"There’s no mystery to my pizza," Bronx native Chris Bianco was quoted as saying in The New York Times. "Sicilian oregano, organic flour, San Marzano tomatoes, purified water, mozzarella I learned to make at Mike's Deli in the Bronx, sea salt, fresh yeast cake and a little bit of yesterday's dough. In the end great pizza, like anything else, is all about balance. It's that simple.''
Try telling that to the legions of pizza pilgrims who have visited the storied Phoenix pizza spot he opened more than 20 years ago. The restaurant serves not only addictive thin-crust pizzas but also fantastic antipasto (involving wood-oven-roasted vegetables), perfect salads, and homemade country bread. The wait, once routinely noted as one of the worst for food in the country, has been improved by Pizzeria Bianco starting to serve lunch, the opening of Trattoria Bianco, the pizza prince of Arizona’s Italian restaurant in the historic Town & Country Shopping Center (about 10 minutes from the original), and an outpost in Tucson.
It seems that every year someone comes out with an article declaring one pie (Tony’s by Forbes) or another (Great Lake, R.I.P., by GQ) the best in the country (Pizzeria Beddia by Bon Appétit). In a country with this much pizza talent and innovation, it’s sometimes good to remember that some of the classics are still at the top of their game. And Pizzeria Bianco is now an American classic. This is another case where any pie will likely be better than most you’ve had in your life (that rosa with red onions and pistachios!), but the signature marinara will recalibrate your pizza baseline forever: tomato sauce, oregano, and garlic (no cheese).
— Arthur Bovino, 101 Best Pizzas in America 2015, 8/6/2015