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Best Neighborhood Pizzeria

  • Lucali

    575 Henry St., Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn; 718-858-4086

    Accidental pizzaiolo Mark Iacono opened Lucali as a labor of love, to save the local candy store of his Carroll Gardens youth from an uncertain, generic fate (i.e., becoming a Subway or Dunkin’ Donuts, no doubt). After devoting himself to the monklike regimen of making old-fashioned thin-crust, brick-oven pizzas, Iacono has created a business that has instantly become woven into the neighborhood fabric, a cozy, softly lit, and effortlessly soulful spot where families commune over the simple pleasures of Iacono’s rough-hewn, satisfying pies, all of them made front and center at a workstation that looks like a stage. Vestiges from the candy store hang on the brick walls, along with a chalkboard menu restricted to pies and calzones. It’s cash-only, BYO, and like Graydon Carter’s Waverly Inn, not really officially open, according to Iacono, but the lack of familiar trappings only adds to its charm.

From the 2007 Best of New York issue of New York Magazine