I couldn’t believe that I had gotten too busy to have mapped out any pizza plans for a recent trip back home. But as fate would have it, my phone rang right as I got off the plane at Newark Airport. It was my biz associate Richard from the Left Coast. Leaving the true nature of his call for last, he immediately followed my “Hello” with “I heard you are The Pizza Snob.” After fessing up and then mentioning I was in New York, he asked if I had ever been to Stromboli Pizza in the Village. I replied “No, but I will go there tomorrow!” which I did.
Although it was a chilly night, the Snob was in the need of some exercise. After driving into the City, I parked Dad’s car in Soho and then proceeded on a long brisk walk over to Stromboli on the northwest corner of St. Marks Place and First Avenue. St. Marks Place is a street with a history of having been quite seedy back in the day. It’s cleaned up a bit, but it still isn’t a place where you will see a lot of limos passing through.
Stromboli’s small room was old, dark and dungy, somehow fitting the mood of the block. There was a counter in the rear at which I ordered my plain cheese slice ($2.75) and several wooden tables in the front where I sat waiting for it to toast up. There was a small chalkboard advertising what was for sale (mostly pizza, but also rolls, heroes and calzones) and an assortment of slice-ready pies under glass. It was cash-only with an ATM in the room.
My slice only took about a minute and it was ready. My first observation was that it looked quite colorful from its seasoning and reheating. Boy, the bottom crust on this baby was brilliantly charred and made for a firm and delightfully crisp foundation. Perhaps it carried a bit more cheese by Snob standards, but it was not too much to cause any slippage or create excess oil. Nonetheless, it was a good solid tasting Mozzarella that was brilliantly seasoned. The tomato sauce on the other hand had a slight sweetness which I found a bit distracting and was perhaps the only thing in my book keeping Stromboli’s slice from perfection.
All in all, I had a great late-in-the-planning Manhattan pizza excursion and am happy to add Stromboli Pizza to the Snob’s list of places to recommend. It’s a contagiously-delicious one that I will find hard to pass up if I am in the area.
Thanks Richard for helping fill my dance card!
PIZZA SNOB RATING ****1/2 Nearer Perfection
83 St. Marks Place New York, New York 10003