Wednesday, July 12, 2006

One Nice Slice

NY's Best Pizza Slice Is Giving The Others The Boot!

I love NY pizza.

I love the gourmet stuff, the simple stuff, the cheesy stuff, the greasy stuff… you name it. And believe you me, NYC is not resting on its pizza laurels. Over the past few years, the NYC slice has undergone a transformation, and it’s getting fun watching the creativity spill into the streets of Manhattan.

The first new trend in pizza??... local restaurants are now taking the stuff seriously. It wasn’t long ago when pizza was considered fluff on a menu at a nice Italian restaurant. Today, wood burning ovens are turning out thin, crispy roman style pies topped with everything from pork cheeks to arugula. Thank our friend Mario Batali for this…. some of the best restaurant pies in the city can be found at his hot spot, Otto.

The next trend is that of the regular slice. Sure, you can still find the slice, but next to it you’ll find a pizza topped with chicken and broccoli, eggplant, veal parm… and get this… pasta. Yes, a pizza topped with penne.

Also finding a home across the city is the square, thick and sweet “Mama’s Slice”… a San Marzano style square of pan style pizza, topped with delectable tomatoes and fresh cheese. This is really growing on me.

But through it all, I have found (as of today) what I think is simply the best slice of pizza in New York… and believe it or not, it’s not a traditional slice.

The boys at “Two Boots” Pizza in New York have done the impossible (Two Boots as in Italy and Louisiana being shaped like a boot). They have won the hearts and stomachs of New Yorkers with a special slice of pizza coming from a menu of unique toppings… and a super crunchy corn meal crust. If they only had a store on the Upper West Side.

“Two Boots” has a full menu of named pies, to help you find their best sellers. The Larry Tate (spinach, tomatoes, garlic and ricotta), The Devine (Tasso, Onions and Jalapeños), The Big Maybelle (Chicken, Pepperoni, Garlic on a white pie)… well you get the picture. But for my money, the best pizza in NYC at the moment, is The Newman.

The Newman… sopressata, sweet Italian sausage, ricotta and mozzarella. Killer. The slices are humongous, but the whole pie is the way to go. Simply put, you’ll want more.

What makes the pizza great is the finely ground Italian sausage… and fresh ricotta. When you ground sausage fine, you get to taste the real ingredients… the spices and pork. The crust on these pizzas are so well made and firm, that you can often hold the slice by the crust without it faltering an inch. Love that.

For those who like spicy, there is an interesting Bayou Beast pie that includes shrimp, crawfish and tasso. I love the idea of this, and like this pie… although I have found the shrimp to be less than fresh on occasion. That said, if the ingredients are fresh, this is also a good option (have water nearby).

Alas, you can build your own at “Two Boots”… and get your dream pie. They have killer ingredients, and midtown delivery is prompt.

So there you have it. Sure, I may change my mind (and believe me, I am a Bleeker Street Pizza loyalist)…. But today, my favorite slice is that unconventional “Newman” slice by our friends at Two Boots. Drop by and taste for yourself.

For more, go to and find a store in Manhattan.... and think of me when you crunch on that first bite!