get as many questions in to one of the counter guys as I ate.

I asked if the cheese was Grande, and he said yes. I never trust that pattern, however, and it wouldíve been better if he said the brand rather than me. I asked if it was whole milk or part skim or a mix, and he said it was a mix of whole milk and part-skim. This was more believable based on how the conversation was going.

I asked if they were using romano or parm (as I could clearly taste something). He gave me a bit of a funny look and said, no, nothing. But, when I later asked to buy a doughball and some sauce, he said they donít sell the sauce, dough no problem. Not selling the sauce is an indication. While the overall flavor seemed simple, they wouldnít be hiding their sauce if it was just tomato and salt. My second slice had one large piece of fresh basil. Other than that, absolutely nothing was visible.


Matt

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