Wednesday, August 6, 2008

DiFara's: KV Pizza Of Choice

Despite the proximity to Little Italy. an influential KV contingent insist on DiFara's being the best. I haven't been convinced yet.
from the nydaily news
We all know New York's got the best pizza on the planet – and more great pizzerias per capita than any other city in the nation. Despite the stiff competition, naming the top spots was easy as pie for the hundreds of online readers who wrote in to describe their faves. We tallied their votes and visited the winner in each borough to sample the fare (everything from round Sicilian to organic-crusted rectangles to the ubiquitous margarita.) Here are the city's boroughwide reader picks - which boast the crunchiest crusts, most sublime sauces and toppings that are, quite simply, tops!
IN BROOKLYN: DI FARA PIZZA (1424 Avenue J at 15th St.; 718-258-1367)
Every day but Monday when the shop is closed, hungry customers start lining up 20 minutes before Di Fara Pizza opens. At noon sharp, when his married daughter, Louisa Castagnini, unlocks the door, they begin pouring in with one thought on their minds: to savor a slice or three of the traditional old-style pizza that Domenico DeMarco has been making for 42 years.
Andy Hill, who lives in the neighborhood, came in with his 13-month-old son earlier this week and ordered three slices of margarita - plus a whole artichoke pie. As he sat at a table polishing off all three slices of basil-flecked margarita, he explained: "The artichoke pie is for me to take home for dinner."
So what makes this pizza rise above the rest and brings tourists from all over the region for a taste?
"I got too many years over my shoulders - I got a lot of experience," explains DeMarco, who came to this country from Italy in 1959. "And a lot of my ingredients are imported from Italy."
That goes not just for the canned tomatoes (San Marzano) but the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and even the flour. "The dough - it's more light, it has more crunch," says DeMarco, explaining why he imports even his flour.
His ovens heat up to 900 degrees and the pizzas cook in about five minutes. "If the pizza stays too long it comes out like a pretzel," says DeMarco as he pulls a pie from one of the ovens to check it. "When you see a pie with black spots on the bottom, that's Italian pizza but when you see a pie all the same color on the bottom, that's not real Italian pizza."
This first pie of the day is a beauty - an extra crunchy, thin-crusted round with blistered edges and a topping of melting cheese atop a sauce that tastes like the essence of fresh tomatoes. At the last minute, DeMarco snips fresh basil right onto the top and customers line up as he slices it into wedges. It's gone before half the line has been served, but no matter. These customers are willing to wait through their lunch hour for a slice of truffle pie ($5, because it contains imported truffles) or for the Di Fara special (sausage, onions, peppers and mushrooms.) One nice touch on the tables here: bowls of freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and extra tomatoes so you can customize your slice. Not that it really needs any tinkering: this is true pizza perfection.
Customers like Matthew Wolsky, who voted for DiFara, emailed, "Each pie is given unique individual attention, and over the past 40-plus years, Dom DeMarco has perfected his craft. You have to try it to believe it."
And Michael D'Angelo wrote in, "Fughedabout any other pizza, this is perfection. It's like you died and went to pizza heaven.

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