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The pizza stinks around here!

I moved to fairfield co. and work on occassion in westchester. I was sure I'd find some good pizza joints locally but I'm coming up light. I find myself gravitating to Pepe's mostly in fairfield even though I'm not blow away. Sometimes I get a scorched pizza and i'm not crazy about the random slicing of the pie by the teenagers. But, I keep going back. I guess there is something attractive about being told to stand outside in the rain and wait like a putz.

I tried that racanelli place in rye and it was decent. nice place but the pizza alone isn't the draw.

I'm a huge fan of tarry lodge but it's not your everyday pizza joint. Plus, my wallet twitches when I go there.

I was told to hit Colony in Stamford. Maybe it's because I didn't grow up in stamford, but that made Ellio's frozen pizza look like a champ.

Totonno's in brooklyn is my #1 all-time fav. Haven't been to yonkers yet but based on the posts i read, not sure i want to. their place in the city was a real let down. i was bummed for 2 days.

Johnny's in Mt. Vernon seems to get good reviews. Is it worth the trip? Any other reccos?

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  1. A few other places for you to try....all in Norwalk.

    Fat Cat Pie Co. on Wall St.

    Letizia's Pizza on Rte 7.

    John's Best on New Canaan Ave. (I can not speak for the other locations of Johns Best, just this one

    1 Reply
    1. re: amanda3571

      Thanks for recco. I tried Fat Cat. Although, I wouldn't categorize it as a pizza place. It took a while to figure out it was really a wine place with a unique pizza type menu. Cracker crust. It's good, but I had to reset my expectations. I'll give the other two a shot.

    2. I live up the street from Red Barn Pizza on Central Avenue ( just south of Hartsdale Four Corners), which is a recent addition to the scene -- opened a little over a year a go I think. I count myself lucky to be so close. They make divine pizzas with very, very fresh ingredients -- and can often make a whole wheat pizza that I am crazy about.

      It's take-out now, but they hope to add tables soon. Sometimes DH and I go on a night when we are exhausted, perch on the only two stools in the place, and dive into a pizza and caesar salad right there.

      1. Among the many things you'll need to put behind you in moving to the burbs is the expectation of great pizza. It just doesn't exist in Fairfield County.

        There is some ok pizza. I'd point you to Remo's on Bedford, which aspires to Brooklyn style but misses by a ways. It's much better eating in than taking out.

        Other than that, for a great pie go to Brooklyn or learn to make it yourself (it's a lot easier than it sounds).

        7 Replies
        1. re: cteats

          I guess I traded in great pizza for two kids and the burbs. Wish I knew that going into that deal. :) Just kidding.

          1. re: da4141

            Wait until you find out you can't buy beer on Sunday.

            1. re: cteats

              Hahaha, you can over the border in Westchester county. No worries.

              1. re: momof3

                Wine can be purchased (after 12:00pm), but beer can't? I didn't know that. That makes no sense.

                1. re: dolores

                  Liquor stores are closed in Connecticut on Sundays...you can't buy either!

                  1. re: sibeats

                    I didn't realize, thanks sibeats.

                    1. re: dolores

                      It is sad and archaic, maybe one day it will change!

        2. Johnny's is very controversial, as you will see if you search the boards here. I like it, but others have had negative service/attitude issues, which I've never experienced. It's a very simple pie in the Neapolitan style, which I like, but it doesn't travel. Another controversial pizzeria is Sals on Mamaroneck avenue in Mamaroneck. When I am in the area -- which is not too often -- I really enjoy a slice there. It is what I would term "pizzeria" pizza. My son adores their Sicilian above all others.

          1 Reply
          1. re: roxlet

            da4141, you have a point. I haven't been to Pepe's in Fairfield, but I still haven't found a pie in Westchester to match theirs in New Haven.

            I tried Sal's twice recently, after getting their Sicilian for years, and they had downsized. They can keep their new and improved slice.

            I went once to Johnny's and wouldn't go back. Waiting on line to be squished at a table for a fairly good pizza wasn't worth it to me.

            Totonno's, Francesco's, Mamma Francesca, Portofino, Frank's, they're all good, but they're not great.

            Racanelli had a good Neapolitan pie and Tarry Lodge's clam pizza was very, very good.

            You're spot on, the pizza around here does stink.

          2. You were doing well with your review of Pepe's in fairfield, but jfood needed to walk around the couch a few times with the Colony comment. But to each their own and welcome to the FFD area.

            Jfood's recos for pizza in the area:

            1 - Aforementioned Colony. Please give it another chance. Jfood cannot fathom the comparison with Ellios. :-((
            2 - Letizia - polar opposite of Colony, very messy pie but very good
            3 - Fat Cat - cracker crust. jfood likes a lot as well
            4 - Strada 18 in SONO - good for lunch and very hard at dinner as they do not take resos
            5 - In New Canaan, jfood really likes the bacon and tomato pie at Joe's Pizza behind the firehouse. Reminds jfood of the same bacon that Sally's uses in new haven.
            6 - Here's an outlier - The pizza at Match in SONO is also very good. Jfood enjoys the pizza better than any of the entrees.

            Welcome to FFD and keep posting.

            5 Replies
            1. re: jfood

              da4141, i feel your pain. you've been to the mountain top of pizza at totonno's in brooklyn and all other pies will pale in comparison. i spent much time at totonno's while jerry pero was still alive and slinging the pies. when i moved to westchester i realized that i might have to check my pizza cravings at the county line. that said, here are a few that go down easy:

              Sabatino's (downstairs) on 9A, across from the Hawthorne movie theater. fresh muzz, and they have an oven that i believe is burning coal.

              Johnny's on E. Lincoln in Mt. Vernon. can be crowded, but they seem to take some pride in the pie. not your run of the mill pizza - i haven't been there in quite some time, but recall it favorably.

              sal's in Mamaroneck. the sicilian reminds me of the joint that was under the kings highway station in brooklyn. not bad.

              all' antica on depot place in scarsdale. interesting toppings, pretty tasty for a standard oven.

              not in westchester, but not too far south is zero otto nove on arthur avenue in the bronx. and if you don't like this pie, at least you can bring home some of the delicious fresh cheese, pasta and bread available at the great shops in the area. try some of the delicious creamy italian ices for dessert in the pastry shops.

              1. re: gsun

                love the pizza at zero otto nove. Peppinos has locations in Stamford, Somers and the Bronx. I have only had the pizza(sandwiches) from the Somers location and when ordered "well done" is really good. Can't vouche for the other locations. Up here in Northern Westchester, there are some REALLY bad excuses for pizza so this is a nice change.

                1. re: xecuchef

                  Another note of love for zero otto nove. That being said, I love Johnny's and make it a point to travel there at least once a month. You have to stay and eat it there because it does not travel well. It's not totonno's , but it's pretty delicious and worth a try.

                  1. re: xecuchef

                    Is Peppinos good? I am near the one in Somers. Is it thin and crispy crust? that's my gold standard. I don't like Portofino because its just to soggy and big!!

                    1. re: wincountrygirl

                      I think the pizza at Peppinos is very good. Make sure you order it well done. it is pretty thin for regular pizza and crispy enough that you can pick up a slice and the tip doesn't flop down. The crust actually cracks when you fold it in half, if your a folder like me! The sauce is very tasty, doesn't taste like that canned pizza sauce at all and the cheese is really good quality. Try the meatballs, excellent. Since you live up in this area, I will tell you to stay away from Frank and Augies pizza in Jefferson Valley. It has to be the worst, tasteless, soggy pizza I have ever eaten. Let me know what you think of Peppinos

              2. I found Racanelli's to be average, and the clam pie I had at Tarry Lodge to be sublime. To each his own...

                1. I wonder how much nostalgia plays a role in Colony. I grew up on the West Coast (most certainly NOT the benchmark for great pizza, generally) so when I finally tried colony a year or two ago I was pretty surprised this was the pizza that elicited such rave reviews. It just seemed so... underwhelming. I appreciated the zing you get from the hot peppers, but nothing else really got me that excited. It wasn't bad, per se, just really uninteresting. Perhaps I'll try it again. jfood certainly thinks I should :)

                  I liked Remo's too. Their margherita was really tasty. That said, I still couldn't help but think it wasn't living up to its potential. I mean, a wood burning brick oven? That should be the best dang pizza anywhere around. But it falls short. Don't get me wrong... still quite good (and definitely above average), but I think they've got room to improve.

                  16 Replies
                  1. re: adamclyde

                    If there ever was a food group that invoked "chacun à son goût" -- to each his/her own taste -- it's Pizza. And I disagree, it's not always a case of nature vs. nurture. e.g. I had my first hot oil at Colony only 2 years ago and loved its tang and crisp crust. Certainly neither nostalgia nor upbringing was in play. Think Pepe is in another, higher league, tho. Remo very disappointing. Pizza Bistro a notch below Colony.. but more of a gourmet type, and they're chincy with the clams. Actually one of the best Pizza's I've had here is the raw tuna at g/r/a/n/d -- but $16 for 4 squares! Great with a Ketel up and olive, tho.

                    But name calling and baiting is playground stuff when it comes to a pie. To each his own.

                      1. re: louuuuu

                        yikes. I hope no one thought I was name calling! I completely agree. to each their own.

                        haven't been to pizza bistro. I have had the tuna pizza at grand. it's very tasty, even if it stretches the definition of pizza.

                        1. re: adamclyde

                          No, no! I certainly didn't mean to imply -- or for you to infer -- that I was speaking about you, adamclyde. It's just that everyone has a favorite, and these pizzerias seem to bring out a lot of passionate dissension!

                          1. re: adamclyde

                            of all people on this board, adamclyde, you would be the last to namecall.!!!! Pizza wars can get pretty heated, to no avail, that's all I meant.

                        2. re: adamclyde

                          First of all - the oven at Remo's isn't wood burning - it takes 2 seconds to spot that.

                          Second of all - where do people get the impression that a wood burning oven = delicious pizza?

                          Wood burning ovens are one of the least desirable ovens to make a pizza in. One of the killer parts of pizza is the delicate nature of the toppings (mozzarella cheese, tomatoes) followed by a firm, crispy, crunchy crust. It is not possible to achieve a decently crisp crust without overwhelming the top portion with heat, in a wood burning stove - it just doesn't get the pizza stone under the pie hot enough.

                          Wherever you see a wood burning oven do not expect to have a great pie.

                          1. re: BMWGuy65


                            Jfood would have to disagree strenuously with the idea that wood burning stoves do not make great pizza. He is not saying that it will always produce a great pizza but to say that you can't is also a stretch.

                            Watch this video...very cool


                            1. re: BMWGuy65

                              Guess, I was wrong about Remo's... for some reason I thought they had a wood burning oven. Regardless... the absolute best pizza of my life (surpassing difara's etc.) came out of a wood burning oven. Truly, truly amazing.

                                1. re: roxlet

                                  I hope it's still there. It's been a few years, but it was in Point Pleasant, on the Jersey Shore. It's in a 7-11 parking lot, of all places.


                                  If I'm ever within an hour of the place (which I never am) I'm dying to go back...

                              1. re: BMWGuy65

                                BMW--you need to do more research about wood burning ovens.

                                ......if the oven is built correctly, the pie should cook in under two minutes thus yielding a perfectly cooked pizza with a 'crisp crunch'......there is nothing gentle about coal or gas heat.......they are both very dry and overpowering.........wood, not only imparts great flavor, but you get the direct heat from the fire and the hot air which again yields a 'crispy crust'.....

                                that said.......in my opinion there are no good 'wood burning oven' joints in westchster or fairfield.....

                                1. re: BMWGuy65

                                  I would say you don't know Jack about pizza making. I don't have an axe to grind about any pizza or "apizza" style or place.

                                  1. re: BMWGuy65

                                    I wish to rescind my harsh judgement. Perhaps you do know something about ovens. Perhaps more than I.
                                    I talked to my friend, who has a wood fired oven at his home, and has made us pizzas in it, and asked for enlightenment.
                                    He said you heat the stone, or baking surface with the coals and then push them back, out of the way. The pizza top is cooked by radiant heat, so how efficiently the top is cooked, or overcooked, depends on the oven design and overall stored heat energy. This can affect whether the top (or bottom), gets overcooked or not.

                                    1. re: Scargod

                                      exactly. Wood burning oven doesn't mean grilled or direct heat from the flames. Just like your friend said, you basically burn logs on the stone floor of the oven, then after ages, brush back all the coals to the back and you've got the perfect surface for great pizza. perfect heat, smoky flavor. Its a wonderful thing...

                                      1. re: Scargod

                                        Oklahoma, wood-fired pizza oven. Actually there was one at the Stonehorse Cafe in Tulsa.

                                      2. re: BMWGuy65

                                        I concurr with jfood, and the Verace Pizza Napoletana, the Italian organization who zealously guards the standards by which, IMHO, the world's finest pizzas, adhere to.

                                        Basic Requirements

                                        1. A wood-burning oven: The pizza must be cooked by wood. Gas, coal or electric ovens, while they may produce delicious pizza, do not conform to the tradition.

                                        2. Proper ingredients: 00 flour, San Marzano (plum) tomatoes, all natural fior-di-latte or bufala mozzarella, fresh basil, salt and yeast. Only fresh, all-natural, non-processed ingredients are acceptable.

                                        3. Proper technique: Hand-worked or low speed mixed dough, proper work surface (usually a marble slab), oven temp (800° F), pizza preparation, etc.

                                        4. Review by the designated representative of the association assuring that the ingredients, technique and final product conform to the tradition.

                                        5. Each individual restaurant is bound to uphold the standards of the association. Moreover, each individual restaurant is bound to pay a membership and membership renewal fee. Hence, membership fees do not apply to any new units opened subsequent to joining VPN, nor is membership transferable from one location to another. Rather, each individual location is evaluated and billed separately. In the event of non-compliance by one or more of my restaurants, the VPN association maintains the right to suspend or rescind membership on an individual or collective basis.

                                    2. Remo's and Racanelli's... I hit them both. Nice looking places but the pizza wasn't my favorite. It's a bummer. They must be the same owners since everything is identical. They don't have a brick oven. It's the garden variety gas, deck oven. But, they have great olive oil, espresso and sfogliatelle. I'll go there for those and politely pass on the pizza.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: da4141

                                        Yes, didn't you think that the Racanelli's pizza was kind of flat tasting?

                                      2. Pizza is such simple fare, how is it that people can screw it up so badly, so often, and fill thrad after thread with commentary and critique?
                                        Right on about Colony, I do believe some mass hysteria or subliminal hypnosis is at work here. And Fat Cat is an odd departure, especially their breakfast pizza, which I did not quite know what to make of last time I tried it.

                                        I will ty the suggestions in response to your question, and appreciate your good sense.

                                        15 Replies
                                        1. re: dinerfan

                                          Could be different strokes for different folks D, not mass hystreria and subliminal hypnosis. And as you stated below, you like John and Mario and jfood does not. That's probably why there are so many different types of pizza places that are still in business.

                                          1. re: jfood

                                            Right you are, and I'm off my anti-Colony tirade. For the record, I haven't been to John's since I was in sixth grade, and that was a while ago. Mario's I dined in once, and liked the food and the service.
                                            I probably should recuse myself from this discussion on two grounds: a.)I like even bad, greasy pizza as long as there's enough of it and b.) I am supposed to have put the kibosh on the cheese factor for cholesterol=related reasons, but have not.
                                            Happy Christmas/Holidays to you and all!

                                            1. re: dinerfan

                                              Deal dinerfan. jfood did the same with Pepe's in FFD, no rants allowed, he just does not get all the gushing.

                                              Tonight jfood is cooking a bacon tomato pizza on the grill.

                                              Happy holidays and good luck with the cholesterol.

                                              1. re: jfood

                                                On the grill...Haven't done that... What a splendid idea! DIY at home is what I go for. I'm not into standing outside in the cold, only to get abuse inside.

                                                I do make dough (once in a while), and have a "stone", but I have used large, flour tortillas, naan and pita flatbreads for the crust. I always have flour tortillas around. Mostly (IMHO), the combo of good ingredients, on top is more critical to a good "pizza".

                                                1. re: Scargod

                                                  Here's what jfood does and he will get some criticism. He takes a simple rimmed cookie sheet and sprays w Pam. Then he free-forms the dough on top of the dough, tonight bacon-tomato, sauce and cheese. First he cranks up the heat on the grill. Then his experiments have shown him (plus a couple of throw outs) that he need to elevate the pan from the grates. He has a couple of bricks under the Weber that he places on the grates. Then the pan on top of the bricks, around ten minutes and bubbly on top and crispy on the bottom.

                                                  1. re: jfood

                                                    Wo Hoo! I can duplicate that!
                                                    What me criticize anyone?
                                                    Thanks, Happy Holidays. I just spent 3+ hours plowing the drive and digging the cars out....

                                                    1. re: jfood

                                                      You don't need the cookie sheet. Make a smaller crust and put it directly on grate over grill. Watch it very carefully. You can always finish it in the oven but it gets a great char and flavor.

                                                      1. re: lillydaisy

                                                        jfood tried that method and he created a major mess. Thanks for the idea though.

                                                        1. re: jfood

                                                          How bout taking the stone from the oven, and putting it on the grill? Also, maybe a foil packet of applewood (not hickory or mesquite) chips under the grates and on the flavor bars, to get some of that wood-fired flavor?

                                                          1. re: ChefBoyAreMe

                                                            jfood broke his stone and is having a hard time replacing so this was the alternative.

                                                            some wood sounds nice.

                                                            1. re: jfood

                                                              I hate breaking my stone even more than when someone else breaks my stones! :-)

                                                              1. re: jfood

                                                                broken stones (as long as it's just one long break) are perfect for the grill since most stones really aren't suited for direct heat in the first place... So if you still have the broken one, use it exclusively for the grill (a crack or two won't make a difference in the final product)

                                                                1. re: adamclyde

                                                                  one could have only wished.

                                                                  but someone dropped it on the floor before cleaning the oven and it broke into several pieces.

                                                                  Have a great holiday season A.

                                                    2. re: jfood

                                                      I'm with you on the grilled pizza. If I make pizza at home, it's on the grill. A typical convection oven just doesn't cut it for me. If I'm in a rush, I'll even grab a few doughs from Bertucci's. They'll even roll them out for me if I'm lazy. Toss it on a hot grill, char a bit, flip and top. Beautiful. I'm surprised I've not seen a grilled pizza joint pop up anywhere. A place in Providence (Al Forno) was credited with making grilled pizza popular.

                                                      1. re: da4141

                                                        Batalli's "Otto" restaurant on West 8th in the city is renowned for its grilled pizza.

                                              2. Best pizza I have had up here is from a place in SoNo called Pane e Panini. I know, I know, but it was really good. They keep weird hours though.


                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: UWStoSONO

                                                  Seriously. Jfood would never had thunk it. which one to try?

                                                  1. re: jfood

                                                    I had a slice of just regular, cheese pizza without toppings. Great ratio of ingredients, thinner crust and did not have that dripping, greasy, oily crust that I've come across up here. Worth a try.

                                                2. I'm going to give one more shout out for John's Best on NC Ave. We take out from here usually once a week. It is a very old school italian joint. Don't be fooled by the decor. No delivery, pick up only.

                                                  And btw, I LOVE Colony!

                                                  14 Replies
                                                  1. re: amanda3571

                                                    Speaking of stink-o pizza, I gave Sal's Sicilian a THIRD try yesterday.

                                                    Nope, still a flat little albeit tasty shadow of its former healthy self.

                                                    But hey, when you can make two pies out of the dough formerly used on one, I guess that's what it is all about. Oh, and the price is up to $2.75 a slice! Yowza.

                                                    1. re: dolores

                                                      For me, Pepe's in ffd is closest to what I can expect in manhattan, quality-wise. Have never tried Colony but some of the others mentioned I have. To me, fat cat is not pizza...it's more like flatbread and pretty average at that. Everytime I've tried Remo's it was a sloppy greasebomb...Ditto Sal's regular slice which also had some straight-out-of-a-can toppings which I found very underwhelming.

                                                      1. re: Scotty100


                                                        You should give Colony a try, the hot oil is outstanding. The Fat Cat description you wrote is accurate with the flatbread reference, your absolutely correct. Jfood liked Remo, but not rushing back.

                                                        Try the pizza at Match in SONO as well. And Strada 18 a few doors down.

                                                        1. re: jfood

                                                          You're spot on with Strada 18. I've been there several times. One of my favorite spots. I think the atmosphere does more for me than the pizza, but they still make a nice pie. Not many places offer the buffalo mutz. I have to try Match. It always gets rave reviews. I didn't now they even offered pizza. Thanks for the heads-up.

                                                          1. re: da4141

                                                            To be clear, jfood liked the pizza, but was not as enthralled as many on the Boards about the rest of the food.

                                                      2. re: dolores


                                                        If you dont think Sal's Sicillian is any good, you're not a Sicillian person. I have been going to Sal's for for 30sih years. I have yet to have another Sicillian slice that comes close.
                                                        The size of Sal's Sicillian has not changed.

                                                        1. re: baldwinwood

                                                          Yes, it has changed, it's gotten thinner.

                                                          And yes, I am a 'Sicilian' person.

                                                          And no, Sal's Sicilian is not good Sicilian pizza.

                                                          Thanks for weighing in though.

                                                          1. re: baldwinwood

                                                            I have to step in here. I have been one of the Sal's defenders here and otherwheres. I love Sal's. Moreover my kids are obsessed with Sal's. I've been going there since I was in HS (20 years!) and I went about 2 weeks ago to pick up some slices to take home. The sicilian was as Dolores described, flatso! Soooo, my conclusion is not that it has shrunk, but merely that she and I both visited on a thin crust sicilian making blip in the pizza making time continuum. I have been since and guess what??? It's back to normal. D-maybe we were there on the same bizzarro day. Who knows, but Sal's still rocks in my book.
                                                            BTW- Jfood or someone else...what is the "hot oil" on the colony pizza you speak of? I'm willing to try, but it sounds kinda ominous.

                                                            1. re: momof3

                                                              Glad to assist.

                                                              First let's take a look at the pie


                                                              The hot oil refers to oil that has jalepenos soaking in them to create a spicy oil. The stinger is the pepper. It is not onerous at all but really opens up the flavors. With some pepperoni, some hot oil, yippee. Jefood has not the courage or the stomach to try the zinger so others may have to help you there.


                                                              1. re: jfood

                                                                Yum! Except for the fact I don't eat pepperoni. I will totally have to try the hot oil sans 'roni. Also set up to take to my bed for hours later after major grease attack hits the system.

                                                              2. re: momof3

                                                                Hi there,

                                                                Word of advice...DON'T eat the stinger that accompanies the hot oil. It bites back. Also recommend adding sausage to the pie, it goes great with the oil and is made fresh right across the street at DeJulio's.

                                                                1. re: momof3

                                                                  But momof3, I went three times, on three different days.

                                                                  I'm happy to go again, if you say they still make it as they used to.

                                                                  I did say it was tasty, just almost as thin as a regular slice, and that ain't Sicilian.

                                                                  1. re: dolores

                                                                    Really? Whoa. Thats ridic. I work near Sal's and I pick up slices once a week or so, so I will keep checking and I will actually ask them next time what the deal is with the flatness. I will call the batphone, send up a signal, (or just post on here) when I see it's back to normal so you can fly back there asap D.

                                                          2. As a Stamford resident, I've always been fond of Mario's - but I've found some think it's too cheesy for their taste. I also go to Villa Italia on East Main quite a bit. Remo's on Bedford, as others mentioned, is also worth a try. Others that I find acceptable are Beltown Pizza, Springdale Pizza, Sergio's Pizza. I've had people tell me to try Stamford Pizza up across from Exit 9. Skip Luigi's, Sorrento's, John's in Bulls Head, Ridgeway Pizza. I also heard great things about 122 Pizza Bistro but I thought it was awful.

                                                            For Greek pizza, try Hope Pizza (sometimes called "Hope Street Pizza"). Papa's II is OK, but I've never gotten anything but attitude from the people there, who act like they're doing you a favor, so I stopped going. Some people like that sort of thing, though. Pass on Atlantic Pizza.

                                                            I'm also a fan of Colony's bar pie. I know you said it's not your thing, but if you develop a taste for it they serve a similar pie at Vinnie's in Springdale.

                                                            And outside of Stamford, jfood is right to definitely try Letizia's up on the Norwalk/Wilton line.

                                                            Has anyone tried Frascati's in Newfield Green where Newfield Pizza used to be?

                                                            And I'm finally getting to try Modern Apizza this weekend! It was between that an Zuppardi's - we flipped a coin.

                                                            5 Replies
                                                            1. re: yngvai

                                                              Nice, nice list. I had forgotten all about John the Baker, where I went as a kid (after buying Superman comics at Morris Rubbell's variety store), and I have a soft spot for Atlantic Pizza, which was across the street from the YMCA when I swam on their team, and we went in after meets in the winter when the windows were all foggy with pizza steam.

                                                              John the Baker's son, Mario the Baker (I kid you not) makes a decent pie on High Ridge, and my brother highly recommends a spot across the street by the Dunkin Donut store (can't remember tha name). Springdale Pizza was okey-dokey the one time I tried it, and Hope Street is a nice, didner-type spot, but I have to admit, I've only been there for sandwiches, which were decent.

                                                              1. re: dinerfan

                                                                Dinerfan, do you know if this is the same Mario the Baker that is in North Miami? We lived there for a while a few years back and Mario the Baker was the only place - and I mean only - you could get decent pizza down there. They said they had come from up this way.

                                                                1. re: laylag

                                                                  I did not know that. When I was a lad, me and my pals would go to John the Baker's because it was right on our way home, and John was a nice guy. We used to see his son, Mario, in a full length black leather jacket (which we thought was too cool) at Al's Dog House and the Country Diner (now Parkway, I think). Don't know if he had opened his place yet or not, but he's now a respectable looking restaurateur,

                                                                  Nice to know that a Stamford pizza mini dynasty has traveled well.

                                                                  1. re: dinerfan

                                                                    Just googled to see if there was mention of the places origins and if it was, in fact related to John the Baker's you mentioned. However, not sure it is the same. May just be odd coincidence asthe website info says the place in North Miami opened in 1969. When we were down there it was a stand alone operation but now I see on their website have franchised themselves all over Dade County. If they kept the quality great, otherwise now there really is NO place at all to get decent pizza in So. FL.

                                                              2. I also had a very nice pizza Margharita at Iron Tomato in White Plains, which I was reminded of when I read Liz Johnson's blog and she mentioned the pizza at Iron Tomato.

                                                                5 Replies
                                                                1. re: roxlet

                                                                  My son and I were back at Iron Tomato in WP yesterday, and we had a really delicious Pizza Margharita there again. It wasn't quite in a league with Tarry Lodge, but it was tasty, well-made and the sauce and cheese were excellent.

                                                                  1. re: roxlet

                                                                    I've wanted to try it. What is the crust like?

                                                                    1. re: wincountrygirl

                                                                      At this point, it's hard to remember, especially since we've been eating pizza in Italy! Any little pizzeria there would cause hysteria on this board! I remember that the pizza was good overall. Not the best I've had, but quite good. Sorry I can't be more specific, but if you try it, please let me know what you think!

                                                                      1. re: roxlet

                                                                        NOTING compares to the pizza in Italy!! I totally understand!

                                                                2. Here's one for the group that I'm curious about... Grated Cheese: Beautiful Addition or Cardinal Sin?

                                                                  I hit Motorimo (sp?) in Brooklyn last week with a buddy. It got rave reviews for the neopolitan pizza done in a georgous wood oven. We ordered the margherita - the only test of quality in my opinion. (They had buffalo mutz so we got that.) It came out sprinkled with pecorino. It completely overpowered the pie! It was like licking a giant block of sheep's milk cheese. All that beautiful buffalo mutz - what a waste. I was really bummed and couldn't even finish the pie. (Leaving food on my plate is not a frequent occurance.) My opinion... Save your grated cheese for a plate of rigatoni.

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: da4141

                                                                    I have heard good things about Motorino. But I am not too happy to hear they are finishing their pies with pecorino. Dom Demarco of Difara's also finishes his pies with a sprinkling of Grana. It's not that uncommon to hear of pizzaiolos doing that. I agree though.........leave the Grana or pecorino to the rigatoni bolognese...

                                                                  2. I just got back from All'Antica. I read the boards and this place got rave reviews so I had to give it a try. I can't agree. It wasn't a BAD pie, but not rave-worthy. First, it's not a brick oven and I'm not a fan of when places promote that. It's a gas, deck oven with a brick facade. The crispy crust is because it cooks for a long time in the lower temp oven. It basically dries out the thinly stretched dough into a cracker. A hotter oven would sear the dough leaving the outside crispy and the inside nice and soft. The flavor was pretty good. Fresh ingredients, flavorful cheese. The sauce was a little sweet for my tastes, but that's personal. Nice little place. Spotless - a sign of pride. If I ever take the train from Scarsdale, I'd stop in for a slice.

                                                                    7 Replies
                                                                    1. re: da4141

                                                                      I have to agree with you, da4141. I've been there twice, and I am still waiting to get blown away the way some C'hounders seem to be. The portobello pizza, which has been extensively lauded, didn't appeal to me at all, and the chicken pizza was bland and under seasoned. It is a nice little place, but I'm not sure I would make a special trip.

                                                                      1. re: da4141

                                                                        We got a pizza from All'Antica last week for the first time. I agree with you, da 4141, it wasn't bad, but wasn't all that I was expecting. We didn't get one of the specialty pies, but one with 1/2 pepperoni (for my husband) and 1/2 meatball (for me). The sauce and topping was tasty, but overall, I thought the crust was stiff and dry.

                                                                        And while I realize that sometimes it's hard to judge a place when bringing food back to your house, we live in Scarsdale, so it's not like the pizza had been sitting around for a long time. We also got a side order of meatballs for my kids, and those were very good.

                                                                        We will try it again one of these days, but initially we were not in awe.

                                                                        Oh, and we are fans of Sal's, but you can't even compare the 2 places. Not that one is better than the other, just different styles of pizza.

                                                                        1. re: valerie

                                                                          Curious, I can't wait to get there.

                                                                          Is the crust like one I had, I can't remember where, where it is like a matzoh? Thin and crunchy and crispy?

                                                                          1. re: dolores

                                                                            No, it is definitely not that thin. I will be very curious to hear your take on All'Antica. I do not think that it is bad, but I do feel that what I had was kind of flat -- like it needed more salt or something. I've yet to try their Margharita, and until I do, I will have to reserve final judgment!

                                                                            1. re: dolores

                                                                              The 2 slices I had were fresh out the oven and the crust was perfect for my particular pizza tastes...not crunchy or crispy or dry...it's closest to a traditional neopolitan style...my slices were thin, had a nice char on the bottom and a limited "droop/sag" at the end with a nice little chewy edge to the dough. It was perfect for me. I rated it very highly. Up there with the best I've ever had actually. In the same league as grimaldis/arturos in the city and pepe's in new haven...

                                                                              1. re: Scotty100

                                                                                Wow, I just couldn't put them in the same league as Pepe's in New Haven from what I've tasted so far!

                                                                                1. re: roxlet

                                                                                  Yeah, I was surprised with what I got roxlet...this rocked my pizza boat and I love pepe's new haven...credit where credit is due etc...

                                                                        2. We used to live in Fairfield county -- first Stamford, then Fairfield -- back in the '80s (!). We used to search high and lo for good pizza, too. Our favorites: Hope Pizza in Stamford and Brick Oven in Bridgeport. We alternate stopping at those when we go back to visit. Of course now we live in Philly burbs and can't find really good pizza anywhere. Where oh where are those pizzas of old? Probably gone with the WWII generation. Sad...

                                                                          1. As an ex-Westchester resident, I've been following this thread with some bemusement & a lot of envy. While kvetching about good vs. very good vs. excellent, there must over a hundred pizza places mentioned. As someone that now lives in an area (Central FL) where you have to work to find decent pizza, I realize how spoiled I was when we lived up there.

                                                                            So count your blessings & have a Happy Holiday (whatever one you celebrate)!

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: cavandre

                                                                              You're right, cavandre. You even have a hard time finding the ingredients to make a good pizza at home, don't you?

                                                                              My pizza is as good as some of the places I've eaten at, but that's another thing this area is known for, the cheese and the tomatoes.

                                                                              Happy holiday to you too.

                                                                            2. I find Beverly Pizza on Fairfield Ave on the Bridgeport/Fairfield line very good. Not the best looking place but the pizza has served our family very well for many years.

                                                                              1. da,

                                                                                i've seen this name mentioned a few times below, but i want to make sure you check it out, Hope Pizza is probably the best pizza in Stamford (minus Colony's Sausage and Hot Oil,not their regular pie). Hope Pizza is greek style and is amazing...i also think Michelina's (off high ridge) is pretty good, along with Pappa's (original one downtown), John the Baker's sicilian, Amore and Springdale pizza. I've had pizza all over manhattan and think that there are about 20 places in Stamford that have better pie.

                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                1. re: bbqlover

                                                                                  Hi there,

                                                                                  That's the pie I live by, Sausage and hot oil at Colony...is there anything better? I don't think so.

                                                                                  1. re: bbqlover

                                                                                    Well, alright then, I'm up for a little reverse pizza chauvinism.
                                                                                    I was not overly impressed with the Michelina pie, though, and Pappas', well...

                                                                                    no on that.

                                                                                    But I'll try the rest that I haven't tried, thanks.

                                                                                    Perhaps I'm so unimpressed by Colony because I have only had the regular pie (paper thin, skimpy sauce, very little cheese) and a pepperoni & mushroom pie that had embalmed, canned 'shrooms, which do not belong on a pizza.

                                                                                    1. re: dinerfan

                                                                                      I think Remo's in Stamford has good pizza. Viccola's in New Canaan has a good margarita pizza. I ask for my pizza well down there so the cheese gets bubbly and it cooks the crust a little longer.

                                                                                      Also, Match is Sono has a good pizza.

                                                                                    2. re: bbqlover

                                                                                      I'll give Hope Pizza a try. I heard it mentioned a few times. Although, I'm personally not a big fan of "greek pizza". But, that said, I'm certainly not one to pass on a pie that's put in front of me. :) The greeks do a great salad and souvlaki. I'll leave the pizza to the paisans from Italy.

                                                                                      1. re: da4141

                                                                                        If you're the type who likes grilled chicken on the salad, ask them to use the souvlaki chicken instead. Well worth it!

                                                                                    3. Pepe's is known for their tomato pies, but the exquisite white clam is heaven, so don't bother with anything else. In Westport, we've had good wood fired pies at Via Sforza- fresh ingredients and good crust. Not too pricey - you can order a carafe of Montepulciano.
                                                                                      Martha Pizza is also good in Westport- byob.
                                                                                      Bon Apetit!

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. re: Phantom Foodie

                                                                                        Great call on Via Sforza. It's one of my favorite italian joints. Classic old-school trattoria place with fantastic food. I sat at the bar one day with a pie. It was really good. I was pretty impressed. I'm with you on the white clam from the pep-man. However, Martha's I have to politely disagree. The place is filthy. I guess I can't get over that enough to even give the pizza a shot.

                                                                                      2. It's a different style than typical pizza, but the individual pan pizzas at Michael's in Port Chester are quite yummy. Just two small warnings - the atmosphere is non-existent, except for the outside seating area, and the pizzas take a while to cook.

                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                        1. re: shellyesq

                                                                                          shellyesq, I had forgotten all about Michael's (near Home Depot, right?). I love that outside eating area, and the divey bar bar.

                                                                                          They make a 'woodsy' pizza (full size) that I have been duplicating for years, with sausage, mushrooms and peppers. Their fried calamari are good, and their pizza is as good as Racanelli and any of the others I like. I recommend them.

                                                                                        2. Our favorite Pizza place out this way will feed in to your Port Chester obsession. Try T&J's Pizza and Pasta on Westchester Avenue. Enjoy a quick slice, order a whole pie or take some time to eat in the sit-down restaurant to experience great, family-style dishes, friendly service and a great value. Tuesday through Thursday there are some amazing prix fix specials.

                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                          1. re: etalerman

                                                                                            T&J's in Port Chester good stuff.

                                                                                          2. Two good places/thin crust. Cabin Restaurant in Valhalla, right off the Sparin & Sabatino'son 9A across from Hawthorne Movie theatre. Both brick oven.

                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                            1. re: NYNice

                                                                                              So, it looks like the winner and still champion after 115 posts -- Pepe's, with great pizza.

                                                                                              Al Antica in second place, maybe, with very good pizza.

                                                                                              All the rest -- on a par, with good pizza.

                                                                                              So, as the OP said, the pizza 'around here' does stink.

                                                                                            2. The pizza around here does stink. And I'm sorry guys, but Pepe Fairfield isn't what Patsy's Harlem was a decade ago. Patsy's used to make the best pizza I have ever eaten. Pepe Fairfield is tasty, It's good, but it's pretty far from Stamford.

                                                                                              Mario the Baker = inedible.

                                                                                              John the Baker = used to be fantastic, maybe 20 years ago. The old man was alive and the pizza completely rocked. Then Eugene was running things and the pizza was still pretty damn ok. I used to think of it as maybe the best electric oven pie ever, really close to DiFara all things considered. Long story short....Not anymore. The new generation of Jamooks have taken over Johns, they look like they keep a weight set in the back, strutting around in muscle shirts and pumping iron all day, the boys are nice enough but I get a little nervous around them. More to the point, they switched awhile ago to crappy sausage, a radical departure from policies of old. I didn't even say anything. For awhile I just ordered pepperoni and finally I stopped going. Remo is ok but could they make a veal parm sandwich? Is that too much to ask?

                                                                                              I just got back from Colony this evening. It's not traditional, but it's not Elio's either. Colony makes a greasy, though frankly tasty pie with a too-chewey crust but at a hair over 11 dollars for a sausage pie, it actually represents good pizza value. Just make sure you lock your car while your inside.

                                                                                              Find a little joint called Mancini in Stamford. The place is whacked. It's super old and dusty, a bunch of geriatrics run it, the bar features those funny looking little heads that appear to stare at you while you're drinking, but they have a coal oven. And they use it. To pretty good effect. I recommend hot peppers and sausage, a good combo there. And nicely priced also. I promise you will NOT get lucky at the bar of Mancini's, not ever, even if you spend the rest of your life there buying drinks for all the comely young ladies who will never come in. You will never get lucky at Mancini.....except when it comes to the pizza.

                                                                                              Julian's in Westport is a funny thing.......I will go more in-depth in another post but it's a wood-oven joint that makes the best pizza within 5 or 6 miles of it.
                                                                                              Letizia I never liked. That stuff gives Elio a run.......

                                                                                              5 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: shark_attack

                                                                                                Letizia's has seen better days. I did go about 3 weeks ago and ordered my pie "light on the sauce and an extra couple minutes in the oven." Made a big difference from the over-sauced and flaccid pies they have been serving the past couple years. Good, but not great.

                                                                                                1. re: shark_attack

                                                                                                  try the following for pizza

                                                                                                  New Canaan - Joes Pizza for traditional and Sole for fancy
                                                                                                  SONO - Strada 18 or Match (the only thing jfood recommends at Match ios the pizza)
                                                                                                  Norwalk - Fat Cat

                                                                                                  That's about it other than Colony, where you have been.

                                                                                                  1. re: shark_attack

                                                                                                    Is this Mancini's?

                                                                                                    Mancini's Restaurant
                                                                                                    920 Hope St Stamford, CT 06906

                                                                                                    1. re: BAFU

                                                                                                      I did a pretty good job scanning this and didn't see the following mentioned - both in Fairfield.
                                                                                                      Nauti Dolphin at Fairfield train station - I almost excusively eat this pizza - it is so good I really don't want any other even Pepe's. I have to be in the mood for Pepe's and I have had a bad pizza from there (fairifeld location). This is not a place to go eat as it is literally on the train tracks but they do deliver. they have a great meatball parm grinder and a pie called spicy sow which is awesome.

                                                                                                      Mediterranean Pizza on black rock. this is probably my second favorite in fairfield. they do a good margherita pie. and husband loves their sausage.

                                                                                                      anyone been to these places? would like to know if you agree and what else you like in fairfield

                                                                                                      1. re: BAFU

                                                                                                        BAFU......I Think so.....Give it a try and let us know what you think.

                                                                                                    2. There is definitely some good pizza in the area. Try these if you like thin crust and delicious fresh toppings:

                                                                                                      Julian's in Westport-Just opened this Spring near the train station. Try the grated cheese pizza-it's amazing
                                                                                                      Strada 18 in South Norwalk
                                                                                                      Fat Cat Pie Co (as mentioned below)-paper thin crust,...Penzey's spices brought to the table-my personal fave
                                                                                                      Naughti Dolphin at the Fairfield train station
                                                                                                      Pepe's in Fairfield


                                                                                                      1. amanda3571 i think Johns Best went out of buiness if not i hear there slade pizza was really good my mom used to work there. If your in brewster the best place is avasono's and there buffolo chicken pizza XP

                                                                                                        1. It took me 3 years of living in westchester but I finally found great pizza. Dante's on Central Park Avenue in Hartsdale. I think it's BETTER than Totonnos! Unfortunately it's not a restaurant so you can't sit down and eat. Also has the best eggplant parm hero on earth.

                                                                                                          1. hahahaha when I saw the thread title, I thought you were talking about Jersey City. Not much to write home about here in terms of great pizza. When I want a pie, I have to make it myself.

                                                                                                            hmmmm maybe for dinner tomorrow!

                                                                                                            1. zero otto nove (arthur ave. Bronx).

                                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: budinado

                                                                                                                We had some really good pizza in Scarsdale near the train station -- not sure what the name was but it was quite spectacular.

                                                                                                                1. re: budinado

                                                                                                                  We tried to go a few weeks ago and had to leave b/c we couldn't figure where on earth to park. The whole area was packed-obviously- but to make it worse, there was a street fair. Dammit! Next time, I guess

                                                                                                                2. Ridgeway Pizza is pretty good.

                                                                                                                  1. We happened upon Strada 18 today in SONO after a trip to the Children's Museum with Picky-Picky. What a great experience we had! We were greatly brightly and sat outside( w/ highchair brought out quickly) and our server could not have been nicer. Picky had a Vermont Cheddar grilled cheese minus the applewood bacon and tomato and we shared a delicious and perfectly think pesto and chicken pizza. They totally "got" the fact that we were on borrowed time for lunch and really worked to make it work for us.
                                                                                                                    I look forward to returning in the evening w/o Picky-Picky and enjoying the atmosphere and more of the food and wine!