Isabella’s Oven is making the best Neapolitan-style pizza to come along in a while. The Margherita DOC, one of around 15 pies on the menu, is exemplary: tomato, buffalo mozzarella, basil, and olive oil on a crisp thin crust. guttergourmet likens it to those at Una Pizza Napoletana and Luzzo’s in the East Village.
Toppings are topnotch; besides the Margherita, combinations include the San Daniele (prosciutto, tomato, fresh mozzarella, arugula, olive oil), the Tirolese (speck, pecorino, fresh mozzarella, tomato, olive oil), and the Tartufata (portobellos, mushroom pâté, ham, fresh mozzarella, white truffle oil). The wood-burning brick oven produces a crust that’s “light and blistered and elastic and all the things you want for a Neapolitan pie,” promises traceybell. Salads, pastas, heros, and a handful of hot entrées (chicken parmigiana or milanesa, eggplant parm) round out the menu.
On the Upper West Side, pizza pro Nick Angelis has struck again. Dean’s, open since June, is turning out regular and “grandma” pies with help from the guy behind the hound-endorsed Nick’s in Forest Hills and Adrienne’s Pizza Bar near Wall Street, among other places. The grandma (“old fashioned square pizza” on the menu) features fresh and processed mozzarella, two kinds of Parmesan, milled tomatoes, and a touch of garlic and oregano atop a nice thin crust. Round pies boast a well-browned crust with character and crunch, says dan f. He faults only listless sauce and toppings, which can be pepped up at the table with salt, red pepper, and grated Parmesan.
Dean’s pizza leaves some hounds cold. “If you have to travel more than five blocks,” Cpalms advises, “it’s not worth it.” There’s also a full menu of salads, pastas, and entrées. Fallon recommends rigatoni Bolognese or bucatini with meatballs. Daniel76 says stick with the pizza. “Airplanes serve better pasta,” he shudders.