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Jul 10, 2009 02:43 PM

ISO Pizza Margherita wood fired, but...

Is being able to have thin and blistered crust, pizza marghertia without having to remortgage our home an anomoly? I have been reading your posts on Una, Kef.., and Motorino but refinancing our home is not an option.

How can something so simple, quick to make be sooooo expensive (must be the rent and the fact that they aren't making money from liquor). We don't want liquor, we want pizza.

Having said that, I would take an amazing quality square sliced pizza (in the Roman style) to go too.

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  1. Excellent pizza, like any other good preparation is worth the money for many people; most have no problem paying for a $21 plate of pasta once in a while :). Lil' Frankies is a good value, though.

    Bruni's Times piece two days ago was pretty good I thought. Graphics and audio were nice.,,, and

    1. Thanks; I read Bruni in Times, but I noticed some debate about his knowledge of Napoletana. Having had Napoletana in Italy, I am not sure either. The pics don't look comparable.

      2 Replies
      1. re: itryalot

        i like pizza in naples (last there in march, da michele) and pizza at upn (last there late june). upn, in my opinion, is quite good. paying the freight is up to you.

        1. re: itryalot

          I'm not a fan of UPN, but to suggest it's not true neapolitan pizza is nonsense.

        2. With the exception of UPN, you can get an excellent plain margherita (usually cow's milk mozz.) at many of the better places, including those you mentioned, for like $10 - $12 for an individual sized pie. Near Keste you could also try No. 28 (also wood-fired) on Carmine St., which is quite good and gives you the option of larger sized pizzas, which may be a better value. At my last visit (a couple weeks ago) Keste was not serving alcohol yet, so that is not even an option. I just got tap water with my pizza.

          For square margherita slices (eat in or take out) you can try the newly opened Veloce in the East Village (perhaps a bit thicker than Roman style), which I liked on my first and only visit or also Farinella in lower Manhattan (which I have yet to try, but looks very close to Roman-style square). Grandaisy and Sullivan St. Bakery also make excellent square slices although they I don't believe either of them do a margherita.

          1 Reply
          1. re: boccalupo

            Boccalupo (love the name, by the way) - Thanks. Will put those on my list. Will do some online research.

          2. Co., Keste, Mezzaluna, La Tonda, Giorgione, La Pizza Fresca, Naples 45, Luzza's. L'Asso,

            1 Reply
            1. re: guttergourmet

              I have been reading about Keste, will look up the rest; thanks!

            2. Well, Una Pizza is expensive, but Keste's is $12 and Motorino's is $10 ($13 for buffalo mozzarella) and both are a good size. Considering that you're getting a top-quality experience that hardly seems extortionate, nor 2nd mortgage-worthy.

              NY Magazine's breakdowns of Motorino's costs:

              Owner: Mathieu Palombino

              ANNUAL EXPENSES
              Labor: $432,000 ($9,000 a week for twenty employees; note that Motorino is a full-service restaurant and pizzeria)
              Utilities: $6,600 ($550 a month for electricity and gas)
              Wood: $13,688 (three cords per month, $375 per cord)
              Rent: $72,000 ($6,000 per month for 1,400 square feet)
              Pizza ingredients: $160,000 (flour, tomatoes, housemade mozzarella)
              Toppings: $100,000 (prosciutto di Parma, soppressata, etc.)
              Miscellaneous costs: $25,712
              Total . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $810,000

              Fior di Latte mozzarella: $1.00
              San Marzano tomatoes: $0.40
              Caputo 00 soft-grain dough from Napoli: $0.32
              Sicilian sea salt: $0.01
              La Frontoin extra-virgin olive oil from Sicily: $1
              Pecorino-Romano: $0.41
              Raw Israeli basil: $0.50
              Total . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $3.64/pie
              Cost to customer . . . . . . . . . . . .$10
              Markup per pie . . . . . . . . . . . .$6.36

              From pizza: $832,200 (21,900 margherita pies at $10, plus 51,100 specialty pies at $12).
              Total gross . . . . . . . . . . . $900,000
              Annual profit . . . . . . . . . . . $90,000 (revenue of $900,000 minus expenses of $810,000)

              2 Replies
              1. re: craig_g

                $1 per pizza on the olive oil? No way.

                I also love how they calculate the cost of utilities, rent, labor for the entire business operation, and then leave out the profits they're making on sodas, bottled water, extra toppings, etc.