By Jerry Del Priore
I love Pizza. It’s the food of the Gods, bar none. Coming from New York City, its pizza, in my humble opinion, is arguably the best the country has to offer
To that end, I’ve put together a list of some of my favorite spots in Brooklyn, Staten Island and Queens, in no particular order, to enjoy a lip-smacking slice or square, or even the brick oven variety, for a change of pace.
Here are just a few of the establishments that have helped shaped my NYC pizza palate throughout the years.
There are many more that I have yet to experience but I will make my way to them soon enough. So, please, don’t get bent out of shape if your favorite pizzeria is not on this list.
However, feel free to voice your own personal pizza passions!!
Da Vinci Pizzeria – 6514 18th Avenue, Bensonhurst
I’ve been going to Da Vinci since my childhood days, and it’s still one of my most beloved pizza destinations to this day, especially for a Brooklyn Neapolitan (slice).
It must be the way the sauce and mozzarella (Mootz) – please pronounce it properly, or else – ceremoniously come together, creating a symphony of greatness.
Established in 1966, Da Vinci is owned and operated by brothers Angelo and Antonio Gnerre, who’ve been producing great pies founded on the recipes of their father, Fedele, a self-taught pizza chef who hailed from Avellino, Italy, the same town from which my parents originated.
Lenny’s Pizza – 1969 86 Street, Bensonhurst
The reasons Lenny’s made my list are twofold: First, if you grew up in the seventies, especially in Brooklyn, then how can you forget the beginning of Saturday Night Fever, when the lead, Tony Manero, played by John Travolta, orders two slices from Lenny’s?
Manero proceeds to pile up the two slices on top of each other, paint can in tow, while strutting up 86th Street in Bensonhurst back to his hardware store job.
Yes, I am sure you attempted this maneuver, just like I did.
Secondly, to this day, I often visit Lenny’s to munch on one tasty slice at a time. The crispy, delicious crust, the mouthwatering savory sauce, and the unquestionably delectable mozzarella brings me back to my childhood, sans my white disco suit.
Pizzeria Giove — 278 New Dorp Lane, New Dorp
If you’re serious about pizza (and who isn’t?), then this New Dorp gem will thrill
you. Giorgio Giove, one of four brothers who own the wood-fired, brick oven restaurant establishment, has impressive credentials. He learned his trade from his father, Pietro, who has a black belt in pizza making.
Over time, Giorgio began to put his own stamp on the art of pizza crafting. In fact, he got
so good at it that he beat celebrity chef Bobby Flay on the Food Network’s Throwdown
show in 2006.
The secret to Pizzeria Giove’s success? It’s simple: the mozzarella is made fresh daily on the premises, and the flour and extra-virgin olive oil are imported straight from the old country.
Yeah, that’s what I’m taking about!
Denino’s Pizzeria & Tavern – 524 Port Richmond Avenue, Port Richmond
Denino’s Pizza & Tavern is one the Island’s top pizza joints, and for good reason. The perfect blend of fresh ingredients makes for a magnificent thin-crusted pie, given Denino’s notoriety by many Pizza enthusiasts as one of NYC’s best pizza places.
Pizza slices are not served at Denino’s, but it doesn’t seem to matter. People have been flocking to the Port Richmond establishment since 1951, with no end in sight. And it’s so good, its owner had a street named after him!
My favorite pizza offering is Denino’s M.O.R. Pie — Meatball, Fresh Onions and Ricotta.
New Park Pizza – 156-71 Crossbay Blvd., Howard Beach
I can’t say enough good things about New Park. To me, it serves one of the best slices in the city, if not the best.
The ever so crunchy crust – slightly charred – the fresh, delectable mozzarella, and sweet, savory sauce (not gravy) are perfecto!
Located in Howard Beach, a mainly Italian-American neighborhood just a stone’s throw away from JFK Airport and the Rockaways, New Park has been serving extraordinary pizza to the borough for over 60 years.
It’s so darn spectacular, that a small group of friends of mine, venture from Brooklyn and Staten Island just to devour a few slices while shopping in the area.
Yes, it’s worth it. Trust me.