Soon, though, the Pizza Renaissance began, and the new wave was really the American realization of the oldest pizza - Neapolitan. Thin, small pies flash-baked at 900 or 1000 degrees, the best "new" American pizzerias offered up these doughy blistered masterpieces, at places like Roberta's, Motorino, and Forcella in New York, Zavino and Capofitto in Philly, and the celebrated Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix.
The Neapolitan rage continues, and it's become the target for new chain pizzerias, churning out a much better product (at places like MOD, Ecco, and ZaZa) than the large traditional chains.
|Counter at Best Pizza|
|Dining area at Best Pizza|
|20" pizza with pepperoni and mushrooms|
While parking nearby was impossible (spent $11 for a garage space), the pizzeria was quiet. We opted for a whole 20" pie for our party of three. When I learned that the sausage is pre-cooked, I opted instead for toppings of pepperoni and mushroom on a traditional red pie (Best Pizza also makes a grandma pie, and sells both styles by the slice).
|Wonderful crust and perfect char|
|Thin crust, crisp yet chewy|
The crust itself was tasty, and it properly represented the wonderful bready aroma we noticed when we first walked in. My remarks on the first bite was that "every pizza tasted like this in the 1960s" before the chains took over and the mom-and-pop places turned to cheaper mass-sourced ingredients.
One big difference from old-school pies was the cheese - this pie sported some bright white fresh mozzarella instead of the traditional dry mozzarella. The sauce was pretty traditional in both appearance and taste, and served as a role player under the cheese and toppings.
I prefer the spicy cup style of narrow and thick pepperoni, but this pie sported large circles of thin pepperoni. It served more as seasoning to the pie than a primary ingredient. The mushrooms added a quiet note of extra umami. Both toppings were fine but not "other-worldly" as one might expect on a pizza with this lofty reputation and in this price range ($23 for the pie, $6.50 for the pepperoni, $4.50 for the mushrooms).
Without question, this was excellent pizza, largely due to the superb flavor and texture of the crust. There is room for improvement; it could be better by solving the limp center issue, giving a boost to the red sauce, and upgrading the quality of the toppings. Still, highly recommended as an awesome pizza in New York with no long lines to endure.