BY HANNAH REIMANN AND CAROLINE BENVENISTE | A Village Sun favorite, Two Boots Pizza (101 Seventh Ave. South and 42 Avenue A) will always be at the top of the list as a great and convenient place to grab a slice, with its unique toppings (Italy and Louisiana!), gluten-free options and plentiful offerings for both vegetarians and carnivores.
Eytan Sugarman’s West Village branch of Made in New York Pizza (561 Hudson St.) is here to stay, with plenty of regulars for lunch and late into the night. Make sure to try the Grandma slice and the often Instagrammed pepperoni (aka ’roni cups).
Founded in 1929 and still world-renowned, John’s of Bleecker Street (278 Bleecker St.), which has been serving pizza in the Village since 1929, remains reliable and tasty. John’s brick oven, which was at the original pizzeria on Sullivan Street and was taken apart and carried to Bleecker Street, is fueled by coal.
New restaurants featuring brick-oven pizza have cropped up recently, so we were tempted to visit a few between November and the end of January. We also returned to a Village mainstay we had not been to in a while.
The Neopolitan L’Antica Pizza Da Michele (2 Bank St.) is chic and elegant, with a long bar, a separate area for oysters and other crudo, a large minimalist dining room near the gas-fired brick oven shipped in from Naples and a club-like basement party room. L’Antica has the makings of a neighborhood and destination gathering place, exceptionally clean and exciting for the eyes and palate. The Fiori de Zucca (zucchini flowers stuffed with ricotta), burrata, roasted tomato and basil oil are scrumptious, delicate and picturesque, while the classic Margherita pizza with imported fior di latte (a cow’s milk cheese made in the style of mozzarella) is chewy, thin and tasty. We also enjoyed the exceptional tiramisu, which is more silky pudding than cake-like, flavored with a very high-quality Marsala wine. Founder and C.E.O. Francesco Zimone painstakingly designed the interior and transformed this corner of Greenwich Avenue at Bank Street into a supremely classy, multifaceted and reasonably priced eatery. There are dozens of delicious dishes, including eight pizzas, five salads, four pastas and various salads, boards and seafood mains. The wine list is exceptional and there’s a decent selection of amari for cocktails and digestifs. Pizzas are large and thin, very shareable and filling.
Newcomers Fonzie’s Pizza pop-up at Jack and Charlie’s No. 118 (118 Greenwich Ave.) and Daddies Pizza (450 Hudson St. at Morton Street), as well as Pizzeteria Brunetti (626 Hudson St. near W. 12th Street) all have wood-fired brick ovens. The wood imparts a unique, flavorful taste to the ingredients and the dough is chewy with good crunch in the crusts. Each place has its own take and style, of course.
Fonzie’s crushed meatball pie (one of the specials) is to die for with a great San Marzano tomato sauce, not too much cheese and pistachio-arugula pesto. The Margherita is always available, also excellent. These are lunchtime pizzas, takeout only on Thursdays from noon to 2 p.m. for now, and well worth the trip. There are weekly specials and the TLC of generations-old family recipes and knowledge of Italian cooking by Chef Ed Cotton. Please read the full review of Fonzie’s Pizza in The Village Sun’s November 2022 issue.
Daddies Pizza has two wood-fired brick ovens, turning out dozens of pizzas every night for in-house customers and for delivery. Owned by the brilliant Frank Prisinzano, the same proprietor who created the fun, superyummy and wildly popular Frank (88 Second Ave. near Fifth Street) and Supper (156 E. Second St.), Daddies has quickly gained both a huge following and local criticism. In fair weather, there is barely any sidewalk space to walk around Daddies due to the long outdoor sheds and busy sidewalk service. However, the sheds are well-heated (even hot, at times) and we suspect that they will be well-used for weekend winter dinners. There are only a few tables inside the actual restaurant and there is an extensive menu typical of the great style and imagination of the owner. The mixed response includes folks who live on Morton Street who are less eager to try the food due to the new crowds in their neighborhood that Daddies has attracted in fair weather and the scores of people coming from near and far via IG posts, word of mouth and Prisinzano’s excellent reputation. The sheds were less than half full for lunch on a cold December day. The 12-inch pies are very good and we thoroughly enjoyed the Foccacino Robiola, a stuffed pie that’s like a sandwich of thin, crunchy pizza dough with a generous filling of robiola cheese and Prosciutto di Parma. The Margherita is equally high quality.
We really appreciated returning to Brunetti and sampling the personal size (12-inch) pizza pies there. The Margherita is totally delicious, thin but not floppy or too wet, with exceptional taste and consistency. We also liked the Quattro Formaggi pie. The small, well-lit room has plenty of windows on the street and is cozy on cold days. There’s a full menu of wine and various appetizers, mains and pizza. The clam pie is extremely popular, although we haven’t tried it yet. We look forward to spending more time at Brunetti as locals on an early weeknight since it looks like this place may be packed every weekend. There are more than 200 5-star reviews since October.
Lastly, we wanted to mention that Moustache (90 Bedford Street, near Grove Street) has a nice selection of its very popular pitza, spelled this way because the homemade dough is the same dough as that of the big, warm, hollow, puffy pita bread served there. The sauce is also homemade, cooked like pasta sauce, and cooled before being spread on the pie, then topped with a rather dry mozzarella, adding to its unique taste. It’s been loved by locals and visitors for more than 32 years. As can be read in this issue’s Comings and Goings, Moustache will move a few blocks away in early spring to 29 Seventh Ave. South.