Gennaro’s Tomato Pie has been pleasing crowds since shortly after we first showed you pictures of the new old-timey pizza parlor back in December.
It just got a big new fan. The Inky’s Craig Laban heaped praise upon the four-month-old shop like mounds of fresh mozzarella:
I lift a slice of red pie, its heat-charred crust dusting my fingertips with tawny flour, lean in to take a bite, and find the taste … transporting. Crackle it snaps, the bottom layer of sweet mozzarella protecting the microscopic-thin crust. The spots of crushed tomatoes spooned on top between clouds of mozzarella have almost caramelized from quick exposure to the naked heat, bright and vivid, tangy sweet. I go back for another bite, then another, savoring the chewy, rustic, well-salted crust.
In fact, Laban wrote in such glowing terms that it’s difficult to determine why the shop didn’t get a third bell. Maybe it’s because of the cash-only, no reservations policy he mentioned, or because owner Mike Giammarino’s is using a “custom-made, high-tech oven, with a computer board” that mimics an authentic coal hearth instead of the real deal.
Doesn’t seem to have affected the pies, though.
But that specific flavor, an elusive New York spirit of rustic, roasty crust and tangy sauce – is absolutely present in Gennaro’s pies (even if Philadelphians, he said, tend to prefer their pizzas less burnt.) And Giammarino has smartly kept the menu simple to emphasize that this operation is all about doing the familiar basics right.
So, what about you? Have you been? What did you think?