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CT Pizza survey.

  • j
  • Jim Leff Mar 30, 2006 04:10 PM
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I really like this looks of this pizza survey. CT is such a great chow state.....

any comments on any? anyone want to contribute to a project to check up on all of them? I'll try to check the hartford place in next couple days...

Link: http://www.playnewhaven.com/site/news...

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  1. Jim,
    I don't know how they missed Roseland in Derby. That's a must for pizza lovers. It's really a hidden gem. If you look over on roadfood.com you will find a review and directions to the place. Happy eating,Richie

    Link: http://www.roadfood.com/Reviews/Overv...

    4 Replies
    1. re: Richard

      Actually, they didn't miss Roseland. In a sidebar, they included those more frequently mentioned top pizza places (Sally's, Pepe's, Roseland, etc.) and focused the text of the article on lesser known/off the beaten path places that are top notch, as well.

      1. re: Beth

        Olde World Pizza on Whitney Ave. No. Haven/Hamden line is terrific. Basically a takeout only place(only 2 tables), rumor has it cook camed from Modern. Its' on Whitney just south of Skiff Streer

      2. re: Richard

        I don't think they were making even the slightest effort to be complete. Just "some good tips". And I'm a huge fan of "some good tips" (if they're really good!)

        1. re: Richard

          I ate at Roseland once and the pizza was way too salty! The real dishes looked good and I will go back for them and the homey atmopshere. Their bread, home baked I think, was excellent.
          I just discovered AMATO's on State Street in New Haven. It's practically next to Modern, and is a full restaurant, so it took some guts to venture there, with the Modern nearby. Their specialties are more interesting than most places (Modern's are very boring), but I could only try one. The broccoli rabe with sausage white pizza (your choice) was outstanding! Fresh sausage - just fantastic. But, like other joints in New Haven, the crust was burnt. What's with that?

        2. Nice read on CT's many options for pizza(though I have started to wonder about some of the "landmark" spots here). I have read several Chowhound posts regarding the inconsistency at Pepe's(as well as a first-hand account from a relative who quite honestly knows a great pie and who has enjoyed Pepe's in the past). Glad that some of these "sidebar" spots are being recognized. I recently went to one which was literally in my own backyard that I never tried(going so far as even ordering pizza for years at another parlor across the street from my "new" find!).I am excited to now have a "no-brainer" for pizza in an otherwise "culinary wasteland".

          1 Reply
          1. re: Tony

            After decades as a slavish fan of Pepe's, I'm currently down on their stuff. Same for Sally's and Modern, both shadows of their former selves. For brick oven in New Haven, the current smart money is on Brewrm (aka "Bar"), across from Louis Lunch. I'm a fan.

            ciao

          2. t
            TrishUntrapped

            I agree with Letizia's being a top choice. It is technically in Wilton I think just over the Norwalk line on Route 7. If you eat the pizza while it is too hot it can be messy, but the flavor is just right, and it is what pizza should be. The sausage is good stuff. If only the place had some more atmosphere. My office sometimes gets takeout from there when traveling from the Norwalk Courthouse. Even though it is a little hole in the wall, the counterperson is an absolute doll. Worth a trip.

            I think Jerry's is overrated. The first time we stopped there (It is convenient when we are traveling to Rhode Island), I thought the pizza was good. The second time... I watched them make it... and they used crusts that were already partially cooked. As a result, the pies tasted over-yeasted. Yuck. Their specialty is a white anchovy thing that takes hours of advance notice. I assume the crust is fresh for that one, it makes a difference.

            Roseland is funny...sometimes I think the pizza is terrific...other times---eh...and very salty. I think it depends on what you order. Also, I think the pizza is inferior to the special dishes on the special board. In my opinion, that's Roseland's real strength, not the pies.

            I think First & Last Cafe in Danbury and Lauretano's in Bethel should be mentioned. First & Last uses a wood-fired oven, so they can bam a pie with fresh mozz and isn't the least bit soggy or wet. Personally I like this..a lot... It's not perfect...this kind of pie you MUST eat hot.

            Lauretano's is similar to First & Last but more classy and upscale. But also nicely done.

            1 Reply
            1. re: TrishUntrapped

              Agreed about Letizia's. Great pizza, and Danny Letizia is THE MAN! I wish they'd out a light at the intersection, as it is a P.I.T.A. to make a left onto Rte. 7.

              I like their Hot Cherry pepper pie. The only competitor to the Hot Oil Pie at Colony in Fairfield County.

            2. This pizza story first appeared in Connecticut Magazine. Rossini's in Cheshire is right on the money.

              1. Just to throw in a few others that I love in my neck of the woods...Harry's in W. Hartford...great toppings. Their sausage is amazing. Barb's is also very good...just like Harry's but a lesser sausage topping....
                Park Lane Pizza also in W. Hartford. This place makes typical New England (Greek style?) pizza with square crustless pieces in the middle of the big pies. I like pizza a lot but I rarely crave it. I do know that if I ever moved out of the area...Park Lane Pizza would be the first 'houndish place to visit when back in CT. enjoy!

                1 Reply
                1. re: smalley1213

                  Harry's as well as Luna in W. Hartford should be on anyone's list of the better pizza restaurants in CT.

                2. Interesting list. As a New Haven native who worked in Stamford for years, I agree that Colony is a must. It's the only place that even comes close to the thin-crust stuff we know in the Elm City.

                  As for Pepe's and Sally's sliding in quality, I agree, especially in regard to Pepe's. Pepe's is very inconsistent -- I was in there last month and it was a religious experience; a few weeks prior they served me 2 undercooked pies that had all of the topings slide off (that's always a key quality of New Haven pizza and a true way to draw the distinction w/ out-of-towners... pick up a piece by the crust and see if the toppings slide.... they shouldn't!)

                  With Sally's it's not so much a slide in quality - the pizza is still some of the best you'll ever eat. It's simply that eating there is a truly awful experience. Being from New Haven, I don't mind a line and I don't need to be coddled or smiled at by the staff. But Sally's service is SO bad and the folks in there are so nasty that it actually effects the taste of the pie.

                  Ok, maybe not the white pie w/ fresh tomato and hot peppers.....

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: Sieve

                    I don't know what it is about the Colony that attracts outsiders. The place is a neighborhood bar, nothing more, nothing less, that hasn't been cleaned in 60 years or so. This is the joint to go to after a baseball/softball game at Cove Island, Cummings, wherever (Stamford is a serious baseball/softball town). Still, there's something about that goofy, thin crust pizza that calls us all back. Can't figure it out...

                    1. re: steve h.

                      just back from Colony. Two beers at the bar and a hot oil pie with Pepperoni. The place was packed with locals: guy to my right, a 40-something, said his mom took him there before he could walk. Guy to my left was a 50-something talking to his buds about ceramics. I still don't get the attraction of this place.

                      1. re: steve h.

                        Not sure I understand you, Steve H, when you say you don't understand Colony.

                        You just returned from the place and it was packed with locals and you sat between 2 people who have been patronizing the place for a combined 90 years. You had a hot-oil pie which you can't get too many places. Isn't that the type of place we are all looking for here?

                        It's out of the way; it's local, it's un-pretentious in every way. Not sure when the last time you were at Pepe's or Sally's but neither of those spots is spick-and-span. But that's part of the charm. Just barely above code....

                        Is it the greatest pizza in the world? No. And if you don't like traditional napolitan-style thin-crust pies, it's definitely not for you.

                        But put it all together and it's a unique place.

                        Move away from CT and you'll be missing it like crazy!

                        1. re: Sieve

                          Howdy, Sieve
                          That was my point. I guess I didn't do a very good job conveying it.

                          1. re: steve h.

                            It's Fitz and Skeets as much as the pie. Although I live in Pittsburgh now I still dream of Colony pie and it's my first stop when I get back. The MOP (meatball onion pepper) or stingers.

                            Don't break the good china.

                    2. Alfornos, on Boston Post Road in Old Saybrook has pretty good pizza among other taste treats.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: DonShirer

                        Also in the Old Saybrook area... our favorite is Pizza Plus, it's a dinky little take-out place in Old Lyme, but I wait all year for their vegetarian special.
                        (Nothing against Alforno's...)

                        1. re: DonShirer

                          I'll second that.

                        2. Bohemian Pizza on Rt 202 in Litchfield. Finally went there after meaning to go for the longest time and was not disappointed. Awesome thin crust and tasty toppings. I love the atmosphere inside also, I think I'll call it "dumpy-chic", part of the charm of the place.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: MagnumWino

                            Good thought on Bohemian - great pizza and atmosphere is a cross between a dive (pool table - yeh), a diner and a hippy coffee bar. Beware their 2nd location in Torrington - pizza is a plate of grease in a club joint where you don't want to be when the lights are on.

                          2. zuppardi's in west haven. amazing.

                            1. Mystic Pizza in Mystic...Leona makes a special sauce that is out of this world.

                              ;-)

                              1. Two great places in Hartford area: Naples Pizza in farmington near Miss Porter's, most like NY pizza we have had, and Joe Pizza on Route 44 in Canton (and they make the best fresh ground, hand shaped burger I've found nearly anywhere)

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: rachelgarron

                                  Modern in New Haven

                                  Off the beaten path:

                                  Grand Appiza in Clinton does an excellent New Haven style crust. Classic, but simple sauce and toppings perfectly melted into the cheese.

                                  1. re: ElizabethHenton

                                    I was told that Modern in NH and Grand in Clinton share the same owner. True?

                                2. I believe the nuzzo family owns Grand Apizza and they just opened a spot in madison called nuzzos. I'm not sure of Modern in new haven. Pizza is very different, so I can't imagine they are on ein the same

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: ElizabethHenton

                                    I know that Grand in Clinton and Nuzzo in Madison are not related. I happen to love Nuzzo in Madison. It's not Modern, but it's in my 'hood AND they deliver a truly good pie. Also have Foxon Soda-- a NH tradition.

                                    1. re: ElizabethHenton

                                      They are related but Nuzzo's is from the Modern generation.

                                    2. My fav from back in the day is Nauti Dolphin. The owner got sick and closed down the one in b-port, but there's still one right at the ffld train station. The crust is crispy and delicious, and they have creative toppings including a couple of good seafood pies.

                                      1. Wow a lot of great suggestions with one glaring oversite.Carminuccio's in Newtown,CT has some of the best pizza in the state hands down. I've been to a lot of pie places and know a good one when I taste it. I would rate Carminuccio's higher than Letizia's so give it a shot.

                                        1. Dayton Street and Abate (Wooster).

                                          1. Vito's Pizzeria
                                            1621 Meriden Rd
                                            Wolcott, CT

                                            I had the chance to stop by Vito's Pizzeria in Wolcott on Saturday night. Wow, it was great! We ordered the thin crust with sausage and onions. The sauce was good, the cheese was right, and it was crispy.

                                            They give you a choice of thick, regular, and thin. They also serve beer(only $2).

                                            The staff was very friendly; I will be back when I'm in the area.

                                            1. Abate's in New Haven is vastly underrated, and while I agree with the quality sliding on Pepe's/Sallys I have to proclaim my love for the pizza (and beer) at bar- the thin crust eggplant/hot pepper is one of my favorites.

                                              For the New London area- Pizza Cucina in Niantic is a clear favorite. Being from New Haven, I am pretty critical and it is the best pie I have had in this area.

                                              1. Jerry's White Sicilian is a thing of beauty- super snarky, very unique- tons of anchovies, crushed red pepper, nice crust, you must call 2 hours ahead of time. the regular pies at jerry's were kind of meh, but the white sicilian is an amazing, unique pie. not for the faint of heart. letizia's is great, colony grill is great (i can eat a whole pie in just a few bites- such thin crust, great light delicious pies, hot oil is spectacular, and they are open late- till 11 most nights). there is also tulley's in west haven (i think) that is great, with some strange pies (salad pies, bacon and eggs pies). however, i still find that Sally's is the best of the best- not slipping AT ALL in my opinion, still excellent. you just need to take your time- a thing of beauty like sally's can not be rushed- give yourself up to the pace of the place and you will be well rewarded- sally's tuna fish pie is perfection (not well known), the bacon a wonder of pork brilliance, a red pie with onions and garlic no mozz perfection, the hot peppers, wow i want sally's pies now now now- too bad i'm stuck up in maine eating lobsters over this holiday... oh well- enjoy and do check out jerry's white sicilian- it's worth the effort.

                                                p.s. i also very much enjoyed carminuccio's in ct- the crust was one of the most delicious crusts i've ever eaten- like letizia's it's pretty non-descript of a spot, but excellent pies...

                                                1. some very good pizza is from new haven, but it is not out of a shop, it is off a fabulous restored 1940's truck with an italian wood fired brick oven. very good thin crust pizza, fresh toppings. pizzas cook in a oven that is about 800 degrees, so they cook in 3 minutes. you have to hire the truck for a party, it starts at about $950 for parties of 50 people or less, and they have salad, gelato and esspresso drinks and all the paper goods included. it is very fun and really exceptional pizza. IF there is some way to get a whole bunch of people together to do the party, it is worth checking out in a review of new haven/ ct pizzas. www.biggreentruckpizza.com