10 Great Pizza Places in NYC
by Katherine Faw Morris, New York Observer contributor, 01/16/2009
8. Patsy's Pizzeria
2287-91 First Ave. • 212-534-9783
In 1933, Pasquale Lancieri came to an ingenious realization: People will pay for slices. Thus was born Patsy's, a dual sit-down restaurant and takeout counter located in the then-Italian neighborhood of East Harlem. Demographics have changed, but the coal-oven, thin-crust, quilted cheese pies have not. Newfangled toppings like sun-dried tomatoes and Portobello mushrooms are on hand, but at heart this is a pizza joint for the cantankerous. Stick with the classic margherita—tomato sauce, basil and grated mozzarella sagging the middle of a charred, crispy crust. A blazing neon sign illuminates the dining room's handful of tables and stools, beneath framed photographs of today's political bosses both risen (Bloomberg) and fallen (Giuliani, Spitzer). Patsy's most loyal customer towers over all—Ol' Blue Eyes in a cornflower-shaded suit on a large-scale oil painting. Brusque waiters shuffle across the mosaic floors, bearing antipasti like zucchini fritters and baked clams, and pasta al forno dishes of ziti and manicotti for the post-pizza ravenous. Cheaper dates crowd the to-go annex, where slices sell for the decidedly retro price of $1.75.
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