Three years ago, the buzz among the New York City pizza cognoscenti was around South Brooklyn Pizza (now closed, sadly), Motorino (No. 19), Roberta’s (No. 3), and Paulie Gee’s (No. 21). These days, the latter three make up the old guard of pizza newcomers who have set the standard, and South Brooklyn Pizza has gone to that big cardboard box in the sky. Since then, the new addition to that “old guard of pizza newcomers” is Rubirosa in Nolita, a spot opened by former Esca cook Angelo (A.J.) Pappalardo, who learned how to make a super-thin crust and barely there cornicione at the age of 12 at his father Giuseppe's Staten Island stalwart, Joe & Pat's (No. 32 in 2014).
The slice at Rubirosa (which New York Magazine reported was named for a Florence, Italy, restaurant whose owners named it in turn after international playboy Porfirio Rubirosa) is the kind that inspires cross-section marveling and game-changing pizza paradigm shifts. Those who consider the city’s average dollar-slice crusts the New York baseline finally understand the nuance of pizza. This is one of the few places you can walk into and ask for a stracciatella pie (impressive enough), and there are nine standards on the menu that you’ll want to rotate through, including the classic, supreme, and "tie-dye" (vodka, tomato, pesto, fresh mozzarella), but the pie the restaurant singled out, and the one panelists voted vociferously for, was the vodka pie with fresh mozz.
— Arthur Bovino, 101 Best Pizzas in America 2015, 8/6/2015