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Pizza in the same vein as Lombardi's, John's but w/ reservations?

I know true 00 flour, Neapolitan-style pizza is what everyone wants these days (I enjoy it too), but what if I'm looking for a thicker, hearty (perhaps less authentic, you can argue) experience? For a birthday dinner, I'm trying to find pizza more in the style of Lombardi's, Arturo's or John's of Bleecker St., that sized-for-two experience with satisfyingly cheesy and hearty pizza, BUT that takes reservations (I can only imagine the wait with a party of 8 on a Sat night). Any suggestions?

I have a standing reservation at Forcella, which I definitely want to try, but I'm thinking it might be too dainty and not as "comforting" enough for a big party. I'm definitely not looking for bad pizza - need something great. Thanks for any suggestions!

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  1. Jane, this suggestion is not exactly the pizza what you asked for, but Cacio e Vino has pizza (as well as Sicilian food) and i thought of it because while it's a cozy space they usually are very good about finding space for groups...

    Cacio e Vino
    80 2nd Avenue, New York, NY 10003

    2 Replies
    1. re: Simon

      Ha, I was actually considering that! We've actually been there a few times, but never had the pizza, I don't think. Was just wary of the prices (seem a bit high) and the lack of mention on the trusty ol' Chow board. Thanks Simon!

      1. re: janethepain

        i haven't had the pizza in a long time, but it was good when i tried it a few years ago...Cacio e Vino is often my recommendation for groups, since it has dishes that satisfy all sorts of eaters (i.e. vegetarians/carnivores, people who want regional Sicilian dishes/people who want a more simple pasta or pizza, etc)...come to think of it, i'm overdue for a meal there -- maybe will go there in the next couple days :)

    2. Coal oven pie and a place that takes reservations? Tough one. I believe Patsy's in East Harlem will take one for a group your size.

      Patsy's Pizzeria
      2287 1st Ave, New York, NY 10035

      1. Doesn't Arturo's take reservations?

        106 W Houston St, New York, NY 10012

        1 Reply
        1. re: tex.s.toast

          Yeah, it does, but some very recent poor reviews (on 2nd page here) make me hesitate....

        2. Nicks on 2nd Ave and 94th has good brick oven pizza in your style range, plus other Italian family standards all decently-to-well-prepared. They're used to groups and celebrations.

          1814 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10128

          1. Not a traditional NY coal fired experience, but I recently had dinner at Zero Otto Nove's downtown location and was really pleased. The pie is somewhere in between neopolitan and ny style, smaller but not personal sized, variety of old school and more adventurous toppings (we thought their version of the pizza de la papa wasnt as good as kestes but it was very good) and as a bonus their other food was excellent, we trieda coulple apps and the braciole was incredible, the tomato sauce/gravy was to die for. It wasn't my pick, but i was very pleased with the experience generally, the tables were really widely spaced for a manhattan restaurant and my only knock was that the service was a bit solicitous (very nice but not my style, for example they serve each person from the plate that the food comes out on, i suppose i could have asked them not to but it didnt occur to me until afterwards).

            Zero Otto Nove
            15 W 21st St, New York, NY 10010

            1. Thanks everyone! Zero Otto Nove sounds perfect, but I can't tell if they take reservations? Doesn't say on their site, nor are they on Opentable. I'll give them a call.

              Turns out Birthday Boy doesn't like Cacio e Vino :(

              Looking through Opentable, looks like Plum Pizzeria and Numero 28 Pizza Napoletana are both open. Anyone have any feedback on them? Neither is ever mentioned on here, and I don't trust Yelp at all.

              Thanks again!

              5 Replies
              1. re: janethepain

                I enjoy Numero 28, their pizzas are pretty much in the Neapolitan mode, but they do have larger oblong pies that are share-able. The amount of cheese and toppings on the pies (other than the Margherita) makes them seem in my mind a bit heavier than a Keste or Motorino. They are cash only as well. The space is pretty loud when full, which it very likely will be on a Saturday night.

                Numero 28
                28 Carmine St, New York, NY 10014

                1. re: Alan Henderson

                  That sounds perfect. I also found those crazy restaurant.com coupons for Numero 28 - but now I am paranoid of some kind of showdown with the management over accepting them (I pay $22.50 for a $100 discount??), and am suspicious that this means it's a poor restaurant...

                  1. re: janethepain

                    Nothing poor about it, although the wines by the glass are a bit lacking. I was there yesterday for lunch actually, had a very nice diavola and they were absolutely hopping which they are most times I've visited. As far as using coupons, I might call ahead and discuss with someone as the waitstaff although very nice are frequently much more fluent in Italian than English and the folks that I would imagine are the managers are not always there at night.

                    1. re: Alan Henderson

                      Thanks for the tip! I've made the reservation and bought the Restaurant.com deal, so I will report back.

                      On Yelp (ugh), there seem to be a few people who have used those coupons without fuss, luckily.

                      1. re: janethepain

                        My boyfriend and I ate at Numero 28 last summer. The service was extremely slow, especially waiting to get and to pay the bill. Luckily, the pizza was so outstanding that we didn't care about the wait.

              2. I know we're on the Manhattan board, but if you're willing to ride the F a few stops, Sam's of Carroll Gardens would really fit the bill! I don't know whether they reserve, but I've never had difficulty getting a table with a party of that size...and I'm guessing you could certainly call and arrange something! I love their pie, by the way -- nothing artisanal about it, but really hits the spot when you're looking for a satisfying, old-school pie!