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Feb 12, 2009 03:42 PM

Di Fara's, other usually busy spots on Valentine's Day??

Anyone think that Di fara's may be not so packed on Saturday since it is Valentine's Day? I think it maybe a good day to hit some spots that are usually packed. Any other thoughts about places to hit and take advantage on Vday drawing away some crowds?

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  1. Is it back open? I thought Dom was out with an injury still. If it's open, you've just gave me a great idea about where to take my girlfriend on Sat. Thanks Steak!

    1. Wow, that would be a disappointing valentines day... I think they are closed until further notice...

        1. re: David W

          So now that we know its open what do you think--- Sat a good idea?

          1. re: steakrules85

            Call if it is a hassle to go there because who knows what the hours will be even though they officially reopened.
            I don't think it will be really empty because of Vtine's, maybe because people are not sure they reopened, though.

            1. re: dietndesire

              I've never been there but I have read about it. How is it inside- I heard there is only like 3 tables. Basically people just get their food and eat it standing up or just take it outside? Also, what is a realistic wait time for the pizza? I have heard you could be waiting 45min-1hr.

              1. re: steakrules85

                You need to read more, you can find more details.
                Inside is a pit, I don't eat there because I don't care for crowds and the element.
                I might if I went during a weekday,not prime lunch hours, I imagine this would be less crowded.
                If you are starving, you can just eat a slice off your pie while you are there when you get it.
                I don't order slices, that is nonsense. I just don't understand people who order 4 slices instead of a pie. Take some home, especially since most of these people are ordering round pie slices, 4/16 bux or a pie for 20 which is double the number. I know, Americans, math, thought, value, fogeddabouddit.
                If you order more than 2 slices it is folly. And please,don't tell me about how it is lunch for poor people. It ain't cheap, if you are poor you should not be ANYWHERE paying 4 bux a slice. 2 slices and a drink hits double digits and most adult men I see there wind up ordering more than 2 slices even if that is what they start with.
                Oh, I only get a square pie. Toppings, nonsense pretty much.
                If you are taking the subway, it is still too cold to get it back at a proper temp(bloody Q train and location in nowheresville, will have cooled a bit too much(though reheating properly is pretty good).
                If you are driving, get it to go, take it home to Manhattan(20-30min). The pizza comes out so hot, you cannot taste anything, anyway. That is a fact.
                Needs some time to cool off of scalding, end of story. How much, maybe some debate.
                Don't take a burnt or otherwise messed up pie, you spent however much time on the voyage, wait a bit extra.
                Wait times, I would say plan on 45min-2 hours depending on when you go.
                I have waited far less and I have never waited 2 hours, maybe not even 1(but close) but if you are making plans, that is where most of the waiting times lie.

                I hope his injury does not make for more burnt, screwed up pies. And I also hope the cheese skimping that apparently started does not increase.
                Too much knowledge and pretty much all of this has been said before but as long as you don't defend Gotham in this post it is all peaches.

                1. re: steakrules85

                  Here's my report on my first time eating there, which I hope will help in terms of wait and seating:


                  1. re: MMRuth

                    Well all I went to Di Fara's tonight and I must say the pizza was great. I got there at like 4:15 and was told that they were closed til 6 but I begged them to let me in and they did. I went to place my order of one reg slice and one square with porcinis and artichoke. I was told that they were no longer serving slices until 6. So i just said eh wut the hell I'll order a pie. Unfortunately, they were out of porcinis. So i wound up ordering a pie half reg half mushrooms, artichokes, and broccoli rabe.

                    Like I stated in the beginning the pizza was great but the experience was not without its bumps along the way. It was great to watch the father at work, but I wound up waiting an hour and a half for my pie. They made a little mistake and by accident topped off the whole pizza instead of making it half regular half top. They said they wouldn't be able to make another pie for me so instead the father just took the toppings and tried to move them all to one side as best as possible. Although this really didn't work out the best because there were still some spare toppings here and there on what was supposed to be the regular half, it was still delicious. Definitely the best pizza I have ever had! The mushrooms, artichokes, and broc rabe were great but I definitely think the best way to order here is to be simple. LESS IS MORE- I really enjoyed the plain slice much much more. That cheese and basil and sauce with the olive oil right at the end fresh out of the oven is immaculate. Only the freshest ingredients. Unfortunately I couldnt get my hands on a square slice as I was the last pie before he took his break, however I will definitely be back again to try it!

                    1. re: steakrules85

                      I was there today, and I think - particularly for one's first time - the way to go is to order pies. I went w/ a friend who had not been before, and ordered one regular (I would have gotten half of it w/ artichoke hearts, but they were out of them) and one square with pepperoni. I made sure to hang out at the counter to politely monitor the progress of my pies, and I had the sense that Dom maybe was going to forget to add the cheese on top of my regular pie and so nicely prodded him to make sure it got put on. I find that engaging him and being sweet helps, and makes the experience more fun for me.

                      And, although I do love the regular with artichokes, my friend said she was happy to try one in it's "pure" state. I think if you come prepared to order a whole pie (or two) you have more control over the process - as well as your expectations in terms of timing. I am glad that you enjoyed the pizza you had.

                      1. re: MMRuth

                        Was there last night. Not too crowded with only a handful of people there. Wanted to go with with a half porcini pie, but like the artichokes, they were out of it, as well. Got a plain pie. The first pie that was ready for me was kind of badly charred on one side, so I told his son I'd wait for a less done pie. Less than 5 minutes later, it was ready. Total time: 20 minutes. One of the quickest experiences I've had there. Pie was great. Only complaint was that, much like you feared, no extra cheese was added to the pie once it was done. Wasn't going to push my luck after already turning down a pie.

                        1. re: jdf

                          You can always ask them for extra cheese and they will be gracious enough to do it. They actually forgot to finish mine off with olive oil. I guess you have to cut Dom some slack he is getting up there in age.

                          1. re: steakrules85

                            Exactly - I did the same w/ asking for the olive oil - just to be on the safe side.

                            1. re: steakrules85

                              Dom does not take offense when you remind him of the later stages he might have forgotten. He knows we want them, after all, he is their original author. Basil, oil, and cheese while the pie cools cannot be missed, especially on the round pie.

                              1. re: NYJewboy

                                I figure I'll ask this question here (didn't get an answer when posted it elsewhere). When I was at DiFara, Dom seemed very particular with the 2 oil containers. One was used for the pre-cooked pie and the other for the post-cook spritz. We watched for a bit over an hour while waiting for our pie and this never varied. Do you all know what the difference is or what, exactly, the 2 oils are?

                                1. re: LNG212

                                  Gotta be EVOO imported from Italy. They only use the finest most authentic ingredients imported from Italy. The cheese they sprinkle at the end is Grano Padano and amazinG@!!

                                  1. re: steakrules85

                                    According to Peter Reinhart in "American Pie, " Di Fara uses a 3:1 ratio of Grande brand full fat, low-moisture mozzarella and mozzarella di bufala imported from Casapulla. the town in Italy where he grew up. That's before baking. And as you say, it's grana padano on top.

                                    1. re: JoanN

                                      I also noticed the two different vessels for the oil, and noticed two large cans of different olive oils, but don't remember the names of them.

                                      Edit - Here's a photo that somone linked to on another Di Fara thread - it shows one oil as Colavita, but I don't remember seeing that one the other day.


                                      1. re: MMRuth

                                        MMRuth - thanks. I'm glad someone else noticed that. I will have to go back and do some "investigating"! :) I just thought there must be 2 different oils since Dom was so particular about the 2 oil cans.

                                        1. re: LNG212

                                          Look around, you will see plenty of Colavita. So that is one. The other, not sure, I forget if someone had said what it was in the past.

            2. honestly, what % of the people who crowd diFara's are likely to be heading out for a special Valentine's dinner? Id say its not a high number, but hey, it might affect the turnout a bit.