Pizza @ South Brooklyn Pizza

122 1st Avenue, New York, NY 

South Brooklyn in Manhattan is not an oxymoron. At least it is not an oxymoron since when this pizzeria appeared in the East Village a few years ago.

The place is small but it has all that is needed for a great pizza by the slice. There are two types of pizzas: round and rectangular. The latter – also called Sicilian-style – is the one you should try.

Since the baking takes longer, the rectangular pizza is available in more limited quantities.  In case there was a customer like me immediately before you,  you may need to wait for a new batch to come out of the oven. Rest assured that the quality of the pizza is worth the short wait.

The Sicilian pizza has a crunchy crust at the bottom and a tender layer of dough at the center. Tomato sauce all the other ingredients are really top-notch.

You can check the quality of the cheese by contemplating the windowed refrigerators located  below the countertops place on one side and on front of the window. Additional sauces – spicy, garlic, and others – are available at the countertop tables.

The Sicilian-style pizza is also good for a home delivery. It can be re-heated quickly and without loss of quality in an electric oven (avoid microwave, for this delicate task).

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Pizza @ Pizzarte

69 West 55th Street, New York, NY 

Finding a good pizza in Midtown is an almost impossible task. Most of the places offer pizza by the slice: a quick bite of dubious quality for lunch breaks at the office and for tourists rushing between Central Park and Times Square

Pizzarte is an appreciated exception to this general rule, and also a good reason for adventuring above 23rd Street.

The location is 40% pizzeria, 40% restaurant and 20% art gallery. The “Pizzarte” name obviously combines the pizza and the art gallery concept, but it is also a statement about the approach to the preparation of pizza.

The tomato sauce is lightly sweet and dense, blending properly with the melted mozzarella. The mozzarella did not release water, leaving the baked dough with a balanced texture (even though I would expect it to be a little bit fluffier, for a Neapolitan pizza).

They also have a magnificent pizza tartufata and delicious fried pizza. The wine list is really interesting: it helps with the challenging task of pairing wine with pizza. The service was  polite, efficient and entertaining.

This is one of the few places in midtown where it is worth to come back again and again.

Pizza @ Via Tribunali

122 Ludlow Street, New York, NY 

A few years ago we observed the first signs of a “pizza renaissance” in New York, with several good pizza places opening in the East Village and in the Greenwich Village. Now, the picky foodamentalist can benefit from this trend, finding good pizza in almost any neighborhood. The beloved Lower East Side makes no exception.

“Via Tribunali”, in Ludlow Street, takes its name from one of the main street in Naples. The pizza – prepared in neapolitan style, of course – comes actually from the West Coast, where the first “Via Tribunali” locations were opened.

The ingredients used in the pizza are top quality: rich of flavors without being to heavy. The “salsiccia and friarelli” is a rare find outside of Italy: our compliments to “Via Tribunali” for daring to include this pizza in the menu, and for being successful in the execution.

The dough is the only area of improvement: it seems to be not soft enough, requiring excessive effort to chew it. This is particularly noticeable in the crust surrounding the pizza.

Overall, there is one more good reason to go the Lower East Side.

Pizza @ Numero 28

28 Carmine Street, New York, NY 

Numero 28 has the typical interiors and furniture of a small Italian “Pizzeria”. The presence of “Our Lady of Pompei” church on the opposite side of the street reinforces the illusion of being in Southern Italy, rather than in the South Village. Luckily, a good pizza is not an illusion and does not require heavenly help from the other side of the street. The Margherita – a standard benchmark to evaluate the quality of a pizza – comes quickly from the wood burning oven. The mozzarella blends perfectly with the crust and with the tomato sauce. The moderately thick crust strikes a good balance between the Neapolitan and Roman styles. A slice can be folded without breaking it, and it does not even bend because of excessive cheese on it. The tomato sauce is not distributed evenly on the surface. This is quite unusual, but it works well since the sauce is quite savory and it could be overwhelming, if in larger quantity. The 18-inch size will let two people enjoy this fine pizza.