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Jun 12, 2009 04:20 PM

What is the best pizza in Staten Island?


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    1. re: Peter Cherches

      Pizza is a highly subjective issue. Its like asking what the best French wine is. There's a large matter of taste here, and pizza appears to be capable of appearing under a number of different guises. So really all people can do is tell you what their favorite is, and why. Although Peter Cherches is an estimable chowhound, my own feelings about pizza out in SI are somewhat different than his. I love Denino's, and find Joe and Pat's to be much too thin and crunchy--like a cracker. So there you go. Take your pick.

      1. re: BMartin

        I like my pizza thin and crunchy, so I'm a Joe & Pat's partisan. BMartin's "like a cracker" is a pretty good description. If you raise a slice up and look at the underside, you can kind of see light shining through it. Even thinner than New Haven-style, but I think their pies are quite tasty. I like the sauce-to-cheese ratio. Denino's, on the other hand, is thicker, chewier, and a lot cheesier. I feel there's not quite enough sauce to balance the cheese at Denino's. The one time I went to Nunzio's, which seems to be less discussed on this board, I liked it. Sort of a middle-ground between the two aforementioned places. The pie was a little too salty, though.

        I also suspect that there are some gems out there that people might be keeping secret (I might do the same thing, though I think SI is safe from Ave J-like lines).

        1. re: hhhippo

          Regarding secret gems Tony's Brick Oven in Rosebank is pricey but worth it. Even if you order a cheaper regular pie the big guy (Tony?) will very likely finish it off in the wood burning oven... he just can't help it.

          1. re: Flaco

            Tony's Brick oven is no more pricey than other places. I go there often for the pizza and they have the lunch special of 2 slices and a soda at a decent price. Incidentally the "big guy's name is Angelo, Tony is his 15 year old son's name) One of the best pizza joints on S.I. Another of my favorites is Joe and Pat's.

            1. re: taffey7

              I've had a reheated slice or two at Tony's...usually when I'm shopping at Montalbano's and realize I'm that hungry...and it's been OK, especially the crust, but I really suspect it's better if you order a whole pie. Which I have yet to do.

        2. re: BMartin

          "Pizza is a highly subjective issue. Its like asking what the best French wine is. There's a large matter of taste here, and pizza appears to be capable of appearing under a number of different guises. So really all people can do is tell you what their favorite is, and why"
          Very well said..
          Personally, I too like Denino's. I just make sure to request. A WELL DONE pie' which takes care of any thicker crust. issues.I also think Lee's Tavern makes a really good pie and if a sweeter sauce is desired the Grandma pie at the little known Justino's on Guyon Ave is great esp. if ordered with fresh mozz , The biggest problem I've found at many places, EG: Nunzio's (as mentioned by poster hhhippo, below) and Genero's, is the addition of far too much salt . Even though they just filed for bankrupcy, Goodfella's will remain open and they have some tasty specialty pies.

          It's hard but if I had to pick a consistant favorite it probably would be the pizza (and other dishes) at Trattoria Romana on Hylan Blvd. Their pizza With Eggplant is outstandingly delicious.

          1. re: Tay

            Agree with you on Trattoria Romano. When I lived on SI I always went there. The pizza, food and service were always great. I have friends living on SI and when we visit them we always go there.

            1. re: irvingk

              After a long hiatus, ordered in a mushroom pie from Trattoria Romano about a week ago, and it was a pleasure to get reacquainted with this really good pie. It may be my fave, though I've also liked Salvatore's.

              We are fortunate here to have several excellent places.

                1. re: comestible

                  My favorite is Lee's Tavern, at the Dongan Hills train station. Always packed on Friday nights. They serve bar pies and regular-sized pies. Great white clam pie. I'm a fan of the sausage pie as well. Always well done - piping hot and crispy but not charred.

                  Regarding Salvatore's, I was there right after they opened, and found most of their pies to be charred. I thought perhaps it was because they had just opened, but I just read a review on seriouseats that mentioned and showed pictures of charred crust.

                  Lastly, any opinions on La Villa on Hylan Boulevard? I *think* I read that the owner also owns Justinos.

                2. re: irvingk

                  Yes, very good food. I just wish it wasn't always so crowded and noisy though nowadays, in this difficult economy, I suppose less crowded might be a a scary thing.

                  1. re: Tay

                    for you staten island folks:

                    years ago, in the previous iteration of this board, when this subject came up, a poster (a miss poste) used to always champion the pizza at a place called, i believe, the surf club. outside of her posts, I have never heard of this place. Does a restaurant called the surf club exist on staten island? if so, anyone know if they do have good pizza?

                    1. re: missmasala

                      The Surf Club is now a memory. It used to be on Fr. Capodanno Blvd. not far from where it becomes Lily Pond Ave. It always looked like a dilapidated bar to me, and I never went in, but who knows? Facades may mean nothing. Anyway, it went away about a year ago, going by the article in the paper.

                      1. re: comestible

                        "It always looked like a dilapidated bar to me, and I never went in, but who knows?"
                        To put it as tactfully as possible, it was not a place in which many people would have been especially comfortable.

                        1. re: Tay

                          oh I don't know... they kept the X-mas lights up year round inside to cheer up tramps like me... I never did have the pizza though. Looks like some sort of "legitimate" establishment is going up there now... sigh.

                          1. re: Flaco

                            LOL! I guess you're our resident 'Born to Run(ner)
                            It's often true that hole-in-the-wall places like that often have great bar food.. When I worked in Bay Ridge we used to eat bar food type lunches at an "Old man's bar" on 4th Ave. Great cheap eats. Savory food/unsavory characters :-)

                            1. re: Tay

                              The Turkish restaurant that replaced the Surf Club is now open. We picked up a menu the other day after walking the dog on the boardwalk but we haven't been in yet. I'll let you know.

                              1. re: BMartin

                                Yeah saw it was open today as well... how much you wanna bet it's not really Turkish run but a former Soviet Bloc enterprise? I was talking about this at Ayder the other day on Forest. Don't get me wrong, it still could be great. Also, that Polish place on Sand is wonderful with a better all around selection than Polish Place by the ferry. Finally, support La Canasta on Sand, they are barely hanging on!

                                1. re: Flaco

                                  Oh, La Canasta, is that the Mexican deli-cum-casual restaurant place? I have noticed it but never went in. (I bicycle on Capodanno Blvd. a fair amount.) If you recommend it, I'll go.

                                  There's a Polish place on Sand?? I didn't know. Guess I have to get out more!

                                  1. re: comestible

                                    "There's a Polish place on Sand?? I didn't know

                                    Nor did I...Flaco...Please spill the details

                                2. re: BMartin

                                  As always, I'll look forward to your review. :-)

                                  1. re: Tay

                                    Thanks, Tay. That's a pretty interesting theory of Flaco's about the "Turkish" place--that its one of the "Stan" countries. I'll try to sound them out. But Flaco needs to give GPS coordinates for the rest of us for the Polish place.

                                    1. re: BMartin

                                      Lol! I refer to them as "the Stans" as well. I think there is a small Turkish community on the South Shore, but I'd wager Flaco is (as usual) spot on.. Since I head into Brooklyn or Manh for Polish food, I'd LOVE to know of a Polish Resto on the South Shore. We'll have to await his reply.

                                      1. re: Tay

                                        The Polish deli on Sand is located in those newer strip mall type shops just to the north as you turn on Sand from the beach. I think there's a wine shop and a Subway along there as well. It's a deli so there's no seating. Great selection of prepared stuff and specialty meats that comes in from Greenpoint once or twice a week. Check with the young owner, very sweet and nice.

                                        1. re: Flaco

                                          There is also a Polish restaurant and deli between the Parkinson's disease building and the Met food on Hylan near Clove. Its OK. The liquor store that Flaco mentions on Sand Lane is quite good--they have a lot of single malt scotches.

                                          1. re: BMartin

                                            "There is also a Polish restaurant and deli between the Parkinson's disease building and the Met food on Hylan near Clove"

                                            Gee...Who knew? I'll have to wander up there and see if I can find it. I found a listing for S&M Polish Deli on Hylan. I wonder if they sell whips and cuffs along with Pirogi? lol!.
                                            As for liquor, I usually go to Pete Milano's (they carry everything) or a place in Coney Island on Neptune Ave and about W 16th St.
                                            Thaanks to you and Flaco for enlightening me. I can certainly use it!


                                            1. re: Tay

                                              That's so funny--i'm almost never on staten island but was there yesterday driving down hylan to my son's soccer game and noticed the polish deli and thought, "hmm, i've never seen that mentioned on chowhound, I should post and ask if it's any good."
                                              Flaco, have you been? is it any good? Also noticed an Uzbeki rest further down hylan--it's actually on one of the cross streets (either new dorp or one closer to it), but right near the corner. anyone been there? it's didn't look too inviting to strangers, as it seemed opened but the curtains in the glassfront windows were closed on a sunny sat afternoon. But then, some of the Uzbeki restaurants in queens can be unfriendly and gruff to unknown patrons, but they still have great food.

                                              If one was at a soccer game at the gateway rec area off new dorp and hylan and afterwards one wanted to go for a great, inexpensive, preferably ethnic or pizza meal, where would you St. Islanders recommend?

                                              1. re: missmasala

                                                "If one was at a soccer game at the gateway rec area off new dorp and hylan and afterwards one wanted to go for a great, inexpensive, preferably ethnic or pizza meal, where would you St. Islanders recommend?"

                                                I'll no doubt get my virtual head handed to me for this rec, but with kids in tow, and cost being a factor, if it's during the week, I'd suggest stopping by Gennaro's for their value priced dinners. they have a dining room side and a pizza/'slice' side. Kids seem to love their pizza/fried calzones and their pasta dishes are pretty good and generously portioned..Nice big parking lot makes it easy. I would never say their food is great but it's decent and very reasonable, especially if you've got a bunch of post game, hungry kids There is a decent Indian place, Taste Of India, on New Dorp Lane but not inexpensive. Same for the Sushi place on the corner of Hylan and New Dorp Lane. Of course, the local chinese buffet is right off Hylan in the shopping center and, like all of them, is the best bang for the buck..
                                                I guess it depends on how far you're willing to travel from the ball fields.

                                                1. re: Tay

                                                  thanks for the rec, Tay, but it's just one kid and i'm looking for something more adventurous. any ideas?

                                                  1. re: missmasala

                                                    Ahhh...I envisioned hungry hoardes of starving post game kids, lol!
                                                    Flaco , comestible and BMartin are the true SI adventurers. We have lots of tasty food on the South Shore, but more traditional Italian/chinese food dining choices, (albeit good ones, like Da Noi.) They have a better understanding of the more ethnic and mostly on the North Shore restos. For really good pizza, the new Salvatore's of Soho is getting very good reviews. Trattoria Romano is also excellent. There is an eastern Euro resto, Chinar,also on Hylan, off Lincoln, but I have not been there yet.



                                                    1. re: Tay

                                                      found myself back out at miller's field yesterday. thanks for the driving directions.

                                                      Tried Salvatore's for pizza. Great clam pie, good pizza, great service. really liked the place. All ingredients super fresh.

                                                      Would still like to get to Denino's one day, but had a time crunch after game and salvatore's was the perfect location.

                                                      have tried joe and pat's in the past and while i liked it, i found it a little overpriced for what you get.

                                                      still hoping to try the mexican place flaco recommended. but thanks all for the advice and suggestions. this is why i love chowhound.

                                                      1. re: missmasala

                                                        I don't know if the alternate route worked for you but since I also try to avoid driving on Hylan Blvd, I was happy to pass it on to you.
                                                        I like Denino's pizza a lot and hope you'll get a chance to try it but you're right, it's not on the South Shore.
                                                        While I'm not such a huge fan of their pizza, a lot of people like Nunzio's on the corner of Hylan and Lincoln. Very convenient location for you.
                                                        I recently tried the pizza at John's, located on Lincoln and Railroad Ave.
                                                        It was pretty good and fairly priced.. My favorite pizza around there is still the grilled eggplant pie found at Trattoria Romana.

                                                        2155 Hylan Blvd, Staten Island, NY 10306

                                                        524 Port Richmond Ave, Staten Island, NY 10302

                                                        Trattoria Romana
                                                        1476 Hylan Blvd, Staten Island, NY 10305

                                                2. re: missmasala

                                                  Too weird, I was just on New Dorp Lane today walking around and also saw that Uzbek place. I also noticed Gennaro's. I suggest we get a thread going on New Dorp Lane since there is also the Mexican deli up by the train (not Los Lobos), the French Tart joint and what looked like upscale Italian everywhere. I avoid Hylan at all costs but really like New Dorp Lane, it reminds me of a High Street one finds in Britain. What was I doing down south of the Mason Dixon line? My kid was hemorrhaging money at Jim Hanley's while I was doing the same buying condiments at TJ Maxx. God help us.

                                                  1. re: Flaco

                                                    I've been to the Uzbeki place--its the one with the murals on the wall, right? It was too expensive for the kind of informal food that was being served, although the food was good. But overpriced--its like they don't know who their audience is. I buy take-out Russian stuff at the deli on Sand Lane just up by McClean Av. They always give us free chocolate if we spend enough money, and when you buy any of the salmon caviar they have, you are almost guaranteed to spend enough.

                                                    1. re: Flaco

                                                      yes, new dorp has a nice villagey feel. (at leas the part i saw) hylan was a traffic nightmare on sat--if i lived on SI, i think i would avoid it, too. I'm already looking for a better way to get to new dorp from the bridge.

                                                      what's the mexican deli? that sounds like my kind of place.

                                                      1. re: missmasala

                                                        " I'm already looking for a better way to get to new dorp from the bridge"

                                                        Take the LL of the bridge, Stay to the right but NOT the last lane to the right. get off at the 2nd exit which is Sand Lane. It becomes Fr Cappodonno Blvd.. The Water/boardwalk will be on your left. Take all the way down to Lincoln Ave, which is one block past Midland Ave. Make a right, take up to Hylan, Turn left onto Hylan. You avoid most of Hylan's traffic.
                                                        Hope it helps :-)

                                                        1. re: Tay


                                                          The problem is, the big traffic is between midland and new dorp. it was 15 minutes just waiting to make the left from hylan onto new dorp. so i'm searching for a way that will put me onto new dorp so i can go straight, instead of turning left from hylan.
                                                          this is so seriously off-topic, i'm sure it will be deleted.

                                                          1. re: missmasala

                                                            The problem is the gate at Miller's Field that prevents access to New Dorp Lane from Fr Capodanno. Hylan is one the ugliest and worst designed streets in America with a very high percentage of Hummers, Escalades & Tahoes... good luck taking that left!

                                                            As for Mexican just go north to Sand on Fr Capodanno and hang a left at the dolphins. Within a couple of blocks you'll see La Canasta right across from Chinar. Last week they had a special of quesadillas made with zucchini blossoms! Also the corn fungus whatchamacallit... The Polish deli will be before Chinar on the same side of the street.

                                                            1. re: Flaco

                                                              many thanks, Flaco! Can't wait to try La Canasta.

                                                              and yes, i wish they would open that gate!

                                                            2. re: missmasala

                                                              "i'm searching for a way that will put me onto new dorp so i can go straight, instead of turning left from hylan."

                                                              Follow my original directions but instead of turning left onto Hylan, stay on Lincoln until Edison St. Turn left onto Edison, make left onto New Dorp Lane. You'll avoid the Hylan/New Dorp Lane left turn nightmare scenario.

                                                                1. re: missmasala

                                                                  Hope it helps. I always avoid Hylan whenever possible.

                                                        2. re: Flaco

                                                          I don't know New Dorp Lane really well, but one place to seek out is the Hidden Cottage coffeehouse...it is literally hidden; you have to walk behind other buildings to get to it. A surprise oasis off the busy street -- nice, homey feel, IIRC, though I don't remember the coffee so well. 286 New Dorp Lane.

                                                  2. re: Flaco

                                                    "The Polish deli on Sand is located in those newer strip mall type shops just to the north as you turn on Sand from the beach"

                                                    I'll have to look around for it. Being a true NYC'er, you should realize that North/South/East/West directions mean nothing to me, lol!. Next time you wander past will you please look for a name.? As always...Thanks!

                      2. According to the 5-boro pizza tour, Salvatore of Soho. Haven't been, but I'm going to check it out in a few days. http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&amp...

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: hungryhungryjones

                          There's been some Chowhound talk on this place, too ... http://www.chow.com/outer_boroughs_di...

                          Salvatore of Soho
                          1880 Hylan Blvd, Staten Island, NY 10305

                        2. How about Denino's on 524 Port Richmond Avenue?

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Howard_b2

                            Yes of course: Deninos, Joe & Pats, Lee's Tavern would be the big three I reckon but search the board and you'll find a dozen others.

                          2. Just wanted to say that I've had my first pizza at Lee's Tavern. I'm really impressed. Cracker-thin crust, done to just the right stage of brownness, mushroom-cheese-garlic toppings integrated beautifully with the tasty tomato sauce, some added tomato slices on top. A large pie was enough for two people, and delicate enough that you don't feel you're pigging out.

                            I think it's my favorite Island pizza so far.

                            1. The Joe & Pat's recipe resides on the South Shore at Ciro's 862 Huguenot Avenue across from the train station.