Chef Concierge Anthony Bosco's Favorite Pizza Slices
New York is full of great pizza slices, but for my money, I want mouthwateringly delicious and over-the-top options. My top five pizza slices balance outrageous toppings: buffalo chicken, fried eggplant and penne alla vodka with classic, tried-and-true New York spots.
Prince Street specializes in the “grandma’s slice” named after — what else — Italian grandmothers making pizza pies at home. The dough is a little thicker, the pie is served in a square dish and the toppings are reversed: The cheese goes down on the dough, red sauce on top. If you’ve never had a grandma’s slice, it might seem odd. One bite of the fluffy, oversized square with its crispy edges, melty cheese and sweet, tangy tomato sauce and you’ll be sold for life. After all, grandma always did have the best cooking. Prince’s slice is extra-perfect with its iconic pepperoni rounds. After cooking, the rounds twist up into perfect little cups that hold just the right amount of spicy chili oil.
This familia joint might have its origins in Salerno, Italy, but the nontraditional buffalo chicken slice is where it’s at. A spicy, tangy and all-around devourable Buffalo sauce coats moist chunks of chicken. Right as the heat from the sauce hits you, the creamy, blue-cheese-style sauce kicks in to cool everything back down before you start on the next slice — and trust me, there will be another slice.
We all would eat more veggies if they came deep-fried and atop pizza. Copious amounts of crispy-on-the-outside, creamy-on-the-inside fried eggplant top this slice. The eggplant could be a meal in itself, but what sets the slice off is the slightly sweet red sauce with the needed acid to cut all that rich eggplant goodness. This veggie-packed party comes in small batches and they generally run out — so make sure to get there early.
I literally just had the most delicious pizza goodness I have ever tasted — and it was at Mani in Pasta. This slice of perfection is called the Montanarine. Have you ever had the fried dough at a carnival or street fair? It’s basically a fried, puffy dough with mozzarella and tomato sauce, it’s less than $4 and it’s the most sinful, mouthwatering piece of heaven I’ve ever had.
When people say, “New York-style pizza,” they are talking about Joe’s. No gimmicks here — just good, old-fashioned pizza with thin-ish crust, fresh tomato sauce and just enough cheese to balance it all out. Served piping hot out of a brick oven, this is the perfect spot to work on your New York fold. Push your pointer finger straight down into the center of the crust and fold up both sides. This allows excess grease to slide off the pizza, makes it easier to eat and keeps you from burning your mouth on molten cheese. Extra “local points” if you eat it off a paper plate standing in the street.
Anthony Bosco, chef concierge at Archer Hotel New York