HOME > Chowhound > Southern New England >

Discussion

Connecticut Pizza

  • f

Hey PizzaHounds.........loving CT Pizza......saw this review of some pizza spots incl the usual New Haven joints......tell me which ones outside of New Haven you think are worth the ride......I am always up for a pizza run if its really worth it !!

http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives...

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. I grew up on Modern and I absolutely love it. The family will also go to Pepe's in a pinch but I personally like Modern better...favorites include bacon on red, clams casino, tomato/basil on white, eggplant on red. Some of these they don't even have at Pepe's.

    7 Replies
    1. re: melpy

      Little City Pizza in Simsbury is worth a drive, in my opinion. They also have a pretty darn good cupcake, too!

      In New Haven, I love the Mashed Potato pizza at Bar.

      -----
      Little City Pizza
      926 Hopmeadow St Ste 1, Simsbury, CT 06070

      1. re: Tinkerbelldee

        bar does a very nice white clam pie too.

        I have to admit, as far as Modern goes, count me a hater.

        Being New Haven born and bred, I don't eat pizza out of town as a rule, not if it is a choice between pizza and seafood, or pizza and bbq, or pizza and anything, really. I eat pizza elsewhere if I am with people who are really excited about eating pizza elsewhere. I don't want to be a spoilsport. But living in the Elm City, it's kinda pizza Mecca, so I get my pizza fix here.

        And yeah, I've tried pizza in Chicago (meh) and pizza in NY @ some place called John's that did the brick oven thing that everyone was all fired up about and that was pretty darn good. But I can get damn fine pizza here and often do, so I don't crave it elsewhere. Which means I'm not much help in this thread, not for responding to the original posters question.

        But, but, but, while we are on the subject of fine pies in New Haven, has anyone tried the white pie with thin-sliced potatoes and rosemary at Sally's? Swoooon!

        1. re: Pipenta

          I want to live vicariously through you. I'm from Hamden but. at my age, it's doubtful I'll ever get back there to try these dishes myself. Please tell me about the mashed potato pizza and the clam pie while I drool all over my keyboard.

          1. re: mucho gordo

            The mashed potato pizza is thin crust pizza and instead of sauce they use a potato puree. It has a thin consistancy. They top it with cheese (mozz & cheddar I think) and top it with bacon. So unbelievably delicious.

            1. re: jessicheese

              I can believe it; It does sound fantastic.

        2. re: Tinkerbelldee

          I just learned about New Haven pizza from my husband who is born & raised in Derby. I have quickly become obsessed and we now have to go there every time we visit his family. Modern was my first introduction and I absolutely adore it. We then went to BAR, which was very good, but I liked Modern better. I do have to say that the mashed potato pizza at BAR is in my "best thing I ever ate" category.
          It's the bacon that makes me obsessed with NH pizza, too. The way it cooks on the pizza and gets all chewy... there's nothing like it anywhere else on the planet.

          1. re: Tinkerbelldee

            Ditto Little City Pizza - really great, especially with New Haven an hour away!

            -----
            Little City Pizza
            926 Hopmeadow St Ste 1, Simsbury, CT 06070

        3. Like melpy, I find Modern to be the best, leave pepe's and sally's for the touristas. Outside New Haven? Roseland in Derby, Tolli's in East Haven, and Verona in Southington

          8 Replies
          1. re: BiscuitBoy

            Biscuit, Anybody else make the Clam pie that Frank Pepe has???

            1. re: ospreycove

              You know, I don't personally care for the clam pie, and I know lotsa folks go to pepe's just for that...My dining companions have compared roseland's clam to pepe, but I cannot confirm, sorry!

              1. re: ospreycove

                You can get the same clam pie as Pepe's at Modern.

                1. re: melpy

                  Modern serves lemon on their white clam pie. ???? Nowhere near Pepes. Last two times at Modern,, crust was blackened on the edge and soggy in the middle. Not impressed.

                  1. re: jenni49

                    We just had our first "abeets" experience at Modern and while i loved the pepperoni, the white clam didn't do it for me. It was rather bland and the canned clams (which I enjoy in general) got very rubbery from the high heat of the oven. Lemon wedges were unnecessary and although we quickly removed them, their seeping juice made the center of the pizza (where they were placed) a bit soggy. Will go back again and again for the pepperoni though.

                  2. re: melpy

                    You most certainly cannot get the same clam pie as Pepe's at Modern. Pepe's uses fresh clams and Modern uses canned. There is no comparison. Modern is better with anything in the red apizza category but definitely not the white clam.

                  3. re: ospreycove

                    I second the Roseland endorsement; and while I am remiss in not having had a Pepe's clam pie, I can vouch for the Roseland clam pie. It's very nice, made with fresh whole clams and lots of garlic. (If you don't like garlic, you can request little or none, of course.)

                    1. re: ospreycove

                      Other places do a clam pie using fresh clams, but since the ovens and the dough are different, they are not the "same."

                      I happen to like first and last tavern's white clam pie-in hartford

                  4. My area faves:

                    Naples Pizza - Farmington
                    Little City Pizza - Simsbury (love the cupcakes too!)
                    Pizzeria Marzano - Torrington

                    -----
                    Little City Pizza
                    926 Hopmeadow St Ste 1, Simsbury, CT 06070

                    Naples Pizza
                    838 Farmington Ave, Farmington, CT 06032

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Meesch70

                      Can attest to Naples in Farmington. From NJ/NY originally...when I moved to CT, didn't find great pizza. Naples is as close as I've come in the immediate area. New Haven a bit far just for pizza. Will try Manchester (pepe's) next. Can also vouch for Olee's in Farmington, too.

                      1. re: njmarshall55

                        Never heard of Olee's, what style is it?

                        1. re: ratbuddy

                          Thin crust...as to styles, all I know is NY and chicago. It's definitely NOT Chicago. (That's not pizza...that's a casserole). Actually it's run by a bunch of guys from Turkey, but they do a decent pie. Along with grinders, salads, wraps, fried items...

                    2. Modern in New Haven is the best in my book. Pepe's in New Haven or at Mohegan Sun is great too - I love the traditional white clam pie. I live in Stratford where Salerno's makes the best pie within town limits. When I'm in Ridgefield, I like the Indian pizzas that they make at Toozy Pasta and Piccolo's ( they are owned by the same people). They make 2 different "Indian" pizzas - the "Korma Pizza" and the Ravi Shankar". We have had the Korma Pizza a couple of times and it's great! A friend recomended it to us.

                      1. Definitely worth the ride in Central CT is Napoli in Meriden. Here's a post from last year of a pizza we had:
                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5871...

                        I've gotta be their biggest calzone fan, having loved them for so many years...but with dough, cheese and sauce as great as this, it's hard to lose no matter what shape their dough takes.

                        -----
                        Napoli Pizza
                        311 W Main St Ste 1, Meriden, CT 06451

                        4 Replies
                          1. re: junescook

                            Thanks for catching me--that was a misfire. Corrected now. ;) Napoli all the way!

                            1. re: kattyeyes

                              Can you get bacon on the suburban?!!

                        1. Outside of NH, i'd say give Roseland in Derby a try.

                          Others commonly mentioned include Zuppardi's in West Haven and Letezia's in Norwalk. Neither are at the top of my list, but others swear by them.

                          Colony Grill in Fairfield and Stamford are worth trying for their good bar-style pies. I'd rather have a pie from Pepe's, but theirs are unique and pretty good as well.

                          All this is IMO, of course. Pizza preferences are intensely personal, I find.

                          -----
                          Colony Grill
                          172 Myrtle Ave, Stamford, CT 06902

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: plien69

                            I will drive for the hot oil pizza at Colony Grill- and be sure to get extra "stinger" peppers on it. The place is a dive, the pizzas are small, but they are different than most others out there. I would cross off all the places in West Hartford, and I agree with those who say Mulberry Street is worth it if you are already in the Manchester, CT area.

                            -----
                            Colony Grill
                            172 Myrtle Ave, Stamford, CT 06902

                          2. The pies to try in Western FFD CTY:

                            New Canaan - Joe's (bacon and tomato)
                            Wilton - Leitizia (very sloppy though)
                            Norwalk - Fat Cat, Strada 18, Match
                            Stamford - Colony; Coalhouse

                            -----
                            Strada 18
                            122 Washington St, Norwalk, CT 06854

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: jfood

                              Just wanted to say that I had dinner with my son and wife at Strada 18 in Norwalk last night for a late Sunday night meal. Their white thin crust pizza was very good. All of their pasta dishes are baked. My wife and my son both had linguini with clams, a dish you don't normally think of as baked. Anyway, great atmosphere, excellent wine list. I would go back there to further explore the menu as they have a good wine and cocktail list.

                            2. WOW CH's ! great dialogue!......I find it fascinating there is nothing in the eastern shoreline area or much in eastern CT at all? nor Hartford or north of Hartford? interesting......

                              Is that because there are none worth a visit? or an artifact of the presence of western and central Ct participation on this board?

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: few

                                Little City is North of Hartford.
                                Hartford- Harry's

                                If you want to go Northwest, Bohemian is pretty good in Litchfield

                                1. re: Tinkerbelldee

                                  Harry's Bishop's Corner, to be exact.

                                  And Mulberry Street in Manchester.

                                  -----
                                  Harry's Bishop's Corner
                                  732 North Main Street, West Hartford, CT 06117

                                  1. re: Waquoit

                                    Yup, way better than the one in the center.

                                2. re: few

                                  few, and *I* find it fascinating there's nothing like a pizza thread to get people posting on our board. ;) Wait for it, the remaining corners of the state will show up to weigh in, no doubt....just give 'em time.

                                  1. re: few

                                    In my experience, pizza anywhere north of wallingford is a gamble, as well as east of branford. Pies is this area tend to be electric oven, frozen dough abominations, a half step ahead of supermarket frozen pizza. Always exceptions, of course, and alot depends on what you grew up with, and what you get used to

                                  2. For me the best Pizza outside of Pepe's and Modern is a place called Christos Pizza in the Wallingford Plaza on Route 5 .
                                    I love there cheese pizza and I would say it almost as good as Pepe's or Modern .

                                    They have a thin crust and its cooked to prefection.

                                    Also in Wallingford Fratelli's Pizza and Little Italy on Route 150 make a good pie.

                                    Christos once you try it you will see why its the best kept secret in the area.

                                    -----
                                    Christos Pizza & Restaurant
                                    970 N Colony Rd, Wallingford, CT 06492

                                    1. Maybe we need a CT Pizza Crawl come the Fall? What say you all CH's???

                                      1. I love Luna Pizza in Glastonbury! It is so fresh and just so yummy! I can't even describe it, but everytime I eat there, I wolf down the whole pizza in minutes.

                                        1. New and surprising...Vinny's Grill and Grotto on the Black Rock/Fairfield line. They have a fantastic white clam pizza, if you like garlic and thin crust this pie is for you! They also have a pie with gorgonzola and pears. Delish. Full review here (complete with pictures): http://fcmenutalk.com/search/Vinny%27...

                                          1. My husband and I really enjoy Luna Pizza on Farmington Ave. in West Hartford.
                                            http://lunapizzact.com
                                            Thin crust, good sauce, good mozzarella. We ask for the pie well-done though for an extra-crispy crust.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: eds929

                                              I agree with you about Luna. Outside of New Haven style pizza, Luna in WH is my favorite. I especially like to order an eggplant with ricotta. They pipe the Ricotta on the pizza in rosettes. It looks as good as it tastes.

                                              1. re: awm922

                                                Ive tried Luna few times and wasnt really impressed.
                                                I like first and last tavern in hartford
                                                Agree about harry's though

                                                What about park lane pizza for a greek style pie-I have a soft place in my heart for that place.

                                            2. I grew up in Ridgefield, CT and weened on Roma Pizza. Roma closed their doors a number of years ago. George, the owner, would make everything from scratch. There was nothing that ever came close to the freshness and taste. I'm still on a quest to find something even close to this style of Pizza. Many years of searching and still come up empty handed. If anyone remembers Roma in Ridgefield, CT ..... is there anything in our area that might come close to their recipe?

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: scheney

                                                Liked Roma when I lived in Ridgefield, like Julio's Brick Oven Pizza on Main st in Southbury.

                                              2. For not having to drive down to New Haven or Derby & just need a pizza fix,

                                                try Hometown III [or is it II or IV] on South Main St in Thomaston. Local joint, but well made - and you can get slices! Not too thin crust - more like the olde time Bronx pies. Gas oven I think.

                                                1. Cheshire.......Rossini's is fantastic..........grew up there in the 1980's and I still go and grab about 8 pies on my way through and freeze them........outstanding reputation too.

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: River19

                                                    I second Rossini's. I know pizza ratings are very subjective, and people can have drag-out, roll-around fistfights on the topic, but I much prefer Rossini's over the New Haven three. Sally's and Pepe's are obnoxiously rude places to eat, and Modern is too salty. A cheese pizza from Rossini's is worth a two hour drive. Plus, the gang at Rossini's are incredibly friendly.

                                                    My favorite, aside from DD's in Poughkeepsie NY.

                                                    1. re: rogersmithiii

                                                      I've had plenty friendly service at Pepe's. I do agree sometimes Modern is too salty, but I find that's only true some of the time. Strange.

                                                      Sally's, on the other hand, might have the best pizza in the world (at least it is to me), but their service is atrocious. Not so much rude but just not caring. The crusty old dudes that bus the tables are barely attentive. The 2 recent times I went it was a 90 minute experience WITHOUT having to wait. No thanks. Maybe for takeout.

                                                  2. Al Forno, in the Old Saybrook/Westbrook area has great pizza. It is in a shopping center right next door to Benny's. I haven't been there in a year or two, but it was great when I was there in previous years. There were times when I thought that it was better than Pepe's in New Haven.

                                                    3 Replies
                                                    1. re: aldente1

                                                      You speak the truth! I've wanted to try Al Forno for some time. Finally got there last night and enjoyed a chicken, broccoli, ricotta pie. Excellent thin crust and better than any pizza closer to home for me. Heats up nicely for breakfast, too! Will be back again for sure.

                                                      P.S. Save room for tiramisu!

                                                       
                                                      1. why doesn't anybody think that pizza north of New Haven is not good?
                                                        I can understand that what you were brought up on is the beast in the world, but there are a lot more choices north of Meriden.
                                                        Try the Greek pizzas in Berlin, Newington, & New Britain for something different than the flat Italian pie.

                                                        4 Replies
                                                        1. re: riffjamer

                                                          Park lane pizza-one of my favorite greek style pies. I cant stop eating it when I order a pie.

                                                          1. re: AdamD

                                                            Park Lane is pretty good, but they charge way too much compared to similar pies.

                                                            1. re: ratbuddy

                                                              It didnt seem expensive to me, but then again, I live in Westchester county, where a margherita pie can cost $20.

                                                          2. re: riffjamer

                                                            Anthony's on North Main St in Torrington is really good thin crust pizza. They have other delicious Italian entrees like zuppa de pesc and homemade gnocchi.

                                                          3. Pyzzz in Putnam. Always get a good pizza there.

                                                            -----
                                                            Pyzzz
                                                            8 Harris St, Putnam, CT 06260

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: KazamaSmokers

                                                              Bellissimo in Naugatuck makes an outstanding pie

                                                            2. Anyone tried Pizzeria Lauretano in Bethel? I had a pie there two years ago thought it was excellent- thin crust, gourmet style. Not eating much pizza these days. The pie I had a few months ago at Pepe's in Danbury was lackluster. Haven't had First & Last Cafe in Danbury's pie in awhile, but they make a good thin crust in a wood-fired oven.

                                                              -----
                                                              Pizzeria Lauretano
                                                              291 Greenwood Ave, Bethel, CT 06801

                                                              First & Last Cafe
                                                              2 Pembroke Rd, Danbury, CT 06811

                                                              1. I love Plum Tomato in Colchester! They have an awesome Shrimp, Asparagus, Tarragon, and Ricotta pizza. They also have one with roasted garlic, caramelized onions, and potato. I'm not a fan of Greek-style pizza in general, but Great Oak in Norwich has the best that i've had.

                                                                -----
                                                                Plum Tomato
                                                                275 S Main St, Colchester, CT 06415

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: kubasd23

                                                                  Harry's, West Hartford......it's the best...get pepperoni and fresh garlic.....incredible, nothing in New Haven comes close

                                                                2. New Haven -Sally's. Hands down.
                                                                  Glastonbury - Luna Pizza
                                                                  Colchester - toss up between Plum Tomato & Illiano's
                                                                  East Windsor - Henry's Pizza, best sauce in the world

                                                                  -----
                                                                  Plum Tomato
                                                                  275 S Main St, Colchester, CT 06415

                                                                  Illiano's
                                                                  709 Broad Street Ext, Waterford, CT 06385

                                                                  1. Here's my two cents...Sorrento's in Burlington, CT really surprised me. Very good pie, calzone, and salad. One of the best I've had in CT (haven't been to New Haven yet!). Understand new management has it now for about two years. We're definitely ordering from them again.

                                                                    1. I'm admittedly a bit of a pizza snob. I grew up around Danbury and HATE the electric oven, wannabe New York BS pizza they serve everywhere in that area.

                                                                      Sally's in New Haven is my favorite pizza on the planet. Perfection. But terrible, terrible service. It's a long, grueling experience to finally eat there. I appreciate Pepe's/Modern/BAR for all different reasons. There's no doubt New Haven has the best pizza in all of New England and can easily go toe-to-toe with the best in NYC.

                                                                      Outside of New Haven, I really like:

                                                                      Jimmy's Apizza (Milford) - Great New Haven style pizza outside of New Haven. Really, really solid pizza.
                                                                      Jordan's (Norwalk/Westport) - Guilty pleasure. Greasy Greek pizza. It's not particularly "great", but it's great junk food.
                                                                      Laurentano (Bethel) - Great gourmet small pizzas. A godsend in a pizza wasteland other than the new Pepe's in Danbury.
                                                                      Tarry Lodge (Westport) - the crust here actually reminds me of New Haven apizza. The toppings are amazing. Yay Mario Batali.
                                                                      Kitchen Zinc (New Haven) - OK OK, it's not outside of New Haven, but it is outside of the usual legendary usuals in town. Totally different style. More like Tarry Lodge and Laurentano. Gourmet, smaller pizzas. Non-traditional. Pretty great though.

                                                                      I think Colony is garbage, but I do like the hot oil as a topping.

                                                                      I did try Zuppardi's in West Haven after much hype and was completely unimpressed. IMO Jimmy's Apizza is much better in that general vicinity.

                                                                      I will have to try Roseland in Derby.

                                                                      One observation is that if you look at your average pizza joint (not the well known brands), the greater New Haven area seems to have been positively influenced by the whole apizza trend. Even some unassuming take-out places I've gotten pizza in Milford are far superior than most of the pizza you get in the rest of the state. Fairfield County is especially disappointing given its geographical location between New Haven and NYC. As I stated before, getting a decent pizza in northern FFC was nearly impossible for years.

                                                                      1. I grew up in Bridgeport and the best a'beetz is Salerno's Apizza in Stratford on Barnum Ave.

                                                                        1. Willington Pizza in Willington, up near UConn. Their red potato pizza won a national award and it is still my nostalgic favorite.

                                                                          There used to be a Greek place that served really wonderful pizza in Willimantic, also near UConn, but for the life of me I cannot recall their name.

                                                                          1 Reply