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Nov 7, 2004 01:10 PM

Una Pizza Napoletana - best Marinara Pizza

  • d

Marinara pizza is not that popular in New York (tomato and garlic, NO cheese). The best I ever had was on the Island of Capri in Italy, second best was in Naples at one of the classic pizzerias (da Michele).

The Marinara pizza at Una Pizza Napoletana on East 12th was superb. Everything about it excelled - the dough, the tomatoes, the olive oil and even the sea salt, an ingredient I have not seen before on pizza. This guy has it down!

I thought the buildup to this place was a bit much, but the pizza is excellent (also tried my wife's Margherita pizza which was very good, but I prefer the marinara). $57 with tip for two Pizza and five limonatas isn't cheap, but it was a very good value, and I will return.

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  1. "Five limonatas?" You mean the Italian lemon liqueur?

    4 Replies
    1. re: Bill

      I believe it's just Italian Sprite.

      1. re: Josh

        not really... sprite is nasty syrup based ultra sweet American style citrus soda, while limonata is more in the Orangina realm of soft-drinks, or carbinated juices. It is not overly sweet, has a natural lemon flavour and a nice tartness to it.

        Anyway, tried the Margarita Fri, was delicious though a bit oily for my taste (probably not for others). $17 is a bit much, but worth it once you concider the quality of ingredients going into it.

        Def worth checking out.

        1. re: M

          Are we talking about the Limonata made my Pelligrino? If so, I love that stuff, not too sweet and just perfect. Definitely NOT the same as Sprite.

      2. re: Bill
        David Lerner

        Yes, limonata is lemon soda (but slightly bitter, not nearly as sweet as Sprite). Comes in 6.5 ounce bottles, same as the most common size original Coke bottles of long ago.

        I think the liqueur is called limoncello.

        Una Pizza has no wine or beer license, just soft drinks, but they don't seem to mind if you bring your own - next time I'll bring some red wine.

      3. b
        bob oppedisano

        Totonno has always made an anchovy pie a la marinara (with oregano and garlic), and it's the food of dreams. Pizza Fresca makes a marinara, as do a number of outer borough trattorie/pizzerie, esp. Il Colosseo on 18th and 77th in Bensonhurst.
        But as much I could live on pizza napoletana, it does sting to read about $57--when we spent 3-5 Euros for virtually every great pizza in Naples and surrounding area (not Capri, though), to say nothing of an average 5 euro per bottle of local Beneventano red.
        Ma chi sa...

        1. Una Pizza makes one of the best pies I've yet had.

          I just cannot justify the $25 for a one pie serving that is not even completely filling on a regular basis.

          $20 for a pie and a drink + tax + tip.

          I realize that the best ingredients are used, but I still think the price is excessive. Unless he is using some extremely expensive olive oil, I fail to see the justification. I go to Nick's in Forest Hills, and get a pie with some very good ingredients at $13 for 14" that feeds two. I go to Difaras and get a pie with the best ingredients at like $18 for eight large slices that feed 3-4 people. You could go to Abbondanza's on Bleecker and get a 10" pie made with the freshest ingredients for $7.

          I'm willing to pay extra for quality, but I agree that $50 for two people to eat pizza is too much. At least, a 14" pie for two should be offered.

          6 Replies
          1. re: Josh
            David Lerner

            >I'm willing to pay extra for quality, but I agree that $50 for
            >two people to eat pizza is too much.

            Not sure who you are agreeing with - my wife and I thought our meal at Una Pizza was a good value, and we will return. I admit I am not a bargain hunter, but I am willing to pay for quality, and I don't have to break it down to what the olive oil cost. Maybe I'll only go to Una Pizza once or twice a month, but I'll enjoy it when I do. I actually think that someone who is fanatical about doing it right deserves a decent living from their work, and this guy is putting his heart and soul into it. God bless him if he makes a buck for his effort.

            I think DiFara makes a great pizza too (and totally different, I wouldn't try to compare the two, I love them both), but I wouldn't spend two hours of my life traveling to and from DiFara to save a few bucks...I'd eat at either place when in their neighborhood. Abbondanza is very respectable and a very good value and I go there too, but it's simply not in the same class of scrumptiousness.

            I know some people have theories that Indian food or pizza has to be cheap, but all i can say is that I had a delicious meal and left sated and satiated. Value is definitely in the mind or mouth of the beholder.

            1. re: David Lerner

              You make a good point.

              I'm sure he's not raking the money in either; but, for my food budget, it's not really possible now.

              Still, it is great pizza that everyone should try at least once.

              1. re: David Lerner

                Well first of all comparing DiFara's to Una Pizza Napoletana is not fair-totally different preparation and style. And While I'm willing to pay for quality- 17 bucks for a pizza marinara is highway robbery. Some restaurants actually provide free foccacia bread when you sit down- I mean a marinara pizza even with the best possible ingredients is still costing them around a buck- I'd rather have a whole grilled orata at Lupa with some free foccacia on the side!

                1. re: josh L

                  The thing is the restaurant is very small - only about eight tables. And the turnover isn't quick for a pizza place; and the rent is high; and they're only open four days a week; and they don't do delivery.

                  I can see why they need to charge so much for the pies, but that doesn't make it an extreme amount for what amounts to a personal pizza.

                  1. re: Josh

                    17 dollars for a individual marinara pie is a ridiculous price for bread, sauce and olive oil. Lets say the mark up is fifteen times the cost of making the product. If other restaurants charged this much you'd pay $225 dollars for a steak, $120 for a piece of salmon, and $70 for a large chef salad. A marinara individual pie should at most cost no more than 9 dollars.

                    1. re: josh L

                      I agree. I mistyped. I meant to say that doesn't not make it an extreme amount for a personal pie.

            2. c
              ciao ny (now in LA)

              Nice article in the NYT. Prices really aren't out of line; he's the new kid in town with something special. So what if it's the emperors new clothes; or mutton disguised as lamb. Your enjoying yourself with your new find; that's what counts.
              He'll be gone in 2 years, maybe less, just another punchline. And you'll be back at John's, Nick's, Gremaldi, Arturo, they'll always be there for you.

              2 Replies
              1. re: ciao ny (now in LA)

                Went there over the weekend...the pizza is very good, but for me not an everyday joint...

                1. re: ciao ny (now in LA)

                  "He'll be gone in @ years, maybe less, ..."

                  HA! Anthony's pizza is better than ever, better than the rest, and going absolutely no where.

                2. tell me you didn't spend $20 on 12-inches worth of dough and sauce, please.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: holland_oats

                    perhaps the prices are so high because he was saving up for one of these....

                    ...anyway his pizza's are plenty good, a salad on the menu would be nice so that you don't have to go get a slice afterward to get filled up. The De Michele copy is getting a little old....

                    1. re: Cpalms

                      fyi - a prior thread noted that above the entrance there it says 'enter garbage' in italian... so y'all can feel extra good about giving that guy your money!

                      1. re: holland_oats

                        Seeing as Anthony uses the same entrance maybe it's a joke on himself. Regardless, I the pizzas are good and I think it's funny there are so many detractors and those who predict the imminent demise of the place but it just keeps ticking away.