The outstanding Clam Pie at Frank Pepe
Original Tomato Pie
The extra long pizza peel at Frank Pepe
How to get your pie crust exquisitely charred. The pies don't go in here, this is just the heat source for the oven.
Mark, Adam, Ian, Joe D., Amanda, Miranda and Tien standing in line at Sally's Apizza.
Mozzarella pie at Sally's
Yesterday I joined the Slice Pizza Club for their first out-of-town pizza tasting. Ten people in three separate cars drove up to New Haven, CT to try the legendary pizza at Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana and Sally's Apizza. Frank's was first. Eight of sat down at one booth, (two others arrived later and were seated at their own table) where we ordered a large clam, mozzarella, and mushroom pies and a small plain pie. In New Haven, mozzarella is an extra ingredient on pizza --plain consists of sauce and parmesan. All were good, but the clam pie was outstanding. It had an abundance of clams and garlic. The simple beauty of the plain pie was also a stand out.
Frank Pepe has an enormous coal-fired pizza oven. Enthusiastic pizza fans with digital cameras prevailed upon the perplexed pizza maker to open up the furnace door for us. The staff at Frank Pepe was extremely friendly and accomodating to the ten New Yorkers.
Splitting four pies between eight people took its toll on our appetites, but we walked down Wooster St to stand in line at Sally's. Although Frank Pepe and Sally's Apizza both draw food tourists, Sally's seems to favor locals "in the know". We ordered three medium pizzas: mozzarella, clam, and their special, a potato-onion and rosemary. It took over an hour for the pizzas to arrive, whereupon the server threw paper plates onto our table. I, along with the rest of the group, was pretty wilted by then as there wasn't much air circulation in Sally's. Our server also chose to ignore us for most of that hour.
The clam pie at Sally's paled in comparison to Frank Pepe. I had too much oil (as did the mozzarella pie), didn't have as much garlic, and the clams were minced. The mincing of the clams made the whole slice taste like clams, rather than the more complex intermingling of flavors of the pie at Frank Pepe. I much preferred the potato-onion pie. I've had it elsewhere before, and this pie was exceptional. The potatoes were sliced really thin, and there was rosemary and oregano included. The crusts at Sally's were thin, crispy and delicious.
We bailed out quickly after eating as the heat inside was just to oppressive. After recovering a bit outside we walked to an Italian pastry shop for refreshing Italian ices to top off the evening. All in all a great trip. Thanks, Adam, for putting it together!