After all the back and forth I said to myself who am I kidding - I need to decide for myself whether or not Di Fara lives up to its reputation.
Dom's is pretty much legendary so I wanted to see him in action.
Here's the scoop.
Sauce looked to be SM toms with seasoning - EVOO, Salt, Oregano? I could see the chunks of the stems of the tomatoes and it tasted awesome.
The crust had a very nice crunch to it. I was expecting a black rimmed pizza with a charred bottom (which i didn't really want) and I didn't get that.
Despite being lightly browned and dark it still had a great texture. It wasn't overly chewy but certainly wasn't tender either. It actually was just the way I like it. I'd say a bit chewy and yet crunchy. Flavor-wise it was great. It didn't taste sour or like a dough that had spent a long time in the fridge but more like a quicker ferment - maybe they use a bit more salt? To my inexperienced taste buds, I'd say it was a 1 or 2 day CF. I saw the dough on the counter and it was a big heavy dough ball that had settled into a heavy looking misshapen disc. It didn't look light an airy at all. I think this was evidenced by the not-so-airy crumb but that wasn't a negative in the final product by any means.
I witnessed a Fior di Latte container on the counter, but also noticed Dom hand grating what I'm sure was Grande WM mozz. The key here was he was using the slice side of the shredder. I liked that.
BTW, the tomatoes weren't too wet when being applied to the pie -- not sure if he drains his SM tomatoes first a bit or what. Maybe they aren't SM tomatoes at all? Not sure. Mine usually come out of the can too thin to be directly applied or I risk a floppy pizza. I've been using the PB NY/NJ sauce lately and when I make my next pizza I'm going back to messing with a SM blend.
He sauced, then cheesed, then parmesan, then oil (quite a bit of swirling of oil).
Finished with fresh cut basil off the stem and even a bit more oil.
Didn't time the bake. Wasn't fast. This is a total guess, but I'm thinking over 6 mins.
I really, really liked it and I'm super glad I gave it a chance. My friend asked me to rate it and on the spot I said 9.5. I said I have never given a 10 (not sure why), but i couldn't think how I would change it. Less oil? Maybe, but then again I liked the luxuriousness of the oil. Not sure what else I could say. Very fresh ingredients, great crust flavor (speculated it was high gluten, bromated flour, but not sure), nice crunch, a bit of chew.
There are certainly many, many great pies in the NY area and in my opinion this is one of them.