It was a late Sunday afternoon when my brother and I were riding the train downtown back from seeing my Yankees whoop the Blue Jays. There was no question about us going for pizza, but it remained unanswered as to where. Trying to find something new that wouldn’t be too far from a train station, we were quickly running out of stops. Then, it finally came to me that I had been longing to try the Denino’s Pizzeria & Tavern that had recently opened in the Village.
I had previously been to and loved their original Staten Island location that has been making pizza since 1951. In 2010, they added a second location down the Jersey Shore in Brick, and in 2016 for their third, they took some high-priced real estate on MacDougal Street in the heart of Greenwich Village.
The new location is quite spiffy, and on this sometimes drizzly but otherwise pleasant day, we were able to get a table at the open window bay overlooking all the interesting Village characters and tourists walking by on the sidewalk. Otherwise, Denino’s inside is nicely decorated in a wooden motif with a large bar in the rear while the kitchen remains behind the scenes.
Having not gotten our hunger fill from $9 hot dogs at the Stadium, we went all out with the meatballs and some garlic bread as a warm up to our 16-inch pizza (No slices here!). We of course picked the one at the top of the lineup, the “1951 Original” which carries only the essential tomato sauce and mozzarella. It was $22 which is a bit of a hike from the $13.50 I paid last time I visited Denino’s on the Island. But, I get it – this is Manhattan. At an average ticket of $48 per meal, it is the most expensive city to dine out in America. But, I digress since the pie we ate was worth every buck.
Like the pie I had in Staten Island and drooled over, Denino’s pizza is just out of this world fantastic. It’s just like I like it—light with not a lot of sauce and not a lot of cheese. Its thin crust was crispy and had that noted heavy Staten Island crunch to every bite. In their style, the end crust had bread crumbles in it which is a touch that thrills my palette every time.
While NYC is generally a place to eat your pizza by the slice, this is simply one delicious pie, and this spot is a splendid location at which to have a fine sit-down meal to enjoy a whole pie.
Following the move of Denino’s to the City, another great Staten Island location, Joe and Pats, has also opened up shop on this other island. Could the celebrated Lee’s Tavern be next to continue this Manhattan invasion by Staten Island’ best pizza joints?
PIZZA SNOB RATING ***** Sets the Standard
Denino’s Pizzeria & Tavern (Greenwich Village)
93 MacDougal Street
New York, NY 10012