175 Orchard St
New York, NY

Where Pizza Is A Calling, New York Times, 2004

Peter Meehan was one of the first to write a review of Una Pizza Napoletana. He included Una in the Under $24 column  for the New York Times when we first opened in the East Village. 

Every soggy-slice-peddling corner pizza parlor in the city has a legion of partisans who swear by its candy-sweet tomato sauce and rubbery “mozzarell.” That’s the problem with even bringing up pizza: it leads to the sort of specious “this place is better than” argument that never ends well unless the two parties involved happen to agree.

So let’s sort out the factions up front and get the particulars about Una Pizza Napoletana out of the way quickly. It serves pies, not slices; the pies emerge blistered and bubbling from a wood-fired brick oven; the pizza is emphatically not New York style. At least half of you are probably pushing away from the table already.

The pizzas are made one at a time by Anthony Mangieri, a name you might not immediately attach to the tattoo-covered 33-year-old pizzaiolo working the oven. His two clenched fists are immortalized in a photo on the wall that focuses on the words “Hope” and “Fede,” Italian for faith, tattooed across his knuckles. Those are two of the three theological virtues of Catholicism; if the third, cited sometimes as charity or sometimes as love, is written on Mr. Mangieri’s body, it is not on display when he is making pizza. But other signs of his faith are: a cross set into the tile floor of the small dining room and, nearer the entrance, Jesus looking onto a stretch of East 12th Street lighted blue by the neon sign in a window next door.

Mr. Mangieri’s beliefs about pizza are chronicled in a take-away menu that reads like a missionary tract, with passages like “all the square, round, thick, stuffed and over-topped pieces of dough may be to your liking, but don’t call it pizza.”

The main attraction at Una Pizza is the dough, the crust. The 12-inch pizzas, served whole, are made from a dough unsullied by commercial yeast; a piece of leftover dough, salt, flour, water and 36 hours of rising time are all that go into it.

Read The Una Pizza Napoletana Review on The New York Times

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