Goodfella’s Pizza, started in Staten Island, N.Y., in in 1992, is a family-owned pizza chain operating in the New York City area. The pizzeria, voted "World’s Best Pizza" at the International Pizza Expo, proudly displays the title on the awning of their 23rd Street and Second Avenue location, and has created some inventive and original pizza varieties that are out of this world.
I tasted "just" four of the extensive list of 12-plus pizzas (they also have a huge dinner menu), carefully choosing two that displayed an award-winning menu icon, and two random varieties to keep me guessing. Voted number one in America in 1994 and 1995, the Pizza alla Vodka, created by founder Scot Cosentino, used original tomato cream vodka sauce, fresh mozzarella (you can choose New York style or Old World style), seasoned mushrooms, and small cubes of prosciutto di Parma (it also usually comes with peas, but I ordered it without). The effect was mouthwatering. The almost-thin-crust pizza was a perfect consistency, crispy and soft, and the ingredients blended together to give what could have been a normal pie an unusual pop.
Another award-winning choice, the Sally Pie (voted number one in America in 2001) combined lemon garlic chicken, roasted rosemary potato chip crumbles, fresh mozzarella, Cheddar cheese, red onions, mushrooms, and a Cheddar scallion cream sauce. Created by chef Salvatore Russo at the original Goodfella’s location, this pie was inventive, a flavor explosion, and the equivalent of a roast on a 12-inch pie. The rosemary potato chips were out of this world, the chicken was perfectly cooked, the red onions were anything but overwhelming, and the finished product a must-order — frequently.
The white clam pie, although without an award stamp on the menu, combined baby clams and mozzarella in a way that folded together seamlessly and blended tastes. It was recommended to be eaten first, as the consistency changes as the seafood cools, and the clams, mozzarella, and breadcrumbs came together without any fishy bites. It seemed to have some type of mushroom purée on it as well, and was surprisingly heartier than any vongole pies I’ve had before.
The last pie tasted, the Quattro Stagioni, definitely made me second-guess ordering antipasto as an appetizer. Basically the pizza version of their cold antipasto (I would recommend the pizza over the appetizer), it combined original plum tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, sun-dried tomatoes, Gaeta olives, cubes of prosciutto di Parma, and freshly seasoned mushrooms. An all-around excellent pie with great classic flavors and bite. However, be careful of the olives. A few leftover slices produced a pit or two — an unwelcome surprise for my teeth!
Goodfella’s also recommended their Pizza Bianca, which I was too stuffed to try, which combines fresh mozzarella, ricotta cheese, Romano cheese, and prosciutto di Parma (I’ll be going back for this one), as well as the signature pie, the "Goodfella" (which comes supped up with smoked mozzarella, roasted red pepper cream sauce, roasted peppers and onions, and topped with imported Pecorino Romano and basil, or just regular with the plum tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, brick oven roasted peppers, and fresh garlic).
Tyler Sullivan is The Daily Meal's assistant editor. Follow her on Twitter at @atylersullivan.