Tag Archives: pizzaporn

Corner Slice

Corner Slice is Ivan Orkin’s foray into the world of NYC pizza. He made an impact in the world of ramen, and he seems to be on the path of impact in the pizza realm too. I stopped there for a quick (and pricey – $4) slice of soppressata pizza, and was impressed. I had just eaten a bunch of burger type shit at Genuine Roadside, but despite being mostly full, I was able to house this slice of deliciousness. Give is a shot.

Gotham West Market
600 11th Ave
New York, NY 10036


This place slings one of the best traditional pizza pie’s in the world.



The dough and crust bake up to be simultaneously puffy yet thin and crisp, the sauce is slightly sweet but still deeply savory, and the cheese is top quality, perfectly melted and gorgeously bubbled.



Simplicity is the key when you have such high quality ingredients. Sure, you can get other toppings if you want. But don’t fucking bring that bullshit to my table.




I just want the regular shit, completely un-fucked-with, please…





God damn that’s good pizza. It is well worth the trip out to Coney for this. In fact, I recommend eating a pie there and then ordering one to go if you don’t live nearby, because this stuff holds up great as leftovers, even cold from the fridge.


1524 Neptune Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11224

Via Vai

Located right at the end of the N/Q in Astoria is an amazing Italian joint called Via Vai (translation: Coming and Going).



I was invited here for a free press dinner, but I can tell you honestly that this is some of the best Italian food around – especially the pizza. The flavors are not hidden with grated cheese or pepper on top at this place. You’re dealing with naked and natural dishes made from top quality ingredients. Everything comes to the table already nicely seasoned, and with great cooking technique there is no need for extra grated cheese or cracked pepper.

The first thing I noticed was that the staff can all speak Italian. In fact both people we met were from Italy. Valentina was from Genoa, and Manuel was from Rome. The crowd was good too; a full house by 7:30pm. Lots of neighborhood regulars were coming in, and the staff was eager to greet them. They even waved to people walking by on the streets – more neighborhood regulars that they know by name and sight. In fact the people next to us had clearly been there before, based on the conversation I overheard. They also spoke constantly about how great their pasta, shrimp and grilled veggies were. It seems like they had a great meal just like we did.

We started with some drinks: a Picus red wine, which was a nice blend of sangiovese and montepulciano. Very smooth. We also had a Staten Island hefeweizen from Flagship. It was the filtered wheat style: good flavor.


The first thing that our lovely waitress Valentina brought to us was this plate of warm flatbread foccacia, which was like a pizza crust that was ever-so-lightly salted. It was served with olive oil that had a garlic clove and a rosemary sprig in it. Light. Perfect. I could eat this shit all day.



Next up was a pizza, fresh from the brick oven:


While I’m more of a traditional margherita pizza guy, this shit was so fucking good that I could see myself having this shit at least two or three times a week. A light, airy dough is made in house and allowed to rise for 48 hours. It gets crispy, soft, fluffy and absolutely perfect in terms of texture. This particular pie was topped with a fig marmalade, prosciutto, gorgonzola, truffle oil and arugula. This was Valentina’s favorite pizza on the menu, and Manuel told us that this is how he used to eat pizza in Rome.




Next up was polpette (meatballs). The sauce was chunky and fresh, nicely seasoned. The balls were very soft, and made from all beef, which I like. Lots of times the pork, veal and beef mixtures can get too dense. I tend to be a picky meatball guy and I really liked these. I still like my mom’s better because she fries them in a pan first to give them a crispy crust before plopping them in the sauce – so you get crispy outside and soft inside.



Then we got to try this really interesting gnocchi special. The purple color is from the beet and ricotta based pasta dough (all pasta is made fresh in house). The sauces on top were twofold: parmesan fondue porcini mushroom. The dish was then finished with some truffle oil and crushed hazelnuts. This was unique and very different, and stunningly gorgeous to see in person. They were like pasta bubble gum balls. I didn’t really taste any beet, but the flavor was really good.


Last, we had some kickass desserts. The absolute best panna cotta I’ve ever had. It was insane. Realllllly smooth and creamy consistency. The texture was flawless. Not overcooked at all. It was like creme brulee but not as eggy, not too sweet.


Last was tiramisu. This was super light and whipped, with cocoa sprinkled on top. There were thin layers of cake between the ricotta, and there was just a light hint of coffee flavor, which I appreciated (I’m not into heavy coffee flavors in dessert).



Clean bathroom too – that is always important!

UPDATE 4/3/16

My wife and I came back here to try out their brunch/lunch options. They offer a great deal where you get two entrees/items and a dessert for $28. This is probably enough to split between two people, but my wife and I each did our own to maximize the items we wanted to try out.

Our “starters” were a spinach and egg pizza, and a spinach and asparagus crepe. The pizza was great, once again. The egg really brought home the breakfast feel, and Manuel even drizzled some truffle oil over the top to give it an earthy punch.

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The crepe was light and fluffy, and thicker than one might expect when hearing the word “crepe.” It was somewhere between an omelette and a crepe, I would say. It was covered with a light tomato sauce and filled with cheese, spinach and asparagus. Beautiful to look at, and even better to eat. This was a perfect brunch item.


We tried two pasta dishes for the “entrees.” First was this bucatini carbonara. Bucatini, if you don’t know, is a thick spaghetti that has a hole through the center, like a straw. The sauce was nice and creamy without being too heavy. The portion size was great for the price, and the onion, pancetta and seasonings were all top notch.


The other pasta dish was a rigatoni alla grecia, which was similar to the carbonara but without the creaminess. This ate much lighter, but both dishes contained perfectly cooked pasta that was just the right amount of al dente.


By then we were full, so we brought some of the pasta home with us, but we couldn’t pass up on the dessert. We shared the panna cotta, which we knew that we loved from our earlier visit. I had forgotten how smooth and creamy this was. Just perfect. This time the plating was a bit nicer too, with some orange slices and pistachios.


I highly recommend this place, especially for the pizza and pasta.

31-09 23rd Ave.
New York, NY 11105

Kiabacca Bar

This Hell’s Kitchen pot-head pizza bar recently opened on 10th Ave and is owned by the same folks who run Pony Bar.


The beer selection is good, and they have a happy hour deal until 7pm where every draft beer is only $4 per pint.


On Mondays they run a special where all 12″ specialty pizzas are $9. Me and a buddy went in to try everything out. We tried three pizzas, to be exact. The margherita, the clam, and the prosciutto and arugula. The crust on all was good and crisp. It had a little bit of chew to it but was executed perfectly. These guys are using a wood fired oven, so the flavor is perfect.




For $9 a pop on Mondays this is a steal. While some of them might be a bit overpriced on other days, you’re at least getting good quality shit. I will definitely be back on another Monday to try out some more pizzas. Plus the happy hour deal is killer.



639 10th Ave.
New York, NY 10036

Adoro Lei

I was invited here for a press event pizza party by a friend of mine who works in the food business.


I’m always on the hunt for good pizza, so I was psyched to try this place. But this joint is more than just pizza. They have great cocktails, a really nice menu, and a good beer selection as well.



That’s the pizza oven up top, and just underneath, you can see this dude rolling out the pizza dough with a wine bottle. That’s some old school type shit!

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Let me guide you through this awesome meal. First, we had the “Burrata Divine,” which is a nice tasty blob of burrata cheese on top of eggplant with some grape tomatoes and arugula, drizzled with a truffle honey.


This was some good shit. The burrata was soft and flavorful, and the truffle honey was a nice touch of sweet against the peppery arugula.

Next up was “Chianti Kale,” a kale, spinach and shitake mushroom salad with shaved ricotta and fried salsify, tossed in a Chianti-sesame dressing. I’m usually quick to mock kale, but this was actually an awesome salad. It had depth to it from the sesame and Chianti dressing.


We also had the “Sous-Vide Beets.” The beets were warm and plated at the base of the dish, with arugula, frisee, candied walnuts, goat cheese and blackberries on top. This was tossed with a walnut dressing.


This was earthy, sweet, hearty and savory all at once. Now that I know beets are this good when cooked sous vide, I’ll definitely be throwing them in my homemade machine at the old Johnny Prime Food Research Lab.

We snacked on some grilled shishito peppers with shaved almonds while waiting for the next courses to arrive. These were lightly salted. Very nice, with a mild heat to them.



My favorite items of the night were these “Adoro Sliders,” which were essentially braised veal and pork meatballs with a tomato sauce and sheep’s milk ricotta on a slider bun.


The bun was soft and strong, as you would expect from any good burger. The meat was tender and juicy, just like a really good meatball. This was the perfect Italian burger. I loved it. They’re a bit pricey at three for $14, but well worth the money in terms of taste.

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Another star dish was the “Lovers’ Purses.” These were pasta dumplings filled with cheese, and served with pear, brown butter sage sauce, roasted walnuts, arugula and parmesan shavings.


They were dense and cooked al dente, but they weren’t heavy.

The last of the pre-pizza items was the “Espresso Tuna.”

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Cooked to a perfect rare / medium rare, this tuna had an espresso dry rub and was served on top of spinach and fingerling potatoes, and topped with toasted pistachio nuts and roasted red peppers. The pomegranate Thai basil reduction sauce was what really set this dish apart. The acidity was perfectly balanced against the sweet components, and despite the distinctively Asian ingredients, it really tasted like a natural Italian dish. Nicely done.

Okay so here comes the pizza. I will start with the least favorite – which is by no means “not good” – and work my way to the best. This first pie is the traditional tomato sauce and cheese style, called “Casanova” at this joint.





The flavors were good, just not as robust as some of the other items from the night. This pie was a bit limp in the center, where the sauce and cheese were heaviest, so any lack of stiffness in the crust will cause some concern.

Next up was the “Veronica” pizza. This had burrata, kale, grape tomatoes, pecorino and basil.


Not a bad pie, but also just not as memorable as a good traditional or a really unique specialty pie. The crust was nice and crisp, and the toppings weren’t too heavy or overpowering of one another.

The big winner was the “Pietro.” This is essentially an arugula and prosciutto style dry pie, topped with marinated cherry tomatoes, basil, pecorino, shaved parmesan and truffle oil.


The use of truffle oil was delicate and skilled here. It wasn’t overpowering. The cheeses were perfect with the prosciutto, and despite this being bold on flavor, it never overwhelmed my palate. I’d come back for this any day. Look at us going bonkers with the photos and ooey gooey slices!






We also got to try some dessert. First was this nutella pizza, which was sweet dough on top and bottom, sandwiching a nice layer of nutella and topped with powdered sugar.



Be careful not to breathe in when taking a bite. That powdered sugar can be a coughing fit in the making!

There was also a really nice fried dough item called nutella fingers, which consisted of logs of fried dough served with nutella, blackberries and whipped cream. Simple and delicious. This was my favorite of the two desserts. The dough was crisp on the outside but pillow-soft on the inside, and nice and warm the whole way through.


All the while during the meal we were having a beer tasting. We tried six different brews. My favorite ended up being an Ommegang, with the Bluepoint Toasted right behind.


Get down here for some food. You will definitely go home happy!

287 Hudson St.
New York, NY 10013


It’s hard to believe that this place once housed that most amazing night club to ever exist on Earth, Limelight.

grimaldi 2

What was once a nearly broken down magnet for drugs, wild music, and intense partiers is now a fucking high end mall. But there’s a pizza shop on board, and a good one at that.

Grimaldi’s serves up some nice pies. We tried a half-sausage, half-regular pie. The regular side was way better, in my opinion. There’s really no need for toppings.

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The dough is crisp, yet soft. It still folds up for biting and doesn’t sag too much when held in the air. Nice and simple, few ingredients – but QUALITY ingredients. This is how pizza is meant to be. The tomato sauce is fresh and house-made.

The antipasto is pretty nice too. Some slices of fresh mozz, topped with salami and then adorned with roasted red peppers, olives, olive oil and toasted Italian bread slices.

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We devoured the burrata too quickly. I totally forgot to take a photo of it, but it was very nicely prepared. I highly recommend it.

Limelight Shops
656 6th Ave
New York, NY 10010

“Homemade” Pizza

I put the word “homemade” in quotes because, well, nothing about this recipe is really homemade. It’s just a really incredible combination of store-purchased ingredients that comes together as one of the best pizzas you will ever eat in your fucking life.


I will 100% guarantee that this fucking pizza is better than where you get your delivery, and I don’t give a fuck if you regularly order from fucking Di Fara!


What Do You Need?

  • Small can of sauce (8oz)
  • Small package of mozzarella cheese (8oz block/ball is preferred)
  • Parmesan cheese (to taste)
  • Pre-made pizza dough (the fresh kind)
  • Olive oil (just a few ounces)
  • Bread crumbs or cornmeal (2 teaspoons)
  • Various spices (to taste)
  • Perforated metal pizza pan


Pretty simple. Watch the time lapse video below, and if you can’t fucking figure it out from that, you can read on below…

Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees. While waiting, coat your pizza pan with some olive oil. Shake a few teaspoons of bread crumbs or cornmeal across the pan. Stretch your pizza dough across the pan to get full coverage. Pour sauce evenly over the dough and add a few drizzles of olive oil. Add parmesan cheese and spices to taste. Cut up the block of mozzarella cheese and arrange slices evenly across the pizza dough. Bake 20-25mins or until cheese begins to bubble and turn brown. Remove from oven and allow pizza to cool down a bit before slicing.



This shit also comes out really nice with fresh ingredients. I did the same type of thing with sliced tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, herbs and some sliced onion. Check it out:

Before the oven:

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After the oven:

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The tomatoes actually make each vote really juicy, so this was a much better pie than the ones I make with canned sauce.

Once in a while I even add eggs into the mix:









Big Nick’s

As usual, I nailed a sweet Groupon deal for this pizza … and burger … and everything else you can imagine joint… I think $11 got me $20 worth of food.

The menu here is like a diner; TONS of shit, and you wonder how they can sling it all in such a small kitchen.

big nick interior

We started with a pair of regular pizza slices (not the jumbo sized ones that they offer). It was thick with cheese, crispy and tasty. I’ve had better elsewhere, even at dollar joints, but this was satisfying.

big nick pizza

The burger was a standard diner style burger (you order “deluxe” to get lettuce, tomato, pickle and fries) – nothing too fancy. It was juicy and cooked correctly, but a little lacking overall when compared to other burger places that have been popping up and serving some seriously good shit.

big nick burger delux platter

big nick burger

big nick burger cut

Next we tried a cheese dog, which, from the description, we were expecting to be massive. It was a little underwhelming when it came to the table.

big nick dog

It was tasty on it’s own, but we added lettuce and pickle to it, from my burger platter, to jump it up a little.

French fries absolutely need to be hit with a little salt when they come out of the frier, as does any fried item, really. This place must not practice that culinary canon. My fries needed salt badly. At least they were crispy, though. I hate this style of french fry to begin with, so it was a double whammy. But when they are done correctly they can be delicious. Herbs and parmesan cheese would help big time on this kind of steak fry, in my opinion.

big nick fries

On the whole, everything was really just barely average. Maybe if Big Nick decided to focus on one aspect of the menu, instead of being so expansive like a diner, they could excel. Good little neighborhood joint that’s fine as a quick go-to place, but a little overpriced in relation to the quality, especially if you’re not presenting a Groupon.

70 W 71st St
New York, NY 10023

City Slice

This little joint had an Amazon Local deal where we paid something like $10 or $12 for $20 worth of food.


We tried a half margarita and half Italian supreme pie. Here’s what that shit looked like:


The supreme side had peppers, onions, and some thin sliced Italian meats. I wasn’t a fan. I’m generally not a fan of these types of pies in the first place, but my wife tends to like them. I liked the margarita pie better, but I’ve had much better margarita pies at other locations. I also tried a slice of the regular pie, which was honestly no better than any of the dollar slice joints in the area.


754 10th Ave
New York, NY 10019

Ray’s Pizza

Is it just Rays? Original Ray’s? Famous Rays? Or Famous Original Ray’s? You be the judge, because it’s just as confusing now as it was when that episode of Seinfeld aired way back when.

This joint is on 7th Avenue between 53rd and 54th. There are tons of similarly named pizza places around the city, if you’re not aware.


One thing IS for sure though: this place is a total rip off. I paid $8.71 for a plain slice ($3+) and a fresh mozzarella slice ($5).

The regular slice was pretty good – nice sauce, cheese and crust – but was it worth 3X the price of the dollar joint just one block over? No fuckin’ way.


And what about the fresh mozzarella slice? An even bigger rip off. The crust was good enough – crispy and airy, with a good thickness – but the sauce was a bit sweet, and the up charge for this “gourmet slice” was way overboard at $5. Fuck that.


I’m of the opinion that unless you are getting excellent, life-changing pizza, you should never be paying more than $5 or $6 for any two slices on the menu.

831 7th Ave
New York, NY 10019