10 Great Pizza Places in NYC
by Katherine Faw Morris, New York Observer contributor, 01/16/2009
10. Denino's Pizzeria & Tavern
524 Port Richmond Ave. • 718-442-9401
Isolated by geography and stepchild-borough status, Staten Islanders have the tendency to do things their own way. Pizza is no exception. Since 1937, Port Richmond's Denino's has been the embodiment of the subgenre, as summed by the joint's tag line: "In Crust We Trust." Pies are defined by their mid-weight crust, which manages both firmness and crunch. The sauce is slightly sweet and the cheese burning hot, adding up to an easy, addictive pie. The signature "M.O.R." pizza (meatballs, onions, ricotta) is a testament to the brick oven's charms, although the oven itself is atypically hidden behind swinging kitchen doors. The "garbage pie," littered with sausage, meatballs, pepperoni, mushrooms, and onions, is a good bit more life-affirming than Fresh Kills. Despite the dive vibe—neon beer signs, low lighting, raspy lifer waitresses—the place is packed with an exceedingly youthful clientele, downing soda pitchers and wiping greasy fingers on Little League uniforms. To complete the Americana experience, head across the street for ices from Ralph's Famous and then go parking by the Bayonne Bridge, all to a backing track of chirping crickets.
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