A pizza expert shares his favorite NYC slices

Written By kom nampuldu on Sabtu, 07 Maret 2015 | 20.49

Scott ​Wiener knows his pizza. The New Jersey native, who founded Scott's Pizza Tours in 2008, shares his expertise on local pies in the new book "Passion for Pizza" ($29.95, Agate Surrey, out Tuesday).

His love of pies started while he was touring with a rock band called Bikini Car Wash Company in the early aughts.

"We traveled around the country and everybody in every city told us that we had to try the local pizza places," recalls Wiener. "Then I started going out of my way to find cool places and pizza became my thing."

Even the boxes pizza comes in is his thing –— according to Guinness, he has the world's largest collection of them. Here, he shares some of his favorite city slices:​

Adoro Lei, 287 Hudson St.

A "Pietro" Neapolitan Pizza made with marinated cherry tomatoes, basil, pecorino, wild arugula, prosciutto, parmigiano shavings and truffle oil.Photo: Lorenzo Ciniglio

"This place just opened. The main pizza maker here is from Kesté and they had to hunt him down. So, yes, you can get a really good Neapolitan pizza. But the problem is that Neapolitan pizza does not deliver well. It bakes so quickly that it doesn't retain heat … and the whole thing gets swampy very quickly. So they will not deliver a Neapolitan pizza. But they put in a second oven, which is gas burning, and a separate process for making classic New York pizzas for delivery."

Lombardi's, 32 Spring St.

A classic margherita pie at Lombardi's.Photo: Gabi Porter

"They have the largest coal pizza oven in New York City: It's 116 years old and I have been inside that sucker. Every couple of years, they shut down the ovens to do maintenance work. I had arranged for them to let me watch the process and crawled right in…I had a thermometer with me and got a reading of 320-degrees on the brick. So, even cooled off, it's still really hot…One thing I like about Lombardi's is that, even though it's in a touristy neighborhood, it is not a tourist trap. They deliver the goods."

Wheated,​ ​905 Church Ave., Brooklyn

Gravesend Pizza at WheatedPhoto: Zandy Mangold

"Wheated is one of the few pizzerias in the city to make the crust with starter rather than dry yeast. So the crust has its own flavor: deep and complex with a slightly acidic afterthought, like sourdough. The pizzas are all named after Brooklyn neighborhoods. I like the Gravesend, with sweet fennel sausage and oven roasted tomatoes."

Totonno's, ​1524 Neptune Ave., Brooklyn

Neopolitan Pizza at Totonno'sPhoto: Joseph Farrell

"It's still run by the same family that started it in 1924. They use the old coal oven and keep it simple: fresh tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, fresh pecorino and olive oil. I love that they let the pecorino go over the edge of the pizza and run off so that some of it cooks on the crust. Michael, the pizza maker there, never noticed it until I pointed it out to him. I said, 'Dude, that's why the pizza here is so good!'"

Joe's Pizza, 7 Carmine St.

A sausage pie at Joe's Pizza.Photo: Brian Zak

"It's where I first fell in love with New York pizza; I grew up in New Jersey and first checked out Joe's when I came into the city with friends to see bands on the Lower East Side. The sauce-to-cheese ratio is completely perfect, and it has the proper bendability — so that you can eat as you walk. This place embodies the heart and soul of New York."​

Kesté, 271 Bleecker St.

Margarita Pizza at Keste Pizza and VinoPhoto: Christian Johnston

"The first time I had [owner] Roberto Caporuscio's pizza here, I was floored. It is the place for Neapolitan pizza, which is wood-fired, cooked in an oven that goes up to 1,100 degrees. I've timed the pizzas here, and they cook in 60 to 90 seconds. That results in a pie with a soft crust. It's a style of pizza that is unforgiving, and 90-percent reliant on the person making it."


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