10 Great Pizza Places in NYC
by NYC Editor, 01/16/2009
1. Di Fara Pizza
1424 Ave. J • 718-258-1367
Ten hours a day, six days a week, Di Fara's Domenico DeMarco makes to order every single round and square pie at his Avenue J corner shop. It's a ritual of scratch-made dough and hand-grated cheese he's performed since 1964. These days, his daughter Maggie refills canisters with a bottomless supply of olive oil and takes orders and cash from customers crowding the doorway in not so much of a line as a bunch. The small storefront space, painted bottle green, holds only five or six communal tables and not nearly enough chairs. The wait is long (45 minutes is usually optimistic), but offers the chance to watch Dom work. Clad in a floured apron and spectacles, moving slowly, he douses each thinly spread crust with three types of cheese—fresh mozzarella, buffalo mozzarella and grana padana—along with a splash of chunky tomato sauce, herbs from a windowsill planter, and pour after pour of extra-virgin olive oil. After a turn in the triple-decker gas oven, each pizza is finished with hand-snipped Israeli basil, a generous dusting of Parmigiano Reggiano, and another shower of oil. Sliced and served on a platter, drippy and bubbling, this is the city's best pie. And the square version, featuring a heartier sauce slow-cooked in the back room, is even better.
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