Weekly Pizza Lunch: Vezzo and Tappo

I’m combining two Weekly Pizza Lunch outings into one here. That’s because they’re practically the same place. —The Mgmt.

Vezzo Meatball Classic Pizza
Vezzo’s Meatball Classic pizza: tomato sauce, mozzarella, house-made meatballs, red onion, and basil. Pictured: small, $9.

There’s a pizzeria mini chain in the heart of Manhattan that I think doesn’t get enough attention or praise.* Part of the blame may lie in its unusual naming convention. I mean, did you know that the pizzerias Gruppo, Posto, Spunto, Vezzo, and Tappo are all related and are pretty much the same thing? I know! You’d think they would have settled on one name and stuck with it. (Think of the efficiencies gained by maintaining one single website!)

Then again, avoiding the appearance of a chain has a certain advantage as well.

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Weekly Pizza Lunch: The Calabrese pie at Nicoletta

Like most bar or Midwestern pizzas, this pie is extremely satisfying and wallops you with flavor. The crust is flavorful, though I still think it’s not going to satisfy fans of Neapolitan or New York–style pizza. The crust is almost a vehicle for molten cheese and, in Nicoletta’s case, high-quality toppings. It’s basically Midwestern gut-busting pizza as done by a hot-shit New York City chef (which, by all accounts White, the former Wisconsinite, is).

Weekly Pizza Lunch: Coney Island’s Totonno’s rises from the floodwaters

Totonno's pizza plain pie
Totonno’s serves one of the better coal-oven pizzas in NYC. A plain pizza from just after the joint’s triumphant post-Sandy reopening.

You know, you’re not going to go wrong adding toppings to a Totonno’s pizza, but when the joint is firing on all cylinders, like it was when I visited yesterday, you only need a plain pie for a satisfying meal.

Of course that didn’t stop me and my dining companion from getting another pizza topped with sausage.

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Detroit-style pizza, 75% hydration, all-purpose flour

After my previous attempt at 60% hydration Detroit-style pizza, I did some grousing about the result on Facebook. Dmcavanagh and Norma saw my complaining and gave me some advice. First, that this style really does have to be made at a higher hydration, and, second, that all-purpose flour works best. You want a lower protein count for a softer crust that she says, “almost melts in your mouth.” Anyway, tonight? SUCCESS!

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Detroit-style pizza, 60% hydration

I made this pizza tonight largely as an excuse to keep seasoning my Detroit-style pans. Also, I wanted to try a more faithful rendition of the genre.

This is a 60% hydration dough. The pans’ instructions say to use a relatively dry dough for the first couple of pizzas, as anything above 65% will have a tendency to stick.

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Experimenting with chile-infused honey

I’m trying to perfect my recipe for chile-infused honey before posting it on Slice. Credit where due: It is 100% inspired by Mike’s Hot Honey, which is available online or from the bar at Paulie Gee’s. I’m playing with the spice levels. The honey on its own is pretty damn hot. But on a recent … Read more