Lance Roberts is known around Slice for his pizza pilgrimages. On his most recent tear through NYC, the LA Slice'r tackled the most epic pizza tourism itinerary to date, clocking 40 slices from NYC pizzerias in just three days. Here's how he did it.
'Forcella' on Serious Eats
Neapolitan style pizza with one key difference. Before going in the oven, the stretched-out disk of dough is deep fried until crisp. I figured it was worth a deeper look. I'm glad I did, because I can tell you that these were some of the finest pies to ever come out of my home kitchen, and believe it or not, it's remarkably simple to do.
Fried pizza is real and New York is currently experiencing its first real dose in the deep fryer. It's soft with a thin crisp on the outside, deceivingly light and airy, and unbelievably addictive, but what exactly is it and where does it come from?
From their new Bowery location, we were big fans of the Fuorigrotta ($14). The crust is crisp and chewy and a little bit charred and all those things we like; our one criticism would be that parts of the crust were a little bit doughy in the middle. (But that's a very minor point.)
Here's the tweet that inspired this post:
Yes, @alexandrak, such a post does exist, and if your boyfriend finds what I'm about to write all TL;DR, he can check it out: The 10 Best Pizzas in NYC » That's a solid list, no doubt. And if his NYC pizza research stops there, I'm sure he'd be happy. But I think simply dropping a best-of list on a New York newbie does him a bit of a disservice. After all, he's moving to a pizza mecca. I think a little context is in order.
What is better than pizza? Fried pizza. Or this is the thought that popped into my head when I took my first bite of the Montanara Pizza at Forcella in Williamsburg. It was one of those hit-you-over-the-head good, oh man I need more sort of reactions. Giulio Adriani is the mad creator of the Montanara pizza at Forcella, which he deep fries in vegetable oil and then finishes in the oven to achieve a light and airy crust with the perfect chew, and a crispness only achieved by frying at 375 degrees. He tops the Montanara simply with crushed San Marzano tomatoes, mozzarella that he makes in house, Grana Padano cheese, and fresh basil leaves.
Giulio Adriani's recipe has been halved to accommodate the home cook....
OK. Forget for a minute that Forcella is doing some solidly legit traditional pizzas. That's all well and good and totally worth your while. But just know that the place is the only pizzeria I know of in NYC that's doing a deep-fried "montagnara" pizza.
I'm happy to see Adriani's new venture take on a different vibe than Olio. Over there, it was all "I am an award-winning pizza-maker." All that crap all over the menu. Look, I know the awards are hard won and to be respected, but when it comes down to it, you're only as good as your last pizza. I prefer the buzz to come from word of mouth and trusted sources than from menu.