Thursday, March 6, 2008

Lombardi's Pizza

03-06 Lombardi
Everyone's always complaining about something good being ruined when it gets too touristy but Lombardi's Pizza is the exception to the rule. Even after they expanded next door and despite the lines of tourists around the block at dinner time, their pizza remains pretty damn good.
Lombardi's Pizza, 32 Spring Street at Mott


Marc said...

We went to Lombardi's a couple of weeks ago. First time there, and I have to say that it probably ranks second only to Pepe's in New Haven for the best pizza I have had (and that includes Di Fara, Grimaldi's, John's, Joe's, and Regina's in Boston).

President Smoosh said...

I am curious...."marc" said Lombardi's ranks second to Pepe's in New Haven CT(in his opinion). Having had Pepe's many times before, I know exactly what he means. It's a pizza almost from heaven. I too love Pepe's. BUT....I would love to know just HOW Lombardi's ranks second, in other words, is it a great pie with its own original personality, or is it very similar to New Haven style pizza? I mean we need to know these things when it comes to pizza!

In new Haven, it's all about the "layers". No, it's not thick, but it has different aspects from bottom to top. That's kind of surprising for something so thin. The bottom of the crust is crispy from an insanely hot brick oven cured for decades, but the inside of that same crust is moist, chewy, yeasty, and very tasty. Like hot Artisan bread right out of the oven. It's even good all an its own without sauce or cheese, but could also be enjoyed with about any ingredient known to man. It is very complimentary to the rest of the pizza. I just can't say enough about the crust(sorry!). At the point where the crust(or cooked dough) meets the tomatoes and a light coating of olive oil, a new, very thin but distinct layer is born that is soft and almost, dare I say creamy. That layer is just the right wetness to balance out the bottom of that crispy crust. The tomato sauce layer, which really isn't a sauce by most other pizza places standards, but a light mixture of fresh tomatoes, garlic, probably a little basil and not much else if anything else at all. But it has a taste out of this world. The tomatoes they use in the sauce are of the best quality in the world. It's fresh tasting, not acidy at all, and it so NOT like a simmered-for-hours type sauce. It is refeshing and provides the perfect consistency for what is to come and meet it next: mozzerella cheese that is so creamy and flavorful, sharp and mild all at the same time, so good that I claim it's the best mozzerella I've ever tasted, anywhere anytime. The New Haven restaurants joints must all go through the same supplier or something, maybe ordering the same brand of cheese because they are all head and shoulders above any other pizza place in the cheese category. Anyway, this cheese-- especially when it mixes together with the tomato at their meeting point-- is the jewel on top of this perfect crown of a pizza. To order a pizza with just tomato and cheese is sometimes satisfying enough. In fact I highly recommend doing that the first time in New Haven just to see just what people mean when they say New Haven style pizza has these very delicate, crispy and flavorful aspects to it. It is VERY complex. Having toppings on it the first time might not let you fully appreciate what's going on underneath. It really is like nothing else in this world(except maybe for a couple of places in Naples, Italy, where pizza was invented, and they use buffalo's milk mozzerella-- outstanding I hear). The next time you go, then it's time to order a pizza with some toppings to see just how good the quality of the ingredients they use for toppings are. The best, hands down.

So as you see, in Connecticut we take our pizza seriously. Some of us are fanatical about the whole thing. We are proud to be known worldwide for this one tiny street called Wooster St., with two or three pizza restaurants on it, including "Sally's"(absolutely fantastic as well!), "Pepe's", and "The Spot", which is now owned by Pepe's right next door. Same pizza, so if you can't get in Pepe's because the line is too long, you'll get the same thing one building before it at The Spot. There are many other fantastic pizza places in New Haven as well.

Now, the word going around is that "Modern Pizza" on State St. in New Haven is even better than Pepe's as of late. And I have to admit, they are right. It is worth the five minute drive from Wooster street. Modern has a taste EXPLOSION going on there right now. That delicate balance of ingredients, preparation, and oven tempurature seems to be perfected at Modern. Last weekend I went Pepe's to eat, then got a large at Modern with mozz and sausage to take home with me for the rest of the weekend. Oh yeah, and it is so good cold out of the refridgerator the next day!! Modern actually WAS better than Pepe's. It is a little thinner than Pepe's though, so it's not as heavy or filling, which is great for today's calories-from-fat and carb-watching society. The price reflected it as well, being cheaper than Pepe's, I assume for the mere fact that there is less weight to their pies.

But my question to everyone about Lombardi's is: Is their pizza similar to New Haven's like I explained in great detail earlier? Or would it be a new adventure for me? Because if it is second to Pepe's only because it falls short trying to be like New Haven pizza, then I don't need to waste my gas money or time going there. I guess I am asking for more a more detailed explanation about the pizza there.

Front Studio said...

Personally speaking we do enjoy a good Lombardi's pie but I'm not sure we would rank it up there as some of the best we've had. The crust is thicker and chewier than the New Haven pies although the freshness of the ingredients is similar. I'm not sure it's worth the drive down her JUST for the pizza, but maybe worth trying if you're already in the neighborhood.