I hadn't been to Lombardi's in a year or so, so when two pizza-crazed colleagues from Minneapolis came to New York this week, I decided they should experience eating at the oldest pizzeria in America. We ordered three pies: a small sausage; a small half-pepperoni, half-pancetta; and a small half-plain white, halfsautéed spinach. All the pies were at least very good, and the white pie was awesome.
The Lombardi's crust is now thin and crisp with very little lip (cornicione, the Italians call it). There's no internal tenderness in the Lombardi's crust currently, but very few coal-oven pies have that anymore (Totonno's in Coney Island being the notable exception).
What made the white pie stand out was the ratio of cheeses to crust. Most white pies are drowning in mozzarella and ricotta. Lombardi's white pie was positively dainty. There was just enough cheese to cover the crust.
We get spoiled in New York when it comes to pizza. While I was commenting about the relative merits of the pies we were eating at Lombardi's, my friends from Minneapolis were moaning with pizza-induced pleasure. They felt they were in pizza heaven in the best pizza city in the world.
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