Monday, February 25, 2013
The Best Pizza in New York
Posted by Jill E. Duffy
When you want to eat pizza, it has to be convenient. When visitors come to town, it's a point of pride to be able to suggest a place for pizza regardless of whether you'll be eating late at night after having drinks in Williamsburg, or if the idea is to grab a slice after shopping on Fifth Avenue.
I prefer Neapolitan pies, which became popular over the last seven or eight years. I prefer to go out for pizza rather than order it in. And when I do go out, I want to splurge a little and get a ridiculously good pie, not some dollar slice. I want fresh fior di latte. I want a crust that's been blasted in an oven so it's crisp with a dusting of char on the outside but pillowy inside. I want thoughtful toppings.
Here are some of my favorite places to get pizza in New York. I'll make a note of what kind of pizza is served (e.g., New York style, Neapolitan, etc.) and what to order at each place.
Roberta's (261 Moore St., Brooklyn)
Neapolitan style. Try the Bee Sting pizza with sopressata, chili, flakes and honey.
Motorino (349 E 12th St., Manhattan)
Neapolitan style. Try the Brussels sprouts pizza with smoked pancetta.
Paulie Gee's (60 Greenpoint Ave., Brooklyn)
Paulie Gee's has experimental pies, so order whatever special tickles your fancy, plus one Hell Boy pizza, which is similar to Roberta's Bee Sting in that it brings heat and honey into a beautiful fusion of flavors.
Michael Angelo's Pizza (29-11 23rd Ave., Manhattan)
A surprising and amazing New York-style pizza can be found at this little-known pizzeria and Italian restaurant in Astoria. Get the Michael Angelo's Special Pie with a regular crust, a sauce-and-cheese pizza which comes with sliced sausage, red onions, and several other classic toppings. With a group who likes garlic, get the Sofia Lorenz pie, too, but done with a thin crust. Also note that the pizza shown on the website is almost definitely not from the restaurant. That is purchased stock art if I ever did see it.
Kesté Pizza &Vino (271 Bleecker St., Manhattan)
Yet another amazing, hand-crafted, Neapolitan pie can be found at Kesté in the West Village. Follow your heart toward pizzas that show off high-end cheeses, shaved truffles when available, and vegetables and fungi.
Co. (230 9th Ave., Manhattan)
Co., pronounced "company," has nightly specials worth hearing and considering, but if you're undecided, steer toward any of the Neapolitan-style pies with meatballs, and you can't go wrong.
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Sullivan Street Bakery (533 West 47th St., Manhattan)
At this simple bakery, take out a slice of room temperature pizza, which here is little more than thin bread with toppings cut into rectangles, or nibble it while sitting at the window bench. Get the one with potatoes.
John's of Bleecker Street (278 Bleecker St., Manhattan)
Straight-up, old-school New York pizza, the kind that's at least 18 inches in diameter, is what you'll find at John's. The decor and quality are nothing to write home about, but when you're craving classic New York-style pizza with the toppings you want, go to John's.
Zero Otto Nove (2357 Arthur Avenue, Bronx; and 15 West 21st St., Manhattan)
I haven't been to the Zero Otto Nove on Bronx's famous Arthur Avenue, but I did try the one on West 21st Street. The pies are solid, if pricey, and come with toppings that ring true to American-Italian sensibilities, regardless of whether you'd find them on a pizza in Napoli: sopressata, mozzarella, porcini, pancetta. Great spot for a lazy lunch.
L'asso (192 Mott St., Manhattan)
Nestled on the border of Little Italy and Soho, and but a stone's throw from the Lower East Side, L'asso is where you go during a happy hour run to drop a few bucks for a pint and a slice of pizza that's really too good to be slapped by your drunk hands. Better than it should be, and also satisfying sloppy.
There are so many other amazing pizzerias in New York including Di Fara (which I sheepishly have had yet), Grimaldi's, and yes, I didn't even touch Staten Island! Feel free to contribute your favorites in the comments.