I was honestly so impressed with this joint, a true New York style mom and pop place. When we first walked in, we were the only ones there – a common theme to this quest apparently. We walked up to the counter to decide on our pizza. There are two options: Sicilian, which is a really thick crust, or Neapolitan, which they call thin crust but which seemed to me more like a pan pizza.
Since I like thick crust so much, we decided on the Sicilian, a true New York Style pizza, with a half-dozen garlic rolls to start. We chose to sit at the “bar,” where we were provided with a place to rest our hanging feet (as a short person, I really appreciated this detail.
Our garlic rolls quickly arrived, and boy, were they delicious! Unlike the “garlic” bread that we’ve had at other places, these rolls actually tasted like garlic! As they should have, since they were covered in garlic and rested in olive oil.
While enjoying our garlic rolls, we sat and watched the chef, a true Italian New Yorker, make our pizza. The Sicilian, we were told, takes 5 hours to make from start to finish. It is obvious that the chef puts a lot of love into these pizzas. He makes the dough and sauce from scratch, the cheese is imported specially but not made from whey (a byproduct of milk), and all the other ingredients have been picked out by the chef himself.
When our pizza finally arrived, I couldn’t wait to dig in. It was thick and delicious. While eating, we were graced with the presence of and stories from the chef himself. He told the story behind the logo of his pizza place. It’s a picture of his mother, her wedding picture actually, who is named Adele. People started calling her Mama Della, thus the name. Mama Della is 86 today and still living in Manhattan.
Chef told us all about life and pizza in New York City, including the fights over the coveted corner piece (Sicilian pizzas are rectangular). Now, onto the pizza itself, since that’s what this quest is really about…
The crust, in my opinion, was perfect – lots of dough! The sauce was good, and the cheese was delicious, creating that coveted stringiness when taking a bite. Roomie gave the pepperonis a 4/5. Overall, we were both very impressed, and the pizza received a combined score of 4.25/5, our highest rated pizza yet.
But to be honest, this quest visit was about more than just the pizza for me. The pizza was delicious – excellent – but it’s the atmosphere and the people that will keep me going back.