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Expert Testimony: The Pizza Connection

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"I'm not a wiseguy," we can almost hear Paulie Walnuts saying, in his trademark arms-crossed, turtle-faced way, "but I play one on TV." Now that he and the rest of the oddly lovable cast of the HBO series The Sopranos have returned for a second season of exploring family (and Family) dynamics, we thought we'd poll the actors on something their characters would surely be qualified to answer: where to get the best pizza. Not surprisingly, they chose, with a leave-the-gun-take-the-cannoli decisiveness, the old-school brick-oven pies from John's (278 Bleecker Street; 243-1680). "I'm a traditional guy," says Dominic Chianese (whose untraditional proficiency in a certain mob-prohibited sex act as septuagenarian Junior Soprano qualifies him for a crossover cameo on HBO's other scary-funny hit, Sex and the City). "I like fresh mozzarella and tomato on my pizza." Edie Falco (Carmela) and Vincent Pastore (Big Pussy) backed up Chianese's choice for its "charcoal taste, thin crust, and great tomato sauce," whereas Tony Sirico (Walnuts), an admitted "pepperoni freak," went uptown, with John's theater-district outpost (260 West 44th Street; 391-7560). However, as is typical of the modern-day Mafia, there was dissension among the junior ranks: Slice guy Michael Imperioli (Tony Soprano's loose-cannon nephew Chris Moltisanti) said he prefers Joe's (233 Bleecker Street; 366-1182) for its "subtlety." No disrespect intended.


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