106 W Houston St, New York, NY
I’m a huge fan of coal oven pizza. While I love a classic, NY-style steel deck gas oven pie that’s been properly made, no pizza baking fuel medium can match anthracite coal for its heat. At best, a steel deck Vulcan or a Bari, heavily tweaked, can hit about 600 degrees — but a coal oven, stoked to the max, can hit over 800. This heat cooks the pizza faster and produces a crisper effect on the crust.
One such pizza restaurant that I like to visit which practices the coal oven art is Arturo’s, in the Village, who’s founder , Arturo Giunta passed away back in 2006. The pizzeria was opened in 1957, making it one of the “newer” coal oven places in NYC. But for some reason, Arturo’s doesn’t seem to get as much respect as some of the more well-known coal oven centers of activity, such as Patsy’s, Grimaldi’s, Lombardi’s and John’s. I happen to think that when Arturo’s is -on-, their pies are as good or better than some of the other places. And in particular, I find their White Clam pie to be exceptional. You also can’t beat their live entertainment during the evenings.
In the original version of this post, my beloved Canon A620 shuffled off its mortal coil, and I had to resort to my emergency camera built into my cell phone. We revisited Arturo’s with a fellow food blogger last night (and the trusty new Canon G7) who pronounced the pizza some of the best she’s ever had.
Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below for some seriously old-school coal oven pizza.
Main Dining Room
Rear Dining Room
White Clam Pie, with garlic and mozzarella cheese. Normally one would think having clams with cheese is weird, and against traditional Italian conventions for not serving seafood with cheese, but in this case it works. I strongly reccomend this pie.
A regular pie with bacon and mushrooms. Also much liked.
Plain Margherita Pie with Mozzarella and Fresh Basil. The Classic.
Margherita Slice Closeup
Meatball and Sorpressata Salami Combo. I’m definitely ordering this again.
Meatball and Sorpressata closeup.
White Pie with Spinach and Ricotta
The Kubanesque Upskirt shot. Nice char.
Pizza In the Rain.