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New York-style pizza - Cincinnati area?

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Hi, I'm a transplanted New Englander (Connecticut, specifically) and I'm just dying for some pizza that tastes like "home." I absolutely love the New York-style thin crust "folding pizza." Is there anything in the Hamilton/Fairfield/Greater Cincinnati area? Thanks, I love this site!

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    1. There are a few choices in the N. Cincy suburbs: Aponte's (apontes.net) on Reading Rd. in the Mason area, as well as Fratellis (fratellis.com)on Tylersville Rd. just a couple of miles to the west. Both make a decent pizza, though not one that will make you forget your favorite NYC-area pizzeria. Flying Pizza is (was?) also located in the north 'burbs, at the intersection of Montgomery Rd. and Fields-Ertel Rd., but I wasn't impressed w/their pie at all. Happy hunting!

      2 Replies
      1. re: bollocks

        Doh! The Fratellis url is fratellispizzeria.com. Sorry.

        1. re: bollocks

          Agreed on Flying Pie - dough too thick to be called NY Style.

          Fratelli's is thin but poor quality.

          I haven't been to Aponte's

        2. There's a pizzaria in Sharonville--I forget the name, but it's right on the main street through town--that claims to have authentic NY style pizza. I don't know how close it is, although I didn't think it was all that great. In case you give up on finding NY style and just want one of the better non-chain pizzas, NYPD with locations in Northside (on Chase just off Hamilton) and Cheviot (Harrison Avenue)is definitely my favorite.

          1. When I lived in Dayton we used to visit King's Island all the time. There is a pizza place there called LaRosa's. From what I remember it's fantastic! Looks like there are several locations in and around Cincy ...

            http://www.larosas.com/site_content/1...

            3 Replies
            1. re: lvmanager

              I like LaRosa's for what it is, a local chain with relatively low-priced food. But it might be worth noting that all their tomato-based sauces are really really sweet.

              1. re: Emm

                It's known as Ohio-style pizza. There was even a program on food network about it. Sweet sauce, provolone cheese, and large pizzas are often cut into squares. Either you like it or you don't, but the sweetness isn't a draw back, it is how it's supposed to be. Emm, you don't seem to like Cinci food much. LaRosa's pizza isn't New York Pizza, it isn't Chicago Pizza, it is a chain. But it is good pizza, with quality ingredients, made in a local tradition.
                I just started looking around on this board to get some finer-dining local restaurant ideas for when my husband and I visit my family this summer, and I will admit your derogatory comment about the "blue collar" nature of Cincinnati on another discussion got me a little hot under the collar.
                Every comment I've seen from you has been so negative.
                Trust me, blue collar people do know how to eat. They just usually do their good eating at home, where it isn't so expensive. Mmmmm... grandma's potato pancakes, fried goetta, unsweetened applesauce and some sauerkraut. Good eating. By blue collar people. In a quiet environment, off of china with a table cloth and cloth napkins. Blow any of your class assumptions?

                Now, for NYC pizza in Cinci -- try Rocafella's in Sharonville. Not quite as authentic and good as what I had from the corner pizza place in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, but good NYC style pizza.

                11055 Reading Road
                Sharonville, OH 45241
                (513) 769-3128

                1. re: browneyedgirl83

                  Good thing you missed mrnyc.

            2. Try Gondola Pizza, downtown on Seventh between Vine and Walnut. It's not bad. As for LaRosa's, try their Little It'ly pizza; the sauce on that isn't so sweet.

              1 Reply
              1. re: johnbycz

                Gondola is the worst pizza I ever had. It just tasted bad. It had a gummy crust, bland sauce, and strange tasting cheese. It makes Ci-ci's and Totino's from the box taste like gourmet.

              2. I'm a NY ex-pat living in Michigan and I've tried these overnight NY pizza delivery services:
                http://www.flyingpizzas.com/ and
                http://www.iwantnypizza.com/

                You know, it's re-heated pizza, but from NY. It was okay. I've since found credible (and edible) NY-style here in MI so I don't use these delivery services any more. Depending on your level of desperation they might be worth a try.

                1. That person who said they like LaRosa's needs to have their head examined. The pizza from their is abominable.

                  - The place in Sharonville is called Goodfella's. It's good if you need an NYC style fix.
                  - My parents like Flying Pizza, and they are native New Yorkers.
                  - Sbarro also works in a pinch. Try any mall.

                  If you can think outside the New York box Dewey's is pretty good pizza.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: robgioielli

                    Well, I intended my comment about LaRosa's to be a tepid recommendation. Personally I almost never eat their pizza. Ditto for Sbarro. Dewey's is a lot pricier, but it's certainly high-end in terms of quality. It costs too much for my family to eat every time we want pizza. But anybody scoping out pizza places in the Cincinnati area ought to give it at least one try.

                    1. re: robgioielli

                      Rocafella's

                    2. LaRosa's has its place, but New York style it isn't. Lucy Blue is fabulous. There are two locations, one downtown (1128 Walnut St.) and one on Mt. Lookout square (3200 Linwood Ave.). My husband is a native New Yorker and he loves the pizza there.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: cmj

                        I have never tried Lucy Blue? What are the prices like?

                        1. re: cmj

                          Lucy Blue's Mt Lookout location is just a few miles from where I live, and I can attest that the pizza is not good there. Also expensive. They make their money selling slices out the window late night to the dedicated drinkers lurching their way from any of the many nearby taverns.

                          Additionally, the last time I was there (to try it) I picked up a shaker to dust my slice with a little parm, only to find the cheese was spoiled, smelling like soured milk. I checked several other shakers, same problem. I pointed this out to the employees there, and they were unsympatethic, even claiming that parm is supposed to taste like that.

                          That said, I cannot think of any other eatery in Cincinnati selling slices (Goodfellas might be an exception) and I know slices are a big deal in NYC, so perhaps that's part of the charm of the place for him

                        2. Leaving aside whether it resembles New York-style pizza, Dewey's has great pizza. Also, another local chain called Mio's. These are my two favorites when I want really good pizza.

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: xagert

                            Although there are a number of restaurants that share the Mio's name, they're not a conventional chain in that they don't share menu selections or specific styles of preparation. So you may be more impressed by one outlet than another.

                            My husband swears by the deep dish pizza at the Mio's in Western Hills. My aunt was the personal secretary to Ike Sewell, one of the originators of Chicago style pizza. She used to bring us pies from Pizzeria Uno every year at Christmas. Although the current Pizzeria Uno offerings bear very little resemblance to those, the Mio's stuffed pizza is very much like what I remember.

                            1. re: Emm

                              I hadn't had Mio's in a long time, and after seeing the name here, I thought I'd try it. Never again. I ordered a large pepperoni and mushroom, and had to double-check the box to make sure there was actually a pizza in there, it was so light. Didn't taste bad, but didn't taste great, and $15 for a very thin large seemed like a waste of money.

                              My wife brought home some Adriatico's from work on Saturday, and even cold I thought that was better (but it's not New York style; it's pretty thick).

                              1. re: johnbycz

                                Which Mio's did you get it from? Hubby and I also tried the one in Mariemont and weren't particularly impressed. Very different from Western Hills.

                                1. re: Emm

                                  Mount Washington. Best pizza in that area is Jean Paul's Paradiso on Clough Pike. It's not cheap but it's very good. I've also had Pizzaville in Mount Washington, and that's not bad.

                                2. re: johnbycz

                                  My in-laws live near the Mio's Mt. Washington and get carryout frequently; they have reported two bad experiences recently.

                            2. Have you tried Richard's? At least it's all homemade (I think), and I love it because I can get pizza for the kids, a steak sandwich for my husband, and spaghetti casserole for myself. We're transplanted Southerners, and I don't like the sweet sauce and bland pizza, either, and haven't had a whole lot of luck. Richard's is locally owned, which I like, and the kids can watch them, at least at the one in Hamilton. I miss our local pizzeria in Baton Rouge, DeAngelo's. GREAT pizza, great pasta, great desserts-- I can't wait to go home for a visit. Oh, yeah, the DeAngelos? They're from New York!!!

                              1. Adriaticos in Clifton is my favorite - i miss east coast 'folding pizza' also, but im afraid there is just no where to find it here. if you find anything - please let us know!!

                                1. try romundo's in mt. lookout square. if you're facing the UDF, it's just to the left on linwood avenue. the crust is paper-thin and choice for folding.

                                  don't go to romundo's if you're any sort of a pizza gourmand that needs a massive crust to be satisfied. not that a thin crust connoisseur needs such a reminder.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: saranlaihas

                                    Adriatico's in clifton is my favorite. Italianette in silverton is also very good.

                                  2. I'm originally from NY and would have to say that Fratelli's has the closest thing you can get. Flying pizza is a good 2nd choice and that's all that I've found. You can get slices at Flying Pizza and Fratelli's is only open for dinner but it's worth getting a whole pie and freezing the rest. Goodfella's, NYPD and Dewey's and especially LaRosa's - not good. Dewey's is great for salad's. I did try Goodfella's when it first opened so maybe it's worth another try.

                                    1. get ready to get used to dayton style pizza. just north of you they have their own style - thin salty crust round pizzas cut into squares. look for marions and casanos mini-chains and a few others.

                                      you are a long way from ny!!! but otoh, my dayton born spouse longs for dayton style here in ny and of course can't get any - lol!

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: mrnyc

                                        Yes, there used to be a number of Cassano's locations around the Cincinnati area. I really enjoy their unique little round squares of crispy, salty pizza. The few Cassano's locations left around here (one in Fairfield; one in Trenton) seem pretty run-down and short of business-I hope that things are going better for them in Dayton.

                                      2. Couple of other places, in addition to the many solid recommendations here...

                                        The Hyde Park Tavern & Grille on Erie claims to serve Maryland or Jersey-style pizza. I wouldn't call it NY style, but it's decent enough.

                                        Pomodori's Pizza (in Clifton and Montgomery) serves thin crust wood-fired pizzas which are also pretty good.

                                        1. The best NY-style pizza in Cincinnati, hands down, is Noce's Pizzeria in Cheviot. Owned by 3 guys from NY, they have the recipe right - from the dough to the cheese and sauce. Fresh and fabulous! Even their toppings are fabulous, esp the sausage - very flavorful. The only genuinely awesome NY style pizza I've found yet in Cincinnati, and I really have no reason to search for any others b/c they couldn't top Noce's, and Noce's is close to where I live too! Check out their website - www.NocesPizzeria.com

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: FWM

                                            Thanks for the tip, I am familiar with the area and I will give them a try. By the way, I finally tried Fratelli's in West Chester, and it was excellent. It's comforting to know I can get my "fix" when I need it.

                                            1. re: FWM

                                              Noce's just opened a store in Montgomery (about 8 minutes from my house). Tried it tonight and thought it very good. The white garlic sauce was perfect. I did think that it was very similar to Dewey's.

                                            2. we are on a pizza quest since it seems that La Rosas (not great pizza) gets the most attention aroun here. For NY Style pizza, out of the few we've tried, I second the Ramundo's suggestion. It even feels like a hole in the wall, pizza joint in nyc because of the small space.

                                              here's the link to the blog post I wrote. http://liberalfoodie.blogspot.com/200...

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: LiberalFoodie

                                                Fratelli's crust was the right thinness without being too thin, and very foldable. I read your blog, and I would be really bummed if my crust broke. It also has a hole in the wall feel, no decor to speak of. Give them a try - I'm looking forward to going back.

                                                1. re: LiberalFoodie

                                                  I read your Cincy Pizza quest entry and saw you only gave Adriatico's a 3. Did you get the thick Sicilian style? It's much better than the thin crust (which I don't think I've had from them since the first time I ordered it in about 1982). I place Adriatico's as the best pizza I've ever had mostly thanks to a tasty thick crust and a good garlicky sauce, but if you're not into thick crust it may not be your cup o' tea (or slice o' pizza).

                                                  I see that you're thinking of trying Pomodori's. It can be good, but they are maddingly inconsistent on their product.

                                                2. Hi Jacquelyn,

                                                  I am a transplanted Connecticut person myself. I am hoping I can find some New Haven style pizza, never mind New York style! :-) We'll see!

                                                  I tried Noce's Pizza last weekend, and it wasn't bad. The crust was slightly too thick, and the sauce wasn't quite right, but it was still a good pizza, I would definitely say in the New York style.

                                                  The guys behind the counter were also very eager to please! They added olive oil to the top of my pizza and cooked it extra long, but I think their ovens aren't hot enough to get the 'blistered' effect I was looking for. On my second pizza (I said they weren't bad didn't I?) they also used more sauce and less cheese, but I'm not sure that helped.

                                                  Next I am going to try Fratelli's, and I will report in!

                                                  - Thomas

                                                  3 Replies
                                                  1. re: Cincinnati_Diner

                                                    you poor thing. you do realize thats like looking for a better catholic church than the vatican dont you? heh.

                                                    new haven is america's mecca for pizza.

                                                    i could compare new haven to other religions too if you like.

                                                    oh, i could go on and on and on about the wonderfulness that is new haven pizza....!

                                                    1. re: mrnyc

                                                      It is sad, isn't it. ^L^

                                                      I visited family in Connect-the dots last Xmas, and stopped at Modern Apizza for the first time!

                                                      Sucked down an entire large "mutz" in 15 minutes or so. ºLº

                                                      Went back the next night (my last night there) and did the same thing! ^L^

                                                      It's my favorite food - NaHaven Abeetz!

                                                      - Thomas

                                                      1. re: Cincinnati_Diner

                                                        Yeah, New Haven pizza is the bomb, never could get down there as often as I wanted to, I'm from West Hartford originally, although we had Harry's pizza, and the story goes that he used to work at Pepe's. Whatever he did, I sure enjoyed his pies, sigh :-(

                                                  2. Okay, I went to Fratelli's Saturday night, and it was good! ^L^

                                                    It's not Sally's or Modern, but the crust was much thinner and 'lighter' than the crust was at Noce's, but quite foldable, and it really brought the pie closer to what I like!

                                                    The guy making the pies was also very eager to please, adding extra sauce and putting some olive oil on top of the cheese for me, which also helped! I put a lot of their powered parmigiana on top, let it cool a bit, and dug in! YUM!

                                                    On my second pizza, I convinced him to add even more sauce and more olive oil, and go light on the cheese. When the pizza arrived I noticed one side has less cheese than the other! I added a lot of the parm, and some salt this time, and this pizza was *really* good! ^L^ I mean like, "I am glad they are not close to where I live", kind of good!

                                                    I also noticed the side with less cheese tasted better, to me, so as I gave the cook a big tip for being so amendable, I suggested they make a 'standard' out of it: double extra sauce, very light on the cheese, lots of olive oil on top - and call it the NaHaven! ^L^

                                                    So, much better than Noce's, for me at least. As far as I am concerned, from my small sampling, Fratelli's makes the best pizza in Cincinnati! Of course, I only eat 'plain' pizzas, with sauce and mozzarella cheese, so I can’t comment on the quality of their other ingredients.

                                                    Just reporting in! ^L^

                                                    - Thomas

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: Cincinnati_Diner

                                                      I'm so glad you liked it! Now I'll confess that the one time I ate there, I just had a slice, and it was really good. So I figured if a reheated slice can be that good, a fresh pie would be excellent. I don't live real close to them either, which is a good thing, otherwise I'd be eating there constantly!

                                                      1. re: jacquelyncoffey

                                                        Polly Campbell, the Enquirer food writer, has the following on her blog today:

                                                        "There's a new pizza place in Hebron --no, I take that back. It's been open for a couple of years, has had new owners since October. It's just a place I wasn't aware of myself until recently.

                                                        "Stone Oven Pizza was bought by Cindy Jasman and Dave Vargo back in October. They make pizza in brick ovens, and bake thin-crusted pizzas hearth-style. They also bought a space next door, where they're going to make and serve beer. They haven't gotten the beer making going yet --they expect to get the necessary equipment within a few weeks. meanwhile, they're serving a good collection of 10 beers on tap, lots of unusual beers by the bottle."

                                                        They have a menu online at http://www.mystoneovenpizza.com/

                                                    2. Fellow Connecticut transplant here, from Fairfield County to Clifton Heights...oh what a change. Really good pizza, Jamaican and a bbq place with good mac and cheese are what I miss most (Montgomery Inn is cool, but I miss Jeffs Cuisine in SoNo :( )

                                                      Anywho, as for pizza here is my take on whats available.

                                                      The Good

                                                      Ramundo's in Mt Lookout, probably the best I've found so far.
                                                      Pomodori's in Clifton Heights (stick with their thin crusts, avoid their Chicago style)
                                                      Adriatico's in Clifton, get the thick crust. Sure its not NY style, but for the area its good pizza. Also, try their lasagne with meat sauce dinner sometimes.
                                                      Mio's, their white pizza is really good.

                                                      The bad. (Not bad necessarily, but not really good either)

                                                      LaRosa's
                                                      Donato's

                                                      The Ugly

                                                      Dewey's. I can't for the life of me figure out why people rave about this place. I've been there twice, once at the Newport one and once at the Clifton location. First time I got the "Bronx Bomber", the ingredients where far from fresh and the quality of the meat left much to be desired. Same thing at Newport when I ordered the southwest bbq pizza. Aside from tasting like sysco ingredients, it seemed like the toppings where added at the last minute as they where room temperature while the pizza itself was hot. Don't get me wrong, the pizza wasn't horrible, but it just felt like I was getting Papa John quality at Modern or Pepe prices.

                                                      Papa Dino's, Clifton Heights. Only stays in business since they deliver to drunk/stoned college students till 3:30 in the morning. You can find better food in your Kroger frozen food isle.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: Lefthandpath54

                                                        I've never has Pomodori's Chicago-style, but their Sicilian style is one of the most magnificent pizzas I've ever had. I dare you to try it with pepperoni, black and/or green olives, and extra garlic, and tell me otherwise. Their wood-fired pizzas are also quite good, and very reminiscent of true Neapolitan-style.

                                                        Adriatico's Sicilian-style is also excellent.

                                                        Dewey's is decent, but pales in comparison to Pomodori's.

                                                      2. I've never found a NY-style pizza in Hamilton/Fairfield, but the best pizza there by far is Chester's, on Dixie Hwy., in Hamilton, just north of Fairfield.

                                                        1. Noce's just opened in NKY off Turkeyfoot a week ago and I just ordered a pie for lunch. It was really amazing by Cincinnati standards! Chewy and crispy... nice drippy cheese, long slices of sweet or hot sausage.... Truly tasty.

                                                          I have had all the great ones in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, New Haven & across the country... This compared very favorably to really good basic New York pizza. No it isn't Pepe's, Di Fara's, Lombardi's or John's, but it doesn't aim to be either. Hands down the best pie that I have had in Cincitucky!

                                                          Thanks to FWM for suggesting it and including the link... Again, the NKY one JUST opened. I have had every other pizza in town, except Ramundo's, I will definitely check that one out.

                                                          If you want to skip "Uncle Luigi's" lecture to closed minded New Yorkers or New Havenites do not read the following:
                                                          I get that New Yorkers love New York-Style Pizza (ditto New Haveners) and you want a taste of home, I get it. But you really need to understand that pizza is not strictly defined by the way you do it in New York. I'm sure purists from Naples come to New York and wonder what the fuss is about. Enjoy life and enjoy types of pizza that don't look like "big foldable slices." And yes look for the best NY-Style pizza you can find!

                                                          Enjoy life and expand or alter your definition of pizza.
                                                          Shalom,
                                                          Uncle Luigi

                                                          1. Ok, this is actually a Dayton suburb, so it's a stretch - don't shoot me. :)

                                                            I just discovered the pizza from Dorothy Lane Markets' deli in Springboro. It is absolutely fantastic. I believe that it qualifies as a legitimate NY style pizza. Also, CHEAP. $12 for an 18" with no coupons. The crust has a great chew and is black/brown on the bottom with a nice char, and a big handle around the crust. I wind up eating the crust and my wife's discarded crust. :) It is foldable.

                                                            The ingredients are excellent, if you like toppings. Bacon, for example, is large pieces of thickly sliced bacon, not crumbles. If you don't do toppings, the base pizza is great, too.

                                                            2 Replies
                                                            1. re: donw9876

                                                              Is it fresh to order? I work just down the street from that DLM, and am always looking for new lunch options.

                                                              1. re: Fibber McGee

                                                                Yes. They don't do slices, only whole pies. So far I have ordered them twice and the pies have been quite consistent.

                                                                If you try it, please post back here. I want to read someone else's opinion.

                                                            2. I'm glad this thread got revived, because I just had a pretty good East-Coast style pizza at Aponte's. See http://apontespizza.com/ although you shouldn't expect the place itself to be as stylish as the web site: it's pretty basic, although clean.

                                                              1. Noce's has great New York style pizza. Also, here is a good list of the 20 best pizzas in Cincy: http://cincinnatimalavita.blogspot.co...

                                                                1. Dewey's. Best pizza in the midwest.

                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                  1. re: Boston_Otter

                                                                    Dewey's is undercooked and overrated. Great salads, though. I'll take Pomodori's over Dewey's any day.

                                                                    1. re: johnbycz

                                                                      God help us if Dewey's is the best pizza in the Midwest. Waaaay undercooked for my taste. Nocce's is much better. I grew up on Larosa's and Pomodori's, so I prefer those on a pure comfort food level.

                                                                      1. re: ChiefHDB

                                                                        I understand the Dewey's complaint, but it I've found their pizzas to be undercooked only a couple of times (we've ordered hundreds). Nocce's is good, but I like Dewey's toppings better. LaRosa's has crappy sugary sauce and totally greasy pizzas, and they we're my fave when I went to UC in the 80's, Pomodori's (at least in Montgomery) would be great if they could manage to get the order straight greater than 50% of the time.

                                                                    2. re: Boston_Otter

                                                                      Deweys is not a problem if you order "well done." I've never had them mess that up (or anything else) a single time. Love Kalamata Olives and fresh basil, so I do love Dewey's, great music, great beer, amazing service!

                                                                      Still not my favorite, but damn good!

                                                                    3. I'm from Cheshire, CT (15 minutes from New Haven) and stuck in Cincinnati for school. Nothing in this region that I've found will give you that wood fired lightly charred crust of Sallys or Pepes, but Ramundos is absolutely hands down the best that I've tried. At lunchtime they serve massive NY Style slices and they are heaven when you're used to Deweys (should be called Doughy's) and LaRosas, which I don't really consider pizza.

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: computerpro3

                                                                        I totally agree with computerpro3. I tried Dewey's, as everyone told me it was what I was looking for. It was not very good at all. Also from CT--I missed Bar and Modern Apizza. Sounds like we need to get a group of CT "expats" together in Cincinnati.