New York pizza isn’t what it used to be. It’s better. Better than in its slice-joint heyday in the fifties. Better than anything Gennaro Lombardi pulled out of his coal oven at the turn of the last century. Better, we’d venture to say, than it ever was. A combination of factors—heightened food fetishism, the quest for authenticity, the economy—have conspired to give birth to a new pizza age, one that has a distinctive Neapolitan bent (and various stylistic subcategories). The idea of the smaller, softer, puffier pies of pizza’s birthplace, artfully blistered and minimally topped, displacing our big, crisp and extra-cheesed hometown jobs might be hard for slice-joint habitués to swallow. But the movement’s been gathering steam since the nineties and has exploded over the past five years, with serious practitioners like Una Pizza Napoletana and Franny’s raising the stakes. This year, though, has been the zenith: New-wave pizzerias have sprung up from the West Village to Bed-Stuy, powered by glitzy wood-burning ovens or grandfathered coal-powered ones, all trumpeting the pedigree of their ingredients, the authenticity of their methods, and the ancestry of their pizzaioli (pizza chefs, to the uninitiated). Which isn’t to say that you can’t still find a good old-fashioned slice in this town—gas oven, domestic mozzarella, and all. Only now, the new breed of pizza purists has brought one of New York’s most iconic fast foods into the ingredient-obsessed, artisanally crafted future.
Chairman Anthony A day at the office with the supreme obsessive. 104 Years of Pizza in New York From Lombardi’s in 1905 to Kesté in 2009. Pizzanomics Costs for a new-school pizzeria versus a slice joint. Comrades in Arms A who’s who of pizzaioli. The 100 Pizza-Eaters Poll Where’s the best slice in the city? And Finally May we recommend a nice Gragnano? The Vanguard The city’s top twenty pies of the moment. A Folding Manifesto The one true way to eat the new pizza. Great Leaps Forward The evolution of New York pizza styles. DIY Pie Jim Lahey’s no-knead Pizza Margherita recipe. Know Your Ovens A taxonomy. My Favorite Pizza Where famous New Yorkers go for a slice.