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Friday, July 10, 2009

Hot Meal: A Trio of Pies at Tony's Pizza Napoletana

Posted By on Fri, Jul 10, 2009 at 1:00 PM

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Janine Kahn
The Margherita: very superstitious.

Tony Gemignani is famed as a nine-time world pizza champion (both for dough twirling and baking), a status he's parlayed into a pizza school and Tony's Pizza Napoletana. Both opened late last month in the old La Felce space (1570 Stockton at Union), freshened up with dark wood walls and white marble tabletops. 

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The Margherita ($18) was one of only 73 the restaurant cooked that day, a nod to superstition. We're told Gemignani won the Margherita pizza award in Naples on St. Anthony's Day, 6/13. He added the 6 and the 1 to get 7, and kept the 3 as is .Huh? Whatever -- we still wanted more char on the crust, and more basil, too.

We much preferred the classic Italian quattro formaggio ($15) with its pillowy top of asiago, mozzarella, parmigiano, and ricotta. We tried the rectangular, thick-crusted Teglia/Siciliano pizza as a Colombo ($24), freighted with sausage, pepperoni, garlic, and oregano. We also tried deep-fried string beans, unbreaded but a little limp, and a generous serving of light, herb-flecked beef-and-pork meatballs (a bargain at $5) in fresh tomato sauce.

In this moment of artisanal thin-crust chic, Tony's seems sincere if old-fashioned: tasty pies topped with lots of quality ingredients on sturdy, bready crusts. Next time we'll check out a thin crust - maybe the clam pie ($18). Even though it's described as New Haven style. Additional photos after the jump. 

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Janine Kahn
The thick-crusted Colombo.

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Janine Kahn
Beef-and-pork meatballs are a bargain.

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