Wednesday, September 30, 2009
From 12PM - 4PM, Sixpoint is hosting a beer and pizza brunch with the fine folks at Co. Five of their beers will be paired with five of Co's sublime pizza pies. Reservations are recommended, but there will be room for walk-up patrons, as well. It is $35.00 per person and that gets you unlimited tastings. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to secure your spot.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
204 Ninth Avenue (22nd/23rd); 831 Seventh Avenue (53rd); 736 Seventh Avenue (49th); 462 Columbus Avenue (82nd); 1710 Broadway (55th); 250 East Houston Street (Avenue A); 195 East Houston Street (Orchard Street); 1530 Old Country Road, Westbury, Long Island.
Monday, September 28, 2009
Friday, September 25, 2009
The label reads: Bistro ALSACE / Thin Crust Tarte Bistro / Absolutely Gourmet Pizza / Vegetarian / Low Sodium Pizza / Restaurant Convenience @ home
Talk about a jam packed label!
Has anyone ever heard of these? Tried them? Has anyone ever seen more expensive frozen pizzas taking into considering the size of these?
One Chowhound post reads:
We love Bistro Alsace. They come nicely vacumned packed in 2's. Take only a few minutes to heat and have a very nice thin crust. Love the cheese and pepporoni. Since we've discovered these, we haven't ordered take out in months. So easy to have nice hot pizza in minutes.
I didn't have access to a kitchen on my trip, nor was I going to spend this much on frozen pizza, but I suppose if I saw these around in NYC, I'd have to give them a try.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Brick Oven Pizza Chef (Williamsburg, Brooklyn) —“Experience Brick Oven Pizza Chef needed immediately. Only experienced need apply.”
Restaurant hiring staff, pizzaman (DUMBO) —“Pizzamaker, art of the pizza — this is your life. Starts at $12–$15 DOE”
Cooks for Small Wine Bar (Red Hook) —“We would love someone with Brunch, and artisanal pizza experience too! see a sample menu at: www.homemadebklyn.com”
******Woodburning Oven Pizza Chef******* (Williamsberg) —“AWARD WINNING WOODBURNING PIZZERIA IS SEEKING PROFESSIONAL PIZZA MAKER. APPLICANT MUST HAVE PRIOR WOODBURNING EXPERIENCE.”
Seeking Experienced Pizza maker/Manager —“Great opportunity for a new location, full-time position avaliable. Prior pizzeria experience is a MUST”
experienced PIZZA MAN (Brooklyn) —“I'm opening new pizzeria in Brooklyn. Need full-time (5–6 days/wk) pizza man.”
TRENDY new restaurant and bar in the Bronx seeking ALL positions (Bronx, NY) —“AVAILABLE POSITIONS: • Pizza Maker, • Sushi Chef …”
baker (TriBeCa) —“baker needed to make specialty pizza. tribeca location.”
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
There's a lot of back and forth on message boards about how all encompassing a tour of 26 places can be (especially below this NY Daily News article). That's a main reason why I've never revealed the Pizza Club ratings that I collect after each place we visit. It's too soon. As a group, we've visited 13 places. That's a nice chunk. But I'm not going to make any blanket statements about the city's best pie (okay, we all know that's Di Fara...).
Which brings up another problem -- there are many of the city's most renowned pizza places that this club never made it to. Among them were Di Fara, Lucali, Lombardi's, Grimaldi's, and Artichoke, just to name a few of my favorites.
There are tons of places they went which are totally off my radar, as well. In fact, I've been to zero of the best pizza places which they went to in each borough.
Orlick's group of self-described pizza fanatics rated the following the best in each borough: John's Pizzeria in Elmhurst, Mario's Restaurant in Belmont, L'asso in lower Manhattan and Luigi's Pizza in Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn.
What does all this mean? I have a lot more pizza places I need to add to my list of places to go!
More detailed info:
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Nomad pizza settles down and finds fan base in Hopewell [NJ.com]
Openings: Nomad Pizza Co., Hopewell, New Jersey [Slice.com]
Another article I came across recently focuses on the best pizza in Hunterdon County, NJ -- also just a short trip from Manhattan.
Jersey gave us The Boss... and it gave us Bon Jovi... and now... maybe some decent pizza?
Monday, September 21, 2009
"I take people into the kitchen and we learn how the pizza's made, how the ovens are different and why the pizza comes out differently." And the selection is more varied than you think. "It's not just 'New York-style,'" Scott says, dismissing the oversimplified Chicago-New York dichotomy. "We have this landscape of all kinds of pizza." He then discusses the differences among coal ovens, wood-burning ovens and gas-fueled deck ovens.
Scott's walking tour is $30 and the bus tour is $55... which appears to be a bit more reasonable than the Brooklyn bus tour which is $75. I guess when you compare the entertainment value to that of a Broadway show or sporting event the price seems to be in the ballpark of what would seem reasonable. It is worth nothing that both of these tours have great reviews which says something for their quality and value.
Want a taste of what you'd be getting? Check out Scott giving a tour to the band Wild Yaks, courtesy of Fader TV.
Friday, September 18, 2009
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
The menu boasted so many intriguing items other than pizza, that we decided to split a pie and some other dishes. We started off with the Funghi Assoluti -- oyster mushrooms tossed with garlic, breadcrumbs and balsamic then baked in the oven and served over baby arugula. Excellent! Usually at a pizza place I stuff myself with pizza, and only pizza, so it was nice to warm up my taste buds with a little appetizer.
You can tell they care about the food here. When we tried to order our pie without the peppers, our waitress told us that they cannot make any modifications whatsoever to any of the dishes. Although leaving off a few peppers didn't seem like a huge favor to ask, such strict rules show that the restaurant and chef have confidence in the way their food comes out and any changes to that could result in a lesser product. I was surprised when our request was shot down, but delighted at how delicious everything was. Any trip to Toronto should include a visit to Terroni's Queen West location.
Monday, September 14, 2009
Our first stop was Libretto and even though I'd been tipped off about the long wait by Yelpers, I figured it couldn't be that bad for a two top, even though it was a Saturday night on a holiday weekend. We arrived around 8:30PM and were told the wait would be about 90 minutes. Although the hostess was taking cell phone numbers, since we were phone-less we were told to come back around 10:00PM. After filling up on beer and fries across the street we were seated at precisely that time.
I'll be frank -- pizza was not the restaurant's strength. There were a lot of nice things about our experience... it's just that food wasn't one of them. So I'll begin with what I liked:
Number 1: Prix Fix. The have a $25 prix fix menu. This is a great value. Because we'd filled up across the street, we weren't hungry enough to take advantage of this deal, but they offer you (a) mixed bruschetta (the chef’s choice of seasonally available ingredients) which looked delicious, (b) a choice of three salads, (c) one of their 12 pizzas, and (d) a dessert. Considering a pizza alone is $10 - $18, it really makes sense to take advantage of this special. In fact, the four courses ordered separately could run you as much as $40. So if you come here, order the prix fix. I'd like to see more pizza places in New York have options like this.
Number 2: Quattro Stagione. Although not explained on the menu, the restaurant serves a pie called Quattro Stagione (as did Terroni) which has a number of toppings: Tomato, Ontario Fiore Di Latte Mozzarella, Bella Olives, Mushroom, and Artichoke. The interesting this about this pie is that each topping is only on a quarter of the pie. This works out well if certain people only like certain toppings. I, for example, don't like olives so my friend Becky was able to take care of that quarter of the pie. In the States, I often find myself ordering pies that are half mushroom and half onion, partially because I don't think restaurants would even make a pie with four different toppings on four quarters, but the Quattro Stagione pie solves that problem. Even so, you can see how uneven the toppings on our pie are in the photo.
Number 3: Decorations. I loved the restaurant's decorations. The place is strategically laid out in a way that made pefect sense. Room for a couple of small parties up front, followed by a bar and some tables, and finally in the back -- a big open space with group seating. The decorations were homey (picture frames, etc) and the lighting was sophisticated.
So now for the pizza. As I mentioned, we order one Quattro Stagione and a Margherita D.O.P pie. Both were average. Definitely not worth the wait. The pies did come out within 5 minutes of ordering them (too soon, maybe?) and they were oddly flimsy, so much so that it was impossible to eat it without a knife and fork. I kept on trying to fold my slice in order to eat it, but it kept falling apart. It would definitely help if the crust was cooked better. I don't like my crust burnt by any means, but a little char would help the pizza stay together. The toppings were pretty bland as well. The sauce and cheese were standard and with an inconsistent base, there's not much to say for the rest of the pie.
I can absolutely see why people wait hours to dine here. It's cheap. It's hip. And it's a fun place to go with a group of friends. But when it comes to the actual pizza, I'd have to give this place a thumbs down.
Find more information of pizza Toronto.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
I'm not so much looking forward to the expansion of new pizza places (i.e. Lucali in Park Slope, Grimaldi's in Manhattan), but I am excited for the crop of new places which are opening. In particular -- Pulino’s Bar and Pizzeria on the corner of Bowery and Houston, adding yet another joint to an area which is already inundated with upscale pizza places. So I say... what's one more?
In the coming months, expect the return of old favorites, the expansion of new ones and an haute entrant from one of the city’s foremost restaurateurs. The latter is from none other than Keith McNally, whose white-hot touch recently gave us the seemingly unstoppable Minetta Tavern. And while McNally has had less success with Italian, he’s bringing in award-winning San Francisco chef Nate Appleman, whose rustic, nose-to-tail style should fit right in with New York foodies.
The result, Pulino’s Bar and Pizzeria, will debut at 282 Bowery by year’s end, forming a gourmet skid-row nexus with fellow trendsetter DBGB Kitchen & Bar.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
So from its first day, the new Motorino will be scrutinized by what Mr. Palombino called “pizza-crazy people who travel with digital cameras.” He has faith in his pizzaioli, who will rotate between restaurants. “Motorino is not meant to be hip because I am not a hip guy,” he said. “This is going to be a very simple experience. I want you to come in, sit down, order a pizza and a beer and enjoy your meal.” [Read More]
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
I often get the Napoletana Mac & Cheese at S'Mac which is quite tasty. Fresh Mozzarella, roasted tomatoes, roasted garlic, and fresh basil. Yum!
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Although I mention Di Fara in write-ups almost every week, I have never written a proper review of the place. There is only so much I can write. In fact, my review should really only be two words: Go there! I talk about pizza with a lot of people. Everyone has their thoughts on where the best New York pizza comes from, but I don't think that anyone who hasn't been to Di Fara should be able to engage in a legitimate discussion about New York City pizza. Sure Grimaldi's is good. And I basically live at Artichoke. But no other New York pizza place comes even close to my experiences at Di Fara.
Dom DeMarco has been running the place for 45 years and over the past decade he has become renowned around the world for the pizzas he makes. A pie will run you about $30, which I honestly consider a bargain given the quality and personal attention that each pie receives. DeMarco rolls the dough for every pizza and puts each ingredient on himself. Every pizza is treated equally. He never rushes and those in line are always surprisingly patient. Don't disturb the artist while he is at work. The place itself is no-frills - a couple of mismatched table and chairs, as well as a few refrigerators with drinks. There is nothing fancy about it. You'd imagine the place looked the same in the 1960s.
This week, I made my 5th trip to Di Fara. Each voyage out there has held a special place in my heart. I went on this particular trip with my friend Charles, who has lived in New York City for 27 years but had never been to Di Fara. We often talk about pizza, but it was time he gave Di Fara a try. We got half a plain pie and half a pie with Porcini mushrooms, peppers, and artichokes. Anyone trying Di Fara for the first time should make sure to try at least one plain slice. Each ingredient truly stands out. But the toppings are incredible as well. Just as fresh and tasty as every other part of the pie and the combination that we came up with hit the spot.
As my friend pointed out, the imperfection of the pizza is what makes it perfect. It's not completely round. Some parts of the crust are slightly more burnt than others. Some bites are saucier, some cheesier. But that's part of the experience. As no further commentary can do Di Fara justice, I will now direct you to the photos and videos below which I hope will inspire you to go there yourself. Right away!
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Last month, I returned to Rehobeth Beach for the first time in more than a decade and Grotto Pizza (along with Thrashers and Kohr Brothers) was on the top of "must-eat" list. In fact, the three places made up my entire "must-eat" list. Emily and I spent out first night dining at the Dogfish Head Brewpub, which didn't exist the last time I was in Rehobeth... nor would I have been able to indulge. The food was awful, but the beer was incredible. So incredible that we returned the next night for pre-dinner drinks. For the first time, I was able to try their 120 Minute IPA (on tap!). It was delicious and with an 18% abv, quite alcoholic too. Afterwords, we made our way over to Grotto Pizza on Rehobeth Ave.
Amazingly, there was no wait at 8:30 PM on a Saturday night in August for a two top. But other than that, everything was exactly as I remember it. We were seated in the back room which could fit about 40 people. The awful red carpet was just as ugly as I recall. Our waitress looked like she'd just graduated... from junior high school. There were little kids in high chairs. Couples on dates. Families of eight. It's the quintessential pizza experience at the quintessential beach restaurant. Our large pie was too big for two people to finish (so thicker, than say, a pie from Grimaldi's). We got half with onions and mushrooms. It tasted just like I remember. It wouldn't make my list of New York's top 20 pizza places, but there was nothing I would have rather been eating at the moment.
Grotto really is an institution. There are now 20 locations, two others which were around the corner from where we were. It was founded in Rehoboth 50 years ago by a 17-year-old and whole pizza sold for $1.60. My memories don't quite date back to the 1960's, but I spent a good deal of the 1990s eating at Grotto. Maybe one day I'll take my own kids there. And I'm sure it'll be just as nostalgic.