West Coast Neapolitan Prizefighter
When Anthony Mangieri, pizzaiolo for the East Village Una Pizza Napoletana, closed "to make a change," move West, and open shop somewhere he could get "a chance to use his outrigger canoe and mountain bike more often," it was the ultimate insult to New Yorkers. You're taking one of the city's favorite Neapolitan pizzerias, defecting to a temperate climate, to people who denigrate New York's Mexican food? So you can canoe and mountain bike? Traitor!
Good for Mangieri and San Franciscans, who inherited one of the country's best Neapolitan pies, if only Wednesday through Saturday, 5 p.m. until they're "out of dough." That's a bit precious, but this is still a contender for America's best Neapolitan pie. Thin crust with chewy cornicione, a sauce that's tart and alive, an appropriate ratio of cheese... you could almost imagine yourself in Naples at Da Michele. And for all these reasons, this dish made my list of most memorable meals of 2011.