Regular readers will have noticed that some of the Pizza Snob’s Manhattan pizza adventures are tied to his other blog-denity, Music City Mike, when he visits the City Winery down on Varick Street in West Greenwich Village. While I am quite saddened to see the awesome CW space fall victim this month to the continued citywide peril of higher rents that the new tenant Disney can afford, The Pizza Snob has pretty much scoured the neighborhood for pre-show pizza. So, I’m gearing myself up for the CW’s 2020 move to a new expansive location at the Hudson River’s Pier 57 and West 15th Street and what new pizza I might find in its vicinity.
Arriving early for a CW show on a Friday night with no pizza plan whatsoever, I was puzzled about what to do. I eventually stumbled upon Spunto Thin Crust Pizza, a place that I have walked past and ignored several times in the past. I did so primarily since I’d never heard anyone say a single word about Spunto, and I suspected it might be touristy. I also noticed that they labelled their small pizza size as “personal” which is a term that just reeks from too many bad pizza experiences. However, this time around, my appetite focused on and became hypnotized by those two tempting and mouth-watering words, “thin crust,” and I soon found myself inside Spunto.
On later investigation, I learned that Spunto (which translates to “cue” or “hint” in Italian) is a part of “The Thin-Crust Pizza Family” founded by Antonio Gomez and Jonathan Tweedy in 1999 with a NYC-pizza place called Gruppo. Spunto came along in 2009 and was the fourth of a now six thin-pizza New York City empire of pizzerias whose name ends in “O”: Gruppo, Posto, Vezzo, Spunto, Tappo and Brado.
Once through the door, the inside felt as New York City as a place could be. The dark cozy bar-like atmosphere drew me in, and I felt as comfortable as if I was a neighborhood regular. The layout of the large room was interesting in that I entered from 7th Avenue which actually turned out to be the rear entrance since the actual front door resides on the opposite end on Carmine Street. I made my way past all the occupied tables and found a cozy seat among the few offered at the bar which was near the door of the proper front entrance.
I went with the “personal” size (nine inches) and, as is my custom, ordered it plain ($8.50). Viewing the assortment of beverages on display behind the bar, I felt intimidated and opted to go for more than just water and sprang for an exotic cranberry juice and club soda.
My pie arrived in about five minutes, and I must say that in calling their pizza “thin crust,” they’re not kidding! This sucker was paper thin and immediately had me thinking of those classic New Jersey bar pies I love so much. There were six cut small slices on the silver serving plate that showed obvious signs of oregano and basil seasoning from the kitchen. I did turn down their offer of parmesan cheese to sprinkle on my pizza. The Snob sticks by this rule: if you want me to have something on your pizza, then put it on there for me. I don’t make add-ons and expect the chef to send me the best they have to offer.
The crisply charred crust made each small slice stand rock solid when I picked one up. To put it bluntly, Spunto’s pizza was deliciously scrumptious, and I didn’t leave a single morsel behind! The cheese and sauce were lushly blended into a light covering with a vibrantly delightful taste. Looking back, I’d say that what I got equated to about two good-sized NYC slices and was a great deal for the money. Next time though, I’ll definitely go for the full size.
Spunto truly is a wonderful place that makes a fantastic thin crust pizza. By all means, put it on your pizza destination list. In addition to the great-tasting pizza, you will love the chill local vibe. For me, I’m looking to check out the five other “O”’s.
Over the past few years, I’ve discovered that there are many ways to score a perfect pizza score from the Pizza Snob. The Spunto thin-crust specimen is yet another example of how to achieve pizza-making greatness.
PIZZA SNOB RATING ***** Sets the Standard
Spunto Thin Crust Pizza
65 Carmine Street (near 7th Avenue)
New York, NY 10004