The state of the New York slice is dire or is it? Ed Levine, a semi-acknowledged local pizza authority, launched a full-scale investigation earlier this week. Our pies, Ed maintains, are "going to hell in a hand basket filled with ... canned pizza sauce." Slice's Adam Kuban, another semi-acknowledged pizza authority, agrees. Even Gourmet had a bit of sport at our expense, inviting several big-shot Italian chefs to scoff at Rosario's cheeseburger pizza.
And yet, five great slice joints have opened up here in the last couple of years, just counting the ones in Manhattan. Ed mentioned a few he likes. But here are our picks.
2. DeMarco's Pizzeria & Restaurant We're told that Dom DeMarco, the near-legendary (and very busy) proprietor of Di Fara's, has never even set foot in here. But it's three of his kids who established the place, and the Saint of Avenue J's ingredients and basic techniques are all in full effect.
3. Adrienne's Pizza Bar Because it's tucked into a weird pedestrian mall deep in the financial district, too few New Yorkers have sampled Nick Angelis's Eucharist-thin grandma slice.
4. Tomato & Basil The self-appointed "home of the grandma pizza" lives up to its billing, at least in this pizza-deprived neighborhood. 226 Fourth Ave., at Union St., Park Slope, Brooklyn; 718-596-8855.
5. Pinch: Pizza by the Inch Broad, thin, and with a bright, zesty sauce, these order-by-size servings are cut according to your appetite, if not your budget.