What Is "New York Style" Pizza Anyway?
Updated: Jul 11, 2019
"It's all about the crust," some say. For others, "the sauce makes the pizza." And almost every day someone tells us how "you can't have New York pizza without the water." Maybe it's one of those. Maybe it's all of them.
But who really cares?
It just has to be good.
I tend to think our pizza is New York pizza the same way I think I am Italian.
I mean, am I really Italian? 3 out 4 of my grandparents were 100%. Other than being able to pronounce my son Giuseppe's name as if it were a song, I don't speak Italian. I've been around the world but never set foot in Italia. Who knows, if I buy one of those DNA test kits, it's highly likely I'll find out my "Italian" blood was shaken into some odd mutt-mix while it cooked on the Sicilian Isle.
I can cook Italian—that is as Italian as spaghetti and meatballs. I can definitely eat Italian. I can play up all of those Jersey-boy Guido stereotypes that have far less to do with Italians then they do meatball parmigiana sandwiches and Cool Water.
Which brings me back to the pizza. If our pizza is round, thin-crust (except for the awesome Sicilian), baked on a stone, and hand crafted in the traditions of my New York-Italian family, does that make it New York pizza? We use the highest quality ingredients money can buy and commit our product to the standards we were taught by old-school Brooklyn pizza makers. But this isn't New York. It's Kissimmee.
It's not 1967, at my grandfather Vincent's shop where anchovies were a regular topping and pepperoni, sausage, peppers, onions and mushrooms were as far as you could go. He'd laugh at the buffalo chicken or the gluten free crusts or the—gulp—pineapple that clearly isn't this New Yorker's top choice on anything other than a banana split.
Pizza is New York-style pizza not because its exactly the same as you used to find in Bay Ridge or Red Hook or College Point or Harlem. Heck, it's hard to find real classic New York pizza back in New York anymore. I tend to think pizza is New York pizza the same way I am Italian. And in each neighborhood the pie you find is different the same way Italian grandmas and their meatballs are. Whichever one you grew up eating is the best. And whichever slice of The City you remember is the one to which everything else compares.
For us, pizza is home. It takes us back to what we grew up on—to our neighborhoods and the people, sounds, and flavors we remember. We commit our food to the standards we were taught and for many, the end result is reminiscent of something they missed when they left home.
So what is New York Pizza? I don't know. Is our pizza New York pizza? Am I Italian?
We hope our pizza takes you home. We hope it fills your home. We hope that whatever pizza you love, New York or not, it does all the same things for you that sharing a pie did for us growing up in Gotham.
Mostly, we hope it's more than good.
Oh, and, for what it's worth—it's not the water.
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Classic New York-style slices and a freshly poured kombucha.