Last month, I was able to get to legendary Frank Pepe's (review HERE). That pie met my very high expectations, and I classified it more or less as a Trenton-style pie; it also had a lot in common with the very fine Denino's pizza of Staten Island (review HERE).
|The crowd buzzes outside|
Pizza cognoscenti often cite Frank Pepe, Sally's Apizza, and Modern Apizza as the Big Three pizza purveyors of New Haven (albeit not the only three worthy of a visit). Because I read that you can often get in and out of Modern with more ease than facing big crowds at Sally's or Frank's, we targeted Modern Apizza.
On arrival, we found parking tight on the tidy neighborhood street, but we shoe-horned ourselves into the tiny lot adjacent to the restaurant. We arrived just before 5pm and were dismayed by a crowded waiting lobby and more folks outside. But we put in our names and were delighted to be seated after about a ten minute wait.
|The meatball and onion pie|
|A slice of the meatball pie. Click any pic to enlarge.|
FEEP Jr. likes meatballs, onions, and mushrooms as pie toppings. I lectured about mushrooms being a "wet" topping that can bring unwelcome changes to the texture and moisture content of a pizza, so she ordered her pie with meatballs (Modern makes their own meatballs) and onions once the helpful waiter told us that the onions go on the pie uncooked but are sliced so thinly that they almost melt into the pie. We waited anxiously!
|The sausage pie|
The cornicione was very Trenton-like -- golden yellow with a crunchy snap. But the rest of it was lighter in texture and color, with a hint of Neapolitan puffiness. My best description is that it was a hybrid of a stiff and chewy Trenton crust and a soft, pliant Neapolitan crust. No matter what you call it, it wore a lovely char and tasted fine. At the end of the day, however, it was not quite as good as Frank Pepe's sturdier crust.
|Closeup of the sausage pizza|
|A slice of the sausage pie|
|Feep Jr. says nomnomnom|
I have since had the chance to eat one re-heated at home. It solved the wet-center issue, but the crust lost something; its delicacy was obscured. Still very nice, but it didn't hold up like leftovers from DeLorenzo's (Hudson St. in Trenton, reviewed HERE) or Frank Pepe's.
|Underside of the crust;cool Muppet nail polish|