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Restaurants & Bars 3

La Pizza Fresca

Eric Eto | Jun 13, 2006 02:22 AM

I was craving some pizza near midtown, so I decided to check out La Pizza Fresca for an impromptu dinenr since I haven't visited them ever. They are one of the few pizza places that's certified by that Neapolitan pizza authority, as making authentic Napoletana pizza. They seem to be under the chowradar lately, but this might be the best pizza I've had in over a year. I've been jonesing DiFara's but haven't made it out there in over a year. I've had pizza at the regular places like John's, Arturo's, Naples45, Lombardi's, and a few other places, but I haven't really been wowed by anyplace. So La Pizza Fresca was a pleasant surprise.

I went for the basic "la fresca" pizza with tomato sauce, olives, basil, parmesan. What first caught my attention was the flavorful and slightly sour crust. It retained crispenss, yet a good chewy texture. I learned (can't remember where now) that the texture of the crust improves as you allow it to rest after shaping and before baking, and they seem to pay attention to this detail here. I've noticed, for example, that the pizza crust at Lombardi's deteriorates quickly into cardboard and I understand why this happens now, as they don't rest the dough. I've noticed that the pizza at Nick's (at least the one in Forest Hills) probably follow the resting procedure as well, as the crust tends to have that nice crisp/chewy texture.

The pizzas at La Pizza Fresca are individual size, and they're no bargain, but a small price for good quality. My dining companion was in the mood for lasgna, and it was also very good. The meat sauce is a little different in that it is slightly creamy, and that extra richness made for a homey quality. The arugula salad and the cheese plate were also quite decent. If they're as consistent as I experienced, I'll be back sooner than later.


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