Dante's Pizzeria opened with the help of former employees of Piece and Santullo's. Between that pedigree and the positive reviews, I was expecting something at least pretty good. Unfortunately, the high points of my pizzas were just okay and the low points were no fun at all.
'NYC-style outside NYC' on Serious Eats
Captain Ahab had Moby Dick, giving birth to the notion of "the white whale" as a goal to be chased to the ends of the earth, self-destruction be damned. Herman Melville was able to spin one version of the Great American Novel out of that tale. My white whale, over the course of several Christmases in the Kansas City area, has been Stonewall Inn Pizza. Kansas City is land-locked, of course, which makes this tale less tragic, thank goodness, and unlike Melville, I'm only able to spin a short blog post out of it.
Who can resist a hefty Sicilian slice topped with salami, pepperoni, and sausage? It's nothing fancy, just salty, oily meats resting on a thin layer of herbaceous tomato sauce and mozzarella. The meats do everything they're supposed to do: the pepperoni brings the mild spiciness, the salami brings the sodium and grease, and the hunks of sausage bring the characteristic porkiness (sans fennel, unfortunately). Standard stuff, but a perfect cap to a night of drinking (which is what this neighborhood is really for.)
Carminuccio's in Newtown, Connecticut is a bit off the beaten path, but since 1997, this no-frills local favorite has been slinging pies that Gourmet magazine once called one of "America's top 10 pizzas."
With wood-fired pizzerias sprouting up all over the Washington area, it's easy to forget about the New York-style, deck-oven pizza that dominated the scene until very recently. Five years ago, most people here thought Neapolitan was a type of ice cream. Faccia Luna in Arlington has been a standby for nearly two decades, and still serves a very satisfying pie.
During my visit to Giorgio's, a little boy's birthday party was taking place in the back, which seemed about right. This is pizza that is mild enough to keep even the pickiest of little kids happy, and that's just tasty enough to keep parents content. In fact, a few bites of that crisp end-crust and the parents might even convince themselves that it's really good. For me, this is pizza that will do in a pinch, but it certainly calls for a heavy hand with the red pepper shaker.
When it comes to New York-style pizza, the one place you'll hear San Diegans consistently rave about is Bronx Pizza, though outsiders and locals alike often add the irksome "good for San Diego" qualifier to the end of any positive remark about it. But I'm going to be bold: Bronx Pizza has some of the best pizza I've ever had—anywhere.
Armando's Pizza on Huron Avenue, just a short walk outside of Harvard Square in Cambridge, is quite popular among Boston pizza enthusiasts. It is so well-loved that people rave about it while in line to order their pies. But we put it to the test, and we weren't completely impressed.
If first impressions counted for everything in the omnibus of American pizzerias, then Giannoni's would barely register as a footnote. Crammed between a Sally Beauty Supply and a Taco Del Mar in the Westwood Village Shopping Center, with a full battalion of soccer mom minivans and SUVs parked out front, you would not be faulted for mistaking Giannoni's for a knockoff of some national chain like Round Table or Papa John's. The modest interior is minimally decorated with a definite slant toward the utilitarian, save for some stylish graffiti on one wall and two ancient arcade cabinets. But once a piping hot pie hits your table and you dig in, any aesthetic crime committed by the prosaic architecture is forgiven.
Home to loaded 5,969-calorie pizzas and thinner crusted "Blue Collar" pies, Joe Peep's slices (which include up to 2 regular toppings) are both cheap and filling at $2.25. I usually order a plain cheese slice, but if you do order toppings, they pile them on.
Or, 'Mr. Calzone Goes to Washington' Big Mario's from Falco Productions on Vimeo. Big Mario's New York Style Pizza 1009 East Pike Street, Seattle WA 98122 (10th/11th avenues; map) 206-922-3875; bigmariosnewyorkpizza.com...
In researching pizza in Denver, I have yet to come across anyone who claims it's a great pizza city. Equally clear is that the past few years have seen a radical improvement in the local pizza scene, and Virgilio's certainly deserves some of the credit for that.
You may know Pizzasnob (aka Tim Kang) from the comments here and a couple of My Pie Mondays he's submitted. Today, he brings word of some great New York–style pizza in San Diego. —The Mgmt. [Photographs: Tim Kang] Who knew that Californians had decent New York–style pizza? I didn't. When our hosts on a recent trip to San Diego raved about this place, my eyebrow must have arched a foot high with skepticism....
There's not a whole lot to say about the actual pizza at Noli's New York Style Pizza. If you're craving that magical orange grease and are on the lookout for a mediocre New York slice, Noli's will fill your need. If you're craving a great example of New York –style pizza, fuhgeddaboudit.
Denver seems to dominate the Centennial State for the best pizza, but great pies can be found all over Colorado. Whether you are looking for vegan pizza, a New York slice or a Colorado mountain pie, you can be sure that there is a spectacular place in the colorful state for you.
There is a restaurant in New York City called Hill Country, which is patterned after the barbecue meat markets that surround Austin, Texas. The barbecue at Hill Country is a pretty close approximation of what you can get in Texas, essentially mimicking the menu at Kreuz Market in Lockhart to the point of importing their sausages. Truth be told, it is not quite in the same league as the barbecue down in the Lone Star State, but for a homesick Texan it will offer a slice of home. Similarly, Home Slice Pizza in Austin will offer a homesick New Yorker a taste of home in the form of pizza.
No artisanal toppings adorned the pie at Bonello's New York Pizza. Nor were Caputo flour or San Marzano tomatoes used. And the sausage, which consisted of somewhat odd pellet-shaped pieces, was neither fennel nor house-made. Yet somehow, the pie came together, clearly illustrating how the whole can be greater than the sum of its parts.
Serious Eats Chicago contributor Daniel Zemans checks in with another piece of intel on the Windy City pizza scene. —The Mgmt. [Photographs: Daniel Zemans] A Mano 2548 N. Clark Street, Chicago IL 60614 (map); 773-404-0200; cafeluigipizza.com Getting There: #22 Clark...