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Jun 7, 2007 05:57 AM

DiFara's Closed by DOH, where can a pizza-lover go?!

Yes, I heard it this morning on NPR....the DOH has closed DiFara's yet again! So, the question I have is, where now? I have read the reviews on Totonno's, Nick's, Dee's, Una Pizza, etc.... but who puts fresh oregano, basil and ground parmesan on the pizza while it's pippin' hot I ask you?! Actually, can anyone in the area confirm that this bad news is actually true? thanks

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  1. Please see this post -

    And, with respect to our policy on discussing DOH closings -


    3 Replies
    1. Would it have to be in Brooklyn? I'm going to bike into Harlem and try President's. Btw, I'm with you on the jist of the op. So many locks on the boards, so few keys.

      1. re: bigmackdaddy

        On the Where Now question . . .thoughts on Lucali's in Carroll Gardens? I always seem to be there when it's closed...

        1. re: pitu

          I've been to Lucalli's almost every weekend since it opened. That alone should tell you how I feel about it, but I'll elaborate by saying I think this is the next best thing in terms of pizza quality (after DiFara), and the atmosphere is more pleasant. I love the old-timey Italian music and the ambiance, as well as the fact that its BYOB.

          Mark is making a really good pizza. I think he's still experimenting, because the flavor, texture and balance seems to change from week to week. Sometimes it's more chewy, other times more crispy. Sometimes there's more cheese, or a tangier sauce. Whatever the case, it's always good!

          One word or warning: the last couple of times we've been there it's been HOT. No AC and a wood-burning oven is cozy in the winter, but a bit wilting in the summer. I hope they get an AC soon, for their sake as well as their customers'.

    2. Di Fara's had a unique product. In the general area Laura's Kitchen is the closest to Di Fara's. Totonno's is a bit far away. 1235 Prospect Ave.

      They are an upscale Italian restaurant, not a pizza place, they sell personal pies. Close enough to parks to eat take out. Somewhat like a new Haven pie.

      Korner Pizza on Church and E 3 has a decent NY style slice. On CIA and Church is a place that is ok too.

      For stuff further away try searching on Chow Hound.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Geo8rge

        Really? You like the place at CIA and Church (I think it's called Rocky's)? I tried the pizza there and thought it was awful.

        1. re: JackS

          Rocky's is truly awful.
          I tried a couple of slices from Little Tonio's in Kensington. Not sure what street, but you can see it from the Prospect Expressway. They were pretty good, for the neighborhood. One slice was a so-called "grandma" slice (a term that I never heard until about a year ago), and it was nice and fresh tasting but seemed overpriced.

          I have to dissent on Lucali's. I tried it a month or so ago, within a couple of days of having a pie from DiFara's, and it was really one dimensional. It's cute, and certainly a good neighborhood place, butit did not rise above the "some crust, some sauce, some cheese" level that I could see. No comparisonw/Difara. Maybe it was not one of their more stellar nights.

        2. re: Geo8rge

          I've had Laura's regular round Margherita pie and it was like anything you would find in any pizza joint on 7th or fifth ave in the Slope. Uninspired and not worth it at all.

          La Villa has an OK Sicilian pie but it's a bit doughy. Anthony's has a nice round Margherita...good sauce, charred crust, fresh mozarella.

          As for something comparable to Dom's square...I don't think it exists.

          1. re: pastoralia

            I used to go to Difara's pretty regularly and thought the pizza was great, but the wait was not worth it and when I found out that he used meat in the square sauce without letting anyone know, I found that extremely troubling.

            As for pizza on 7th, I beg to differ with pastoralia. I find Pino's pretty good (7th and 3rdish)-- their fresh mozzarella slice and roma (union and 7th), also just fine. Neither are Difara's (who can compete with those ingredients he uses) but to my mind I would rather have Pino's than wait 45 minutes for a slice. And both are better than grimaldi's.

            I went out to Totono's recently and thought it wasn't as good as Pino's.

        3. DiFara's is really sort of a dump. I wouldn't care if it ever opened again. Granted, the pizza is often inspired, but this is NYC. No pizza is worth the hassle that is DiFara's. There is great pizza to be had all over the place. Support your local mom and Pop pizzaria's. If they close, eventually, you'll be forced to deal with one of the chains, and that stuff ain't pizza!

          1 Reply
          1. re: Tay

            DiFara's is/was a Mom & Pop Pizzaria....I remember stopping there for slices, in the '80's, on the way home from school...long before the hipsters & bloggers thought about lining up around the corner......

            I grew up on Korner Pizza (Church Ave. & E.3rd)...even joke that I personally financed Tony's (one of the owners) Corvette in thge Mid-80's....But like the poster said, this is a Mom & Pop place, in the neighborhood over 30 years, they've watched me grow up, and I've watched them grow too... nothing SPECTACULAR (no homegrown basil & oregano carefully placed on each pie, etc....) But Good, Quality, thin Slices & Sicilian's. Sure, Ecuadorians are serving the slices, and they've added Beef Patties to the Menu....but look in the Back, and you still see " Grandma" Stirring the Sauce.

          2. As of 3:30 p.m. on June 15, the windows were still papered over; according to a pizza-box sign dated June 12, DiFara's continues to wait for the DoH to send an inspector. Meanwhile, the "closed" notice, which insists that no one may "mutilate, obstruct, tear down, or remove" it, has instead been heavily annotated.

            1. DiFara's seems to get an awful lot of hype for what might otherwise be an old-time neighborhood Mom & Pop place. I'm Italian-American myself, and spent a good 25 years out of the City, and I can honestly say that the state of most pizzerias in NYC since then has denigrated to atrocious, with non-Italians taking over and ruining (my memories of, at least) "New York" pizza.

              I will have to pay a visit to DiFara's at some point when/if they re-open to judge for myself if the hype is just that, or is very deserved.

              Until then, I have it on good authority from Rome from a member of the most powerful Ruscitti Family of Bensonhurst the following recommendation:

              "...not one for "best ofs" list, but J&V pizza (18th ave, 64th street - its been there I think since '75) makes the best sicilian I've ever tasted."

              1 Reply
              1. re: funkjester

                J&V pizza (18th ave, 64th street

                J&V is one of the best for a standard NY slice, but is not really close to DiFars so it is not a substitute. Di Fara's is not a NY slice.