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Pizza

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Prior to coming back to NY I asked my young nephew over the phone what we would be doing while I was visiting and he said, "well, I know that we will be eating a lot of pizza, because you love the pizza from this country." Now, this is funny because he's only 8 and even if it was a mix up of words, he's right--eating pizza in NY is like eating something from a different country or planet for that matter. I've eaten pizza from all over the place, even in Italy, and I think American Pizza, NY pizza, kicks more ass than there is ass. NY pizza is the best, I don't care what anyone says on this subject--not the deep dish of Chicago, which is really good, but it's still not NY pizza... it's like it should be called something else because it is great in it's own right--people from Chi-town would not disagree except to say that their's is the best and NY should call their pizza something else...

So, as luck would happen, my brother lives close to possibly the best pizzeria in NY. (Which begs the question why only one visit...) Portofino's happens to be close to the Blazer! (see my Blazer review post Hole in the Wall Alert! ) Unfortunately, we didn't visit while I was back :(

First, they make a slice that's as big a small child and when in a whole pie it measures at least a yard from end to end. (probably an exaggeration, but close!)

Second, the sauce is perfectly seasoned with the right amount of cheese per any size bite.

Thirdly, we can talk about toppings, but I'm going to talk about one topping--broccoli rabe sauteed in garlic and olive oil. I'm still not ready to talk about how unbelievable this combination is--O M G! No, I'm just not ready yet...

Lastly, and I saved it for last because it is in fact the foundation--literally. The crust is thin, not paper, not notebook, but I'm going to call it the Goldilocks Crust--just right! But it's not just right it's just perfect!

Obviously size does matter and their perfect pizza crust is thin yet supportive, 1/8 inch of crispy, crunchy, able-to-support-the-sauce-and-cheese (and broccoli rabe in my case) perfect!

These pizzamakers are the real deal from the old country ginzo's and I mean that with total respect and admiration. This is also a full blown restaurant with unbelievably delicious entrees. Little expensive if you think in terms of a pizza joint, but it's not and it's worth every penny!

*clicking my heels together* There's no place like home. There's no place like home...

To read my entire review visit: http://www.irasciblechef.com/portofin...

--iChef

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Portofino Pizzeria
138 Goldens Route, Bridge, NY

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      1. Just being large isn't everything, but when a slice is large like they used to be, and you can fold it over, it's such a special pleasure to me. Pizza is shrinking just like everything else in the food world.

        1. re: coll

          But coll, this goes to the Applebee's/Olive Garden issue -- of what use is a large quantity of mediocre food?

          IMO, Portofino hit on a gimmick, supersized mediocre pizza, and is attracting certain people who like 'big' food.

          I tried it and don't like it and would rather have a smaller, excellent slice, like Pepe's. The fact does remain that the pizza in Westchester still sucks, but that is outside of the fact that I like big portions and hate small bits of food in a restaurant. Big SOMEtimes isn't better, and in Portofino's case, it ain't.

          1. re: dolores

            If you order an entire pie it's a normal size. Their pizza is far from mediocre. I for one love it. To me it's the classic NY style. I enjoy it much more then the crunchy pizza from Pepe's. Pizza is all about personal preference.

            1. re: dolores

              I know nothing about Portofino (or Applebees or Olive Garden for that matter) I was just commenting on how I miss the old-fashioned giant, foldable NYC slices. I guess I should start a new post? At least we have lots of great pizza here on LI, just cut into little slices. I'm very particular about my pizza, and can't imagine eating anywhere that it wasn't close to perfect, but when I get a nice big 1950s size slice of great pizza then I'm in heaven. But I mostly only see that in Brooklyn anymore. Sorry for hijacking the thread!

              1. re: dolores

                Doloroes - I dooooooooooo agree. Whenever we take food recs from anyone, if their definition of good food is big food or large portions, we dont' go!! As for Portofino - I live a mile away and I never go there. Big lousy pizza is still bad - just bigger! One of my favorite pizza places - long gone - was in the city. It was called Rocky Lee's and it was a restaurant that served wonderful, thin crust, small slice pies. Can't wait for Pepe's in Yonkers!

            2. Try ordering a whole pie. The sizes are normal size and in my opinion very good. I think you guys are being a little harsh. I mentioned this in another post. Personally I do not like that hard crunchy crust that you'd find at a place like Pepe's. When I ate their I literally cut the inside of my mouth on their crust. Now I respect that fact that a lot of people enjoy that New Haven style, but that is different then NY. To me NY style needs to be able to fold without the crust cracking.

              The great thing about pizza is that everyone has their own preferences.

            3. I will totally agree with you on Portofino's pizza. To me it's fits the term NY style perfectly and it's what I've grown up with. The slices are large if you order by the slice. If you get a whole pie it's your typical 16-20" pie. When my dad we living in Boston he used to order a half baked pie on his drive home. Then when he arrived in Boston he's finish cooking it and enjoy a true NY pizza.

              Portofino's don't get a lot of acclaim on this board but I'm in total agreement with you.

              2 Replies
              1. re: hudsonvalleyfoodblog

                I get a kick out of the over sized slice of pizza from Portofino's! I never thought it was anything but ordinary pizza. Pizza in this area is pretty much the same. There are a few exceptions, but for the most part one strip mall pizza joint to the next is pretty much the same.

                1. re: winston1

                  I've repeating myself at this point but if you order a whole pie the slices are normal sized. I think their pizza by the pie is better then the pizza by the slice.

                  You could say the same thing about pizza in Manhattan. Most of the pizza places in Manhattan are just plain average. The exceptional places are few and far between. But that is what makes those places standout.

                  I think it all comes down to a personal preference. A debate on pizza never has a right or wrong answer. In fact that applies to all food. The great thing about a message board like this is the sharing of experiences. We don't all have to agree but we should all agree that our intentions are to share.

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