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Frank Bruni on the Great Artisanal Pizza Boom

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New York Times restaurant critic Frank Bruni examines the Great Pizza Boom of 2009 in his story "The Cult of Artisanal Pizza." It's a must-read that packs a lot of info. Let's summarize. The Cliffs Notes Version Bruni makes the claim that the artisanal boom started in 2004 with the opening of Franny's and Una Pizza Napoletana within a few months of each other. "Both brought a new kind of cachet (and vanity) to pizza making and pizza eating in this city. Both changed its demographics" He purposely focuses on newer pizzerias, leaving out old favorites "because they’re products... More

'Grub Street' Does Crowd Check on Crop of Recent Pizzeria Newbies

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Grub Street checks in on the recent gaggle of new pizzerias to see which is busiest (and presumably best—or at least most hyped) on a Friday night between 8 and 9 p.m. From least- to most-crowded: Tonda, Veloce, Pizza Mezzaluna, Spunto, Kesté, San Marzano, and Co. Company.... More

Alan Richman on Tonda, Ignazio's, and Emporio

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Hot off his GQ Top 25 Pizza List, Alan Richman (right) takes on a few recently opened NYC pizzerias—Tonda (East Village), Ignazio's (DUMBO), and Emporio (Nolita). Let's take them in order. On Tonda: The toppings here are overly ambitious yet flavorsome, but the crusts are flabby, tasteless, barely charred, and lacking the puffy outside ring that is reminiscent of a true Naples pie. My favorite menu item by far was the arancini, listed under “Neapolitan Street Food” but as far as I know found just about everywhere in Italy. These little rice balls were wonderfully crunchy, the only item we... More

Fightin' Words from Tonda's Bob Giraldi

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In an interview in Blackbook, former director and current restaurateur Bob Giraldi issues a strong statement: In Italy a pizzeria is a casual restaurant where you can have other foods, but they take their pizza very seriously in Italy. We eat a lot of pizza in New York, but it’s made all over by a lot of different people, and it’s not made properly—in my own and in an Italian’s opinion. We brought in a chef from Naples, and his approach is world-class Neapolitan, which is where pizza is generally regarded as the best in the world. We’re going to... More

Leftovers: The Day's Stray Links

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An Artisanal Pizza All-You-Can-Eat: "On Tuesdays at this near–Columbia University canteen, $19.90 nets limitless grilled pizzas, dessert, salad and a frothy Butternuts microbrew. The pies include standouts like broccoli rabe and sweet sausage, forest mushroom and ricotta, and prosciutto paired with provolone." Campo, 2888 Broadway, New York NY 10025 (map) [Metromix New York] Cheap Pizza Near NYU: A roundup of inexpensive pizza options near Washington Square. [Washington Square News] Side by Side: A quick analysis of NYC's soon-to-open Kesté and just-opened Tonda. [Eater] A New Haven Pizza Blog! "The New Haven Pizza Project is a blog run by two... More

Leftovers: The Day's Stray Links

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Pretty Pictures: A slideshow of Tonda. [Grub Street] Which Little Italy Pizza Is the Best? "In Midtown it looks like 'Little Italy Pizza' is becoming the new 'Famous Ray’s.'" [Midtown Lunch] Clam Pie at L'Asso: The Nolita pizzeria, barely a block away from Lombardi's, is gearing up to serve clam pies—a specialty of the city's first pizzeria. [Grub Street] Nice Headline: In reference to the Varasano's Pizzeria opening in Atlanta tonight, the New York Times titles its blog post "The Pizza MacGyver Opens His Own Restaurant." [Diner’s Journal] Speaking of Atlanta: Jimmy Sobeck goes on an 18-pie pizza tour... More

Openings: Tonda

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Photograph courtesy of Tonda Opening tomorrow: Tonda in the space that used to house The E.U. According to the Urban Daddy: The glorious centerpiece of the whole operation is their $30,000 slow-rotating 1,000-degree wood-burning pizza oven, sitting in full view of your table. And naturally, the Naples native (say hi to Michele when you drop by) they shipped in to tame the flames. According to New York magazine: “The pies will only need to rotate once to be perfectly cooked,” says oven builder Nobile Attie, who’s also done work for Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Peasant’s Frank DeCarlo. According to the... More

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