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New Haven pizza


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#1 omnivorette

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Posted 31 January 2005 - 12:22 AM

Pepe's
Sally's
Modern
The Spot
Naples
Yorkside
(I've never been to X and O)


http://www.yaleheral...e/p51pizza.html

http://www.nyceats.n...ork_pizza_.html

And I know it's not a pizza joint - but has anybody had a calzone at Tony & Lucille's lately? Or their linguine with mussels?

I grew up at The Spot and Tony & Lucille's...
"It seems a positively Quixotic quest to defend food from being used as any kind of social signifier, as if it could avoid the fate of each other component of our everyday lives." -Wilfrid

#2 omnivorette

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Posted 31 January 2005 - 12:42 AM

The Spot was like being at a carnival when I was a kid. There was a blind cat who lived on top of the ovens. The main pizza baker (oven tender) guy had a club foot. The front room was basically in the kitchen, with only a low counter separating the tables from the area with the ovens, which had a big island in the center.
"It seems a positively Quixotic quest to defend food from being used as any kind of social signifier, as if it could avoid the fate of each other component of our everyday lives." -Wilfrid

#3 Caseophile

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Posted 31 January 2005 - 12:52 AM

I'm no New Havenite, nor even a transient Yalie, but I did undertake a small project comparing New Haven pizzas, on a takeout basis, during multiple road trips between New York and Boston last year.

My favorite: Modern. Excellent sauce, nice crispy crust, very flavorful. I especially like the bacon topping, which I learned to compliment with mushrooms and onions. The clams didn't do much for me. I'm not sure I really see the importance of clams on pizza. Nice atmosphere. Very friendly staff. Parking on site (though I admit the lot is small).

Big thumbs down to Sally's. For one thing, I didn't appreciate having to call three hours in advance and make an appointment to have a takeout pizza available at 6 PM. Nor did I appreciate the fact that it wasn't even ready at its appointed hour, and I had to wait forty-five minutes. Nor did I appreciate having to stand and wait in what I felt to be a really grungy, dismal, and depressing environment. The staff was quite rude, and barely even spoke to me. Finally, I thought the pizzas, while good, weren't up to Modern's level. It broke my heart to see a long line of America's best and brightest standing out in the cold, waiting on line to enter this place.

I've been meaning to try The Spot, but the whole "call three hours in advance, and maybe we'll bother to pick up the phone and speak to you" thing is a significant impediment. Especially when I like Modern so much. My mama taught me that people should be nice.

I also nominate for special mention Roseland, which is in Derby, rather than New Haven. The pizza is good, though not first rate by New Haven standards. But it's just such a great little place, I love going back.

I'm eager to hear the opinions of the real experts on the board.

#4 Nancy S.

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Posted 31 January 2005 - 02:28 AM

I don't claim to be an expert either, but my four years in New Haven as a student and then my somewhat frequent visits to Connecticut have allowed me the great opportunity to eat pizza. For me, Modern is the best, without hesitation. In fact, for now, the promise of Modern for dinner is pretty much the only way that my husband can encourage me to take a trip to visit his family in nearby Meriden. The crust, the sauce, the cheese, the whole vibe at Modern, is supreme. Pepe's used to be a contender, but I have found that over the years the pizza has deteriorated. The crust is still good (if it weren't bathed in so much oil, that is), but the sauce is a bit acidic and one dimensional and the salt content in the cheese is positively lethal. (I have found that there is no amount of water that I can consume post-Pepe's to recover from the saline effect.) I have never really been a Sally's fan -- the garlic salt used there is overwhelming for me. I've only had pasta at Toni & Lucille's. That was ages ago, but it was good and buttery.

#5 omnivorette

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Posted 31 January 2005 - 02:35 AM

I do love Modern. Not only because it's good pizza, but because I can live without the Sally's/Pepe's attitude.
"It seems a positively Quixotic quest to defend food from being used as any kind of social signifier, as if it could avoid the fate of each other component of our everyday lives." -Wilfrid

#6 hungrylawstudent

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Posted 31 January 2005 - 04:21 AM

Out of the usual suspects, Modern is by far the most consistent I'd have to say. While on their best days Pepe's (and, to a lesser degree, Sally's) can deliver what is truly a special pie - hot, thin, charred, fresh ingredients, and far greater than the sum of their parts - they are also all too frerquently coasting on reputation and delivering a subpar product.

Modern, on the other hand, never fails. My favorite is probably the pizza with breaded eggplant, but all in all the pies - as well as the whole experience - are my favorite in town.

I also do love Bar, where (I believe) one of the old Pepe's chefs is. Partly I like it because I live 2 blocks away, partly because while waiting for a table you can actually wait inside and have a home-brewed beer (good but not great, very good stout), but mostly I like it because the white clam pie (among others) combines garlic, clams, thin charred crust, and (once I've applied them) a touch of lemon and red pepper flakes in absolutely perfect combination.

#7 Nancy S.

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Posted 31 January 2005 - 01:56 PM

In my eagerness to share my fondness for Modern, I forgot to discuss two other places on Omnivorette's list -- Naples and Yorkside. For me, Naples was my favorite local, local pizza. I used to love the doughy crust and the gooey cheese. I haven't eaten at Naples in years, but in my day, it was really satisfying pizza, especially around midnight. (As an aside, Naples also had a huge following for their cinnamon toast.) Yorkside, on the other hand, while maybe a block or so more convenient was, for me, a disaster. The crust was thick but not puffy and the cheese never seemed real. With one bite, the whole mass slide off the pizza --not in a good cheesy way. (Does Yorkside still exisit. I have some memory of it closing.)

#8 fantasty

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Posted 31 January 2005 - 05:14 PM

I also nominate for special mention Roseland, which is in Derby, rather than New Haven.  The pizza is good, though not first rate by New Haven standards.  But it's just such a great little place, I love going back.

Agreed.
"My hogs were so lean you had to put lard in the pan just to cook your bacon" - Papa Wilson, 1918 - 2007

#9 omnivorette

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Posted 31 January 2005 - 05:22 PM

Isn't that the one that the scamhi's were outraged by - I mean by the prices?
"It seems a positively Quixotic quest to defend food from being used as any kind of social signifier, as if it could avoid the fate of each other component of our everyday lives." -Wilfrid

#10 Caseophile

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Posted 01 February 2005 - 04:16 PM

Isn't that the one that the scamhi's were outraged by - I mean by the prices?

Roseland? I doubt it. Somehow I can't find the takeout menu that I usually keep in my car, so I can't check the prices. But I seem to remember ordering a medium pizza, which was plenty for two people, along with a pitcher of birch beer, and spending in the low-to-mid teens. Maybe that's too much, but it seemed virtually free to me, in comparison to Manhattan prices.

#11 omnivorette

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Posted 01 February 2005 - 04:46 PM

Okay, clarification from scamhi:

"Roseland Apizza.
we had a medium pie (8 slice) with shrimp (about 20 large butterflied beauties) and prociutto, basil, spinach cheese and garlic was about $36.00. worth it. The large of that version was almost $60.00
BASIC PIE WAS NORMAL PRICE, not so special."
"It seems a positively Quixotic quest to defend food from being used as any kind of social signifier, as if it could avoid the fate of each other component of our everyday lives." -Wilfrid

#12 fantasty

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Posted 21 February 2005 - 08:39 PM

The Modern was closed today. We were hungry, and had just begun to deliberate on where else to eat when we spied Amato Apizza, a few doors down from the Modern at 858 State Street.

We ordered a pepperoni and onion pie, in red (as opposed to white). The sauce was delicious. It tasted like fairly unadulterated, crushed San Marzanos. The crust was thin yet lent proper support to the pie. All in all, well above-average pizza.

The Italian grinder I ordered was just okay. Good bread, but no kick to the contents.

It has been at least three years since I've been to Sally's or Pepe's, which until today was the extent of my New Haven pizza eating. Given a choice among the three, I'd go back to Amato first. There was definitely no attitude there.
"My hogs were so lean you had to put lard in the pan just to cook your bacon" - Papa Wilson, 1918 - 2007

#13 omnivorette

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Posted 21 February 2005 - 10:53 PM

What about The Spot ???
"It seems a positively Quixotic quest to defend food from being used as any kind of social signifier, as if it could avoid the fate of each other component of our everyday lives." -Wilfrid

#14 fantasty

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Posted 21 February 2005 - 11:21 PM

I don't know where that is. I was fixated on going to The Modern and, clearly, didn't have a back-up plan. I hope I haven't commit a New Haven pizza sin. :blush: :blush:
"My hogs were so lean you had to put lard in the pan just to cook your bacon" - Papa Wilson, 1918 - 2007

#15 Caseophile

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Posted 22 February 2005 - 05:26 PM

The Spot is an annex that Pepe's opened up because, no matter how badly they treated their customers, too many of them kept coming back.

Unlike Sally's, The Spot at least has a parking lot. But the attitude seems to be pretty much the same.