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Tuesday
Sep142010

« upping the ante: countertop basil & in house mozz »

Brooklyn's DiFara Pizza certainly sets the bar on high end ingredients.  The owner, Domenico DeMarco, 73, loads every pie with at least three types of cheese (including fresh mozzarella), drizzle after drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, and several snips of fresh basil as a final touch.  But DiFara is closed two days a week, and tasting its pizza — though worth the time and expense — does require a solid commitment due to huge crowds.

My Little Pizzeria, a slice and pie spot on Court Street in Brooklyn Heights, is not in any way a replacement for DiFara's decadent pizza, but it does offer a fine enticement for its decent enough regular slice, and a top-notch fresh mozzarella pie as well.

First, in addition to the standard countertop pizza condiments -- oregano, parmesan, garlic, crushed red peppers, salt & pepper — this place also offers up a self-service container of sprigs of fresh basil leaves. The experience of eating a non-margherita, non-DiFara, stand-up slice with fresh basil is disorienting but worth pursuing.  It had me wondering, hmmm, there's no need for oregano.

Also, My Little Pizzeria makes an incredible premium pie called the Supreme, which — get this — is topped with house made fresh mozzarella!  According to owner Benny Fontana, his pizzeria makes a fresh batch of mozzarella every day, and has been doing so for decades.  And while fresh mozzarella pies have become rather ubiquitous — appearing in the display cases of many shops in the city — MLP's Supreme stands out.

Besides the more convenient Court Street pizzeria, Fontana also has two other shops in Brooklyn. Both are called Original Pizza — one is in Canarsie, the other in Bay Ridge — and both offer countertop basil and house mozzarella.

[I recently discovered a 2009 New York Times article about Fontana's first place, Original Pizza in Canarsie. Though Canarsie is a bit of a hike from just about anywhere in NYC (pizza, I recognize, does not inspire lengthy travel for most), consider this: there are exotic birds and rabbits in the backyard!  I'll be heading over soon to snap a few photos and double-check on the Supreme.]

Map My Little PizzeriaMap Original Pizza (Canarsie);  Map Original Pizza (Bay Ridge) (call ahead for days/hours).

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