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Di Fara [split from Manhattan board]

s
smokedgouda Nov 16, 2007 02:26 PM

I am a pizza-geek and went to Di Fara's for the first time today (I know, I know, it was way overdue). Here's my thoughts:

As far as slices go, there is no better pizza than Di Fara's. Dom is a master and loves his work and it comes through in the pizza. Very simple process, dough, chunky tomato sauce, bufalo mozz, pecorino and olive oil. He bakes it then snips basil on top and a little extra romano. Crust layer (not the entire crust) is a little harder than other NY pizzerias like Lombardi or Grimaldi, not as salty. The cheese combination and oil is what makes this pizza stand above the rest. Just amazing.

  1. NYJewboy Dec 1, 2007 05:12 AM

    Yes, I too only get the square. I think it stands up very well to toppings. My favorite combination is sausage/onion/pepper on the square. However I disagree about the round, it benefits from toppings but does become soggy when let to stand, especially when vegetables that contain a lot of water are used. If you eat it there in less than 5 minutes after it comes from the oven it is perfect. I am going there today!

    9 Replies
    1. re: NYJewboy
      j
      JFores Dec 1, 2007 11:07 AM

      If only an ocean didn't separate me from my love...

      1. re: JFores
        b
        BigV Dec 1, 2007 04:49 PM

        Here's my take:

        1) The round cheese pizza is the best I have ever had. I have been to tons of NY pizza places. Many are excellent, but Di Fara gets the edge as #1.

        2) You must eat it quickly from the moment it no longer burns your mouth because all of the oil will turn the slice soggy eventually. Fortunately it is so good that eating it too slowly is never a problem.

        1. re: BigV
          t
          Tay Dec 1, 2007 04:58 PM

          Pizza should never be that oily...Never

          1. re: Tay
            j
            JFores Dec 1, 2007 11:23 PM

            Why? I think a round pie at Di Fara is one of the greatest meals in human history. It could easily beat out 17 course feasts in the French Court of Louis the Fourteenth or a variety of Chinese Imperial banquets. It's perfect. I just don't like it with topping. The square has its flaws, but it's toppingable. Garlic is the only acceptable topping on the round, IMO.

          2. re: BigV
            j
            JFores Dec 1, 2007 11:24 PM

            Pfft, you have to start when the oil is still burning your mouth! That's the fun! Actually, I never notice it at the time, but I my mouth is always scorched hours after Di Fara when my pizzagasm wears off. I think "Hmmm maybe that was a wee bit hot..."

        2. re: NYJewboy
          Scagnetti Dec 5, 2007 06:16 AM

          The square pie is orgasmic.

          1. re: Scagnetti
            p
            pastoralia Dec 6, 2007 05:13 AM

            The square pie is almost as good as sex with cheerleaders.

            1. re: pastoralia
              NYJewboy Dec 7, 2007 11:26 AM

              If a cheerleader was stuffed with 3 kinds of cheese and veal sauce, and baked within a stiff crust...

              1. re: NYJewboy
                j
                JFores Dec 7, 2007 11:48 AM

                Should this be moved to the Canablism forum? ;)

        3. m
          Mr. Particular Nov 20, 2007 08:05 AM

          Smokey and the board: Who among the Di Fara's-devout has ALSO been to Totonno's in Coney Island? I haven't been to DF yet (planning a pilgrimage soon) but IMO, Totonno's is the best of the rest. (Incidentally, my all-time fave was Pepe's in New Haven, CT. Long wait, though.)

          10 Replies
          1. re: Mr. Particular
            TBird Nov 20, 2007 10:16 AM

            i've been to both and dom's easily tops totonno's. but i'll agree with you on pepe's. or at least i'll agree that difara's and pepe's are my two favorites on the planet. earth, that is. still waiting for others. :-)

            1. re: TBird
              h
              HankyT Nov 21, 2007 10:54 AM

              People aren't saying "they miss Dom" because he died or something, are they? Please tell me it's just because you haven't been in a while, so you "miss Dom" and have a lonesome craving to take a hearty bite out of a slice (or square -- with that excellent, thick-cut, spicy, charred-around-the-edges pepperoni) of his soulful genius.

              1. re: HankyT
                TBird Nov 21, 2007 10:57 AM

                dom is alive and well. :-)

              2. re: TBird
                m
                Mr. Particular Nov 30, 2007 08:28 AM

                Completed my pizza pilgrimage to Di Fara's on Black Friday. What can I say? It was life-altering. We walked there (around 4 miles) and built up a fantastic appetite. Waited 50 minutes for our plain pizza. Everything was in full effect--the whole scene is vividly burned into my memory. If I were to do it over I would not change a thing, but one has to approach it as a pilgrimage. Long live Dom!

                1. re: Mr. Particular
                  TBird Nov 30, 2007 08:57 AM

                  awesome. :-)

                  1. re: Mr. Particular
                    b
                    bhill Nov 30, 2007 10:09 AM

                    I also made the trip recently for the first time. I walked in to a guy from Nashville fawning over Dom "It's such an honor, you can't believe what an honor this is for me!" Dom just stood there and smiled, as he cut basil onto a slice.

                    As for our pie, it was not the transcendent experience I had hoped for. I think if and when I make it back, I've learned a lesson: No pepperoni.

                    With all the oil from the cheese, the meat and the oil Dom puts on, our pie was a soppy bog of a mess. Also the strength of the meat with the generous sprinkling of parm on top really overpowered the delicate flavors underneath. Only occasionally would I get a great pure taste of the mozzarella and delicious sauce.

                    I began to realize this when while I was there as everyone else only got plain slices... except one woman who had one with fennel. So next time I'll know to go only with the plain.

                    1. re: bhill
                      j
                      JFores Nov 30, 2007 11:58 AM

                      Toppings are a big mistake on the rounds.

                      1. re: JFores
                        TBird Nov 30, 2007 12:03 PM

                        i usually get garlic & sausage, but neither are very greasy to begin with...

                        1. re: JFores
                          bobjbkln Nov 30, 2007 07:48 PM

                          I disagree. IMHO, the special toppings are great. Broccoli rabe, baby eggplant, baby artichoke, etc. really add to the experience of the round, although I'm not a fan of the porcini mushrooms.

                  2. re: Mr. Particular
                    p
                    pastoralia Dec 1, 2007 03:47 PM

                    Totonno's is good but Dom's is in an orbit of its own. He is simply a pizza God.

                  3. NatS Nov 20, 2007 06:22 AM

                    I beleive, and I might be wrong, but Dom uses Parmigiano Reggiano or, more regularly, Grana Padano. I haven't seen nor tasted the extreme sharpness of pecorino or romano on his pies (thankfully).

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: NatS
                      s
                      smokedgouda Nov 20, 2007 09:29 AM

                      I assumed it was Romano, but it could be something else. Anyone know what the extra cheese is that Dom grates on his pies?

                      1. re: smokedgouda
                        a_and_w Nov 20, 2007 10:13 AM

                        Usually Grana Padano.

                    2. j
                      JFores Nov 16, 2007 05:20 PM

                      Try the square too. If you want toppings, the only acceptable topping is garlic. God I miss Dom.

                      BTW, please don't mention Grimaldi's in the same paragraph.

                      8 Replies
                      1. re: JFores
                        s
                        smokedgouda Nov 16, 2007 08:56 PM

                        I did not try the square...although I saw him preparing it. It looks like the same toppings, but sicilian style dough. Right?

                        Easy on the "don't mention Grimaldi's" thing. Di Fara is excellent, but Grimaldi's is still up there. Let's not get ridiculous, remember the typical pizza pie in America is the completely average Dominos.

                        1. re: smokedgouda
                          j
                          JFores Nov 17, 2007 03:46 AM

                          The sauce on his square is a completely different recipe.

                          I would buy Dominos before going out of my way for Grimaldi's.

                          1. re: smokedgouda
                            o
                            Olive123 Nov 17, 2007 02:04 PM

                            In case it matters to you, I think the square us made with a meat-based sauced. As a vegetarian, I can't partake.

                            1. re: Olive123
                              f
                              fcara Nov 20, 2007 07:24 AM

                              Is it possible for Dom to make a square pie with the red sauce from the regular pie instead of the meat sauce he uses. Im not a fan of meat sauces in general and I think his round pie marinara is divine. Imagine that on a sqaure, wow. Please tell me this is possible....

                              1. re: fcara
                                j
                                JFores Nov 20, 2007 01:25 PM

                                The meat is really not noticeable... unless you're a vegetarian. It gives it a new flavor. Try running it by one of the sons and then confirm it 2-3 times with him.

                          2. re: JFores
                            a_and_w Nov 18, 2007 08:50 AM

                            I miss Dom too -- nothing like him anywhere else in the US, let alone LA. BTW, I know what you mean about toppings. I once ordered a slice of the round and one of the square, requesting baby artichokes for the square. Dom put them on the round, which initially disappointed me. But when I scraped a few onto the square it just didn't taste right -- too much oil, too awkward to eat, etc .-- much better on the round. The square tastes best as is -- pure oily, crispy, cheesy, meaty goodness...

                            1. re: a_and_w
                              j
                              JFores Nov 18, 2007 11:48 AM

                              Mmm hmm. I really don't like putting toppings on any of Dom's pies. I think it changes the texture and meltiness considerably. I do like a garlic pie from time to time though. Those are really awesome.

                            2. re: JFores
                              jen kalb Nov 18, 2007 12:19 PM

                              disagree, I like all kinds of stuff on the square pie - especially all the sauteed vegetables. It does get a little soggier than is optimum but it tastes magnificent.

                              I think Dom's square is better than the round pie.

                            3. a_and_w Nov 16, 2007 03:24 PM

                              Did you try the square? I love the round but the square is truly transcendent.

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