We set out for Coney Island last weekend for a long overdue taste of Totonno's. The pizzeria has only been open for a matter of weeks, since completing post-Sandy repairs, but they haven't skipped a beat. The pies? Better than ever.
Yesterday, Totonno's opened its doors once again. It's not every restaurant—or family—that would display the kind of resilience that we've seen from this iconic Coney Island pizzeria. And we cannot wait to get our fix.
When deciding on this list, certainly history, setting, and pedigree had an impact, but in the end, it was all about the flavor. We didn't care whether the joint was 80 years old, or 8 months old, as long as they served a tasty pie. And here they are. Our favorite pizzas in the city. A mix of the old, a mix of the new, a representation of most of the boroughs, a bit of something delicious for everyone.
Letters to Totonno's: Pete Wells, Allison Robicelli, Cookie Cimineri, and Others on America's Church of Pizza
On Monday, we reported the much-anticipated news that Totonno's was finally back in business, nearly five months after Sandy sent flood waters surging through their front doors. In honor of their reopening, we've collected testimonies and love letters to Totonno's from Louise "Cookie" Cimineri, Pete Wells, Dick Zigun, Adam Kuban, and more.
Since filing our first report on the recovery effort at Totonno's, we've been checking in with owners Cookie Cimineri and Antoinette Balzano on a regular basis. Three months after Sandy, the family is now struggling to acquire the loans necessary to reopen the pizzeria.
Back in early December, chef Daniel Patterson organized a fundraising dinner at Coi, one of his San Francisco restaurants, to benefit victims of Hurricane Sandy. A portion of the proceeds were to be reserved for the acclaimed Brooklyn restaurant Governor. Last week, Governor's owners announced that it will not be reopening. Now Patterson will be rerouting the $5,000 raised for Governor to another New York food business in need: Brooklyn institution Totonno's.
For so many of New York's food businesses that were the worst hit by the hurricane, the initial losses have been amplified by a prolonged struggle to move forward. The song remains the same at Totonno's.
When it comes to eating with family, you want a place that's reliable, reasonably affordable, and low on hassle. There's plenty to worry about before a big holiday. Where to eat dinner on the nights before or after shouldn't be one of them. To that end, here are some solid restaurant options good for eating out with the folks.
Every year I like to recap the eight pizzas that really took hold of my imagination. Here are the eight pies or slices that I keep thinking about weeks and sometimes months after having eaten them. (With a very special bonus NINTH pie this year.)
Paul Giannone, the wonderfully-obsessive, always outspoken, former-IT-guy-turned-pizzaiolo of Paulie Gee's in Greenpoint makes one of the finest—if not the finest—pizzas in the city. So when he buzzes you up and says, "hey, I'm going on a tour of my favorite pizzerias in each borough, wanna come?," your answer is not, "sounds fun, let me check my calendar," or "I don't know if I can keep up with you this time," your answer is "I will defy the laws of physics and perhaps my wife's will to go with you, when do we leave?"