Di Fara Pizza: One of New York's Great Slices
The New York style of pizza is a completely different breed from the Neapolitan style, Chicago-style, and countless other pizza varieties. It's big, cut into 6 to 8 slices, and is firm on the bottom, able to hold up to toppings, as opposed to saggy like a Neapolitan. For what's essentially the Platonic ideal of New York-style pies, look no further than Di Fara, located in the unsung Brooklyn neighborhood of Midwood.
What makes Di Fara great? In short, Dom De Marco, who founded the pizzeria decades ago and remains the only person who ever touches the pies. Somewhat of a local celebrity. Di Marco takes his time with each pie, stretching the dough, applying the toppings, glugging on olive oil, and cutting basil directly onto it, even as lines of hungry patrons stretch out the door. He exists in a void where pizza is the only constant. He's been at it so long that he doesn't even use a pizza peel to remove the pizzas from the oven; he uses his bare hands.
When you go, make sure you order a whole pie, and be prepared to wait (unless you go right when they open during the week, which is what I did). If you can, watch the man in action, the star of his own movie. He's methodical, a perfectionist, and the pizzas he serves, while possibly a bit too charred for some tastes, is pizza perfection.
The use of high quality ingredients plus such a deft hand is the secret to Di Fara, but making a pilgrimage there is more than just about the pizza. It's about seeing a legend at work.