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Di fara: open today?

anybody know? they're not answering the phone.

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  1. Not answering the phone could mean too many things to assume he's closed. Let it ring 40 times or so and see if anyone picks up. In the past, he only took off Xmas day but maybe he's mellowing.

    1. we passed by the other day and it was a virtual madhouse in there. shoulder to shoulder. we neighborhoodites abandoned it till 2007!

      1. Yes open today. There was a handwritten sign saying open at 12 noon today (instead of 11:30)...

        1. I was there last night, and despite the listed closing time of 10 pm on some website, folks just kept coming and coming, and it seemed that he would never stop. Hopefully the later opening time got Dom and son some much deserved rest!

          Our pie was completely divine. We got a round with artichokes on top. The sauce was amazing--bright, sweet chunks of tomato, generous bits of fresh basil. A generous drenching of fragrant olive oil. Amazingly delicious artichoke with intense garlic flavor, and surprise chunks of soft browned garlic.

          Though the care with which Dom prepares pies has been discussed many, many times here before, it is really incredible to watch. A dusting of flour on the dough and the big wooden paddle. Gently turning and turning and stretching the dough. Sauce. Grating cheese #1, hand tearing cheese #2, (cheese #3 here? or only later?), drizzling olive oil.

          Then, when the tantalizing beauty finally emerges from the oven, and you know it's yours, there's still another olive oil drizzle, grating and covering with cheese #3, and snipping fresh basil to be done...only then can you dig in.

          The pagentry alone is well worth the trip, but the end result is so delicious and so incredible that I am very excited to go back and rejoin the hordes soon. Is there ever a down time there that I can try to hit?

          1 Reply
          1. re: rose water

            when the holidays are over, there are def. times when it is quieter there. i often score a very quiet slice weekdays around 2:30 to 4pm.

          2. has dom ever taken a lunch break or a 15? It was a madhouse in there.

            1. I just got back from my first trip to DiFara's. It was kind of busy, making one guy tell "Dom" that he would see him another time as he had a train to catch. I did have a bit of a wait but I waited patiently, looking forward to the cheesey goodness all of you have told me would come. I also kept myself entertained watching the two young men who were nervously waiting for "Dom" to make their pizza with NO cheese. It appeared to be their first visit also and I couldn't help but think, 'how could someone come to DiFara's and not get cheese on their pizza?' They couldn't figure out what in the world was taking so long as they saw pie after pie go into the oven before theirs. They both started to fidget a little and their inital smiles became more like grimaces. Finally, one of the young men asked if the next pizza to be made would be theirs. "Dom" told him it would just be another minute before theirs would be put in as the peppers for their pizza were still cooking. The look on the young guys face was priceless! He looked bewildered. He turned to his friend and said, "He says the PEPPERS aren't done yet..."I almost burst out laughing. Another guy standing there in linewho was probably a regular simply said, "Hey, you can't rush perfection."

              9 Replies
              1. re: Happygirl

                I feel silly asking this, but chowhound is an anonymous venue after all...

                Are there any "rules" to follow when ordering your pizza at di Faro's (a la the Soup Nazi)?

                1. re: The Engineer

                  no rules, but i've found that in order to get your pizza faster during especially busy times, it helps to stand close to the counter and try to smile and get dom's attention with a little chit-chat or at least eye contact. i've made the mistake of showing up when there's a huge crush of people waiting at the counter, placing my order, and then going outside or sitting down - which means out of sight and out of mind for dom. as much as he tries to make the pies in the correct order, if he doesn't know you're around he might forget you were ever there.

                  so predictably, there were people who clearly came in after me but received their pies beforehand - and i noticed that they made sure dom knew they were there (not being intrusive - you don't want to be a distraction - but just standing there, making an occasional comment, and staying in his line of view).

                  it's annoying, but remember that dom handles all of the pizza making himself from start to finish (the only thing he doesn't do is to prepare the toppings and non-pizza items) and he takes a loooong time for each pie, never rushing no matter how many people are waiting. i mean, he completely immerses himself into each creation, so it's not surprising that he sometimes loses track of who ordered what. his son or daughter are supposed to help with that part, but honestly, they don't always do such a good job of that.

                  1. re: The Engineer

                    Just one point. Dom is not the Soup Nazi or Kenny Shopsin! He makes no rules. You will never feel that he thinks you are not "good enough" to eat his pizza. Some people here have given you tips on how to somewhat cut down your wait time for the pie, but these are certainly not Dom's "rules".

                    1. re: bobjbkln

                      thanks Surly and Bob, I'll put your wisdom into practice soon!

                    2. re: The Engineer

                      No rules, but be prepared to defend your pie and place in line. Unfortunately, Dom has too many things to worry about besides policing cutters. Don't be afraid to assert yourself -- this is New York.

                      1. re: a_and_w

                        yeah, you gotta assert yourself if you want a pie. it's always anarchy in there.

                        One day i was there when it was real chaos and one guy started griping about how people at the outdoor window were cutting in and getting served first. He asked "where's the line?"
                        Dom's response: "There is no line."
                        If you want your pizza and it's busy, make sure you stay within his line of sight and exchange a few words with him every once and a while. If you can swing it, it also pays to pay first, because then he never forgets your pie or slice.

                        1. re: missmasala

                          "One day i was there when it was real chaos and one guy started griping about how people at the outdoor window were cutting in and getting served first. He asked 'where's the line?'
                          Dom's response: 'There is no line.'"

                          LOL! This explains a great deal...Dom is a Zen Master!

                          1. re: a_and_w

                            "Dom is a Zen Master!"

                            To succeed you must BE the pie.

                            1. re: Bob Martinez

                              If we are what we eat, I've been the pie many times. Question is, does that make me a square?

                  2. I went for the first time this afternoon, and all I can say is, never again. I waited for 45 minutes for 1 plain, 1 mushroom, and 2 square slices; the plain pizza that was intended to be cut into slices was instead given to a couple who wanted a whole pie, thus messing up the timing of my squares plus slices. I left with just 2 (very good) square slices. I realize they don't need my business, but my time is worth as much as anyone else's, and there is good pizza to be found closer to my neighborhood (Graziella's, anyone?).

                    1. Just wanted to thank the young gentleman who let us keep our leftover square slices on their table while we tackled the artichoke pie. I offered to let him and his friend have those at the time, but I realize now that had they accepted the offer, I wouldn't have been able to know how wonderfully they reheat afterwards....

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: HLing

                        You make me smile. I had an awesome visit to DiFara's over the weekend, but you're right, the leftovers are surprisingly excellent, and a fantastic chow experience in their own right.

                      2. We went to DaFara's Christmas day after a trip to the aquarium with our toddler. We called the day before and were told they would defintely be open. Got there at 1pm X-Mas day, and a sign on the door said "Out of dough, sorry." So disappointing, especially because we live in the Bronx and rarely make it to Brooklyn.

                        We were starving and our daughter needed to eat, so we ended up at a kosher dairy restaurant down the block, "Garden of Eat-In," which was sort of like rubbing salt in our very sad wound. Flavorless grilled cheese and dull split pea soup :-(

                        7 Replies
                        1. re: JT123

                          What? You mean a 70-80 year-old man closed early on Christmas Day to go home and take a well deserved break from his 12+ hour days of constantly being on his feet? Jeez, you're right, the nerve of some people ...

                          1. re: Beans

                            Not that I have exact information on this, but Dom isnt that old. 65? Look at his picture on the counter -- late-20s in the late '60s?

                            1. re: Steve R

                              You're right. This article from April 2006 says he was 69 then.


                          2. re: JT123

                            sadly, you could have gone to essex on coney, a great glatt kosher deli right on CIA and J. very good pastrami (no grilled cheese for the toddler though, but good pickles and matzo ball soup, which my toddler always liked...). worth another trip to difara though, he is the master!!! best pies in town, no competition. not even close... enjoy fb

                            1. re: frankbooth

                              Christmas Day? An old Italian man running a pizzeria and you expect him to be there? Should have gone down to Kings Highway and paid a visit to Adelman's. Good matzoh ball soup! Or if you were in Coney pay a visit to Totonno's. Although I'm sure they were closed on Christmas too.

                              1. re: frankbooth

                                or try olympic pita on CIA between J and K. great falafal on homemade bread.

                                1. re: redgirl

                                  Olympic / Famous Pita - Guaranteed to be open on Christmas Day and all other national holidays (unless they fall on Shabbat).

                                  You can have your lights and eat too...and don't forget that CIA has other outstanding food spots (Paki, Turkish, Russian, etc.).

                            2. I think you all missed JTE123's point. He didn't say that it was wrong for Dom to take Christmas off. He was annoyed because he had called the day before and was told that they were going to be open on Christmas, but they weren't.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: bobjbkln

                                It seems like it's possible it was open, then closed early.

                                1. re: bobjbkln

                                  Thanks for sticking up for me, Bob. We called the day before and he said he would defintely be open. We were surprised that an Italian guy would open on Christmas day, but excited just the same. We weren't angry--it was Christmas afterall, just disappointed. I'll keep the other recommendations in mind for next year's Christmas Day trip to the aquarium (which was a ghost town, for anyone looking for something to do next year!).

                                2. my boyfriend and i went last night for the 1st time and thought it was a magical experience.