DP Pizza: Rockaway Beach, New York

Rockaway Beach, New York

As everyone knows, New York is the center of the Pizza Universe (sorry Chicago, sorry Italy). The New York pizza solar system has grown exponentially in the past few years, with new "traditional," "artisanal," "organic," "Neapolitan," and fried pizza establishments seeming to pop up every week. It is not just the master pizza makers who have brought New Yorkers these new pizza experiences — a diverse array of chefs, from different culinary backgrounds, have all tried their hand at making the ultimate pie.

A herald of trumpets, a frenzy of online pronouncements, and breathless anticipation usually signal a new pizza temple in the Big Apple. So how is it that one of New York’s best new pizzas has flown completely under the radar? The chef behind it has a top-notch résumé. The pizza is fantastic. And one of the two places you can sample this pie is at that epitome of cool summer food scene, Rockaway Beach. I bet you still can’t figure out what pizza I’m talking about.

The pizzeria in question is DP Pizza. The man behind the operation is Jeremy Spector of the Brindle Room in Manhattan’s East Village. DP Pizza grew out of a project Spector was consulting on to develop different flat breads. They were trying different variations using cast-iron skillets when he had the idea of making pizzas instead. After a little trial and error, DP Pizza was born.

Spector is one of the best chefs in New York that you probably haven’t heard of. His food résumé is unimpeachable — he went to culinary school in San Francisco, he worked in the kitchens of Balthazar, Lupa, Gramercy Tavern, Schiller’s Liquor Bar, and Vinegar Hill House, and he was the chef at Employees Only. Spector also founded Dogmatic. Perhaps it is due to his upbringing in Oklahoma, or the fact that he is just a truly nice guy, but Spector doesn’t go out of his way to seek attention. He just cooks and lets his food do the talking. But while he is not a household name yet, DP Pizza may change that.

In 2010 Spector opened the Brindle Room on East 10th Street. It quickly became a neighborhood favorite and garnered rave reviews for a number of its dishes, including the Brindle Burger and a poutine with gravy and duck confit. A breakfast concept soon followed, with decadent house-made donuts and great pour-over coffee. So how did I find out about the pizza? I went into the Brindle Room for lunch. My heart was set on the bahn mi sandwich (one of the best in the city, seriously) when Spector asked me, "Do you want to try a pizza?"

Pizza traditionalists, be warned. Spector’s methods for making his pizza are unconventional. But they yield a pizza that is rich, toothsome, and deeply flavorful.