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Modern Apizza

874 State St., New Haven, CT - (203) 776-5306
Posted By Michael Stern on 3/19/2014 12:07:00 PM
While there are many connoisseurs of pizza who will fight us on this point, we cannot say with absolute certainty that Modern Apizza of New Haven serves the best pizza on earth. In our book, it might rank only second or third best. But the differences among Connecticut's greats are minor; and if even if you do put one of the holy pizza shrines of Wooster Street at the top of your list, eating at Modern is a spectacular experience, perhaps like winning only $100 million rather than $125 million in the Power Ball lottery.

As for the New Haven favorite, white clam pizza (hold the mozzarella, please) Modern uses fresh clams brought into the restaurant three times a week, and it is delicious – ocean-sweet and powerfully garlicky, and built on a crust that puffs up dry and chewy around the edges, but stays wafer-thin all across the middle. “Our brick oven reaches temperature in excess of 700 degrees,” Modern’s menu warns. “Some pizzas may blacken around the edges, and even lose their perfect shape due to contact with the brick floor of the oven.” Ok with us! While a few places around the edge may be charred, the whole pizza has a swoonfully appetizing smoky taste; and you see why when you devour slices off the paper on which the pizza rests atop its round pan. The paper appears strewn with charred little bits of semolina from the oven floor, most of which cling to the underside of the crust, creating a slightly burnt hot-bread flavor that no metal-floored pizza oven could produce.

Modern’s specialty toppings include broccoli, sliced tomato, artichoke, and clams casino, which is clams, bacon, and peppers. It is also known for the Italian Bomb, which is a joy to eat despite the fact that it totally overwhelms its crust: sausage, pepperoni, bacon, peppers, onions, mushrooms, and garlic. There is also a Vegetarian Bomb topped with spinach, broccoli, olives, peppers, mushrooms, onion, and garlic.

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Scorecard

5 - Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Italian bomb
Pepperoni & Pepper Pizza
white clam pie
Sliced Tomato and Mozzarella Pizza
Sausage & Artichoke Pizza
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Reviewers Photos [Upload Your Photos]

Although the menu warns that the brick-floored oven can distort the shape of a pizza, Modern's are consistently among the prettiest anywhere.
"Although the menu warns that the brick-floored oven can distort the shape of a pizza, Modern's are consistently among the prettiest anywhere."
Michael Stern





Running at 700 degrees, Modern's brick-floored oven is the source of its pizzas' supreme goodness.
"Running at 700 degrees, Modern's brick-floored oven is the source of its pizzas' supreme goodness."
Michael Stern


The variety of texture among the many meats on an Italian bomb makes this pizza a true tongue adventure.
"The variety of texture among the many meats on an Italian bomb makes this pizza a true tongue adventure."
Michael Stern


You can get a white clam pie with or without mozzarella. We believe the creamy cheese overwhelms this combo's essential delicacy. This pizza is cheeseless. Look at all those clams!
"You can get a white clam pie with or without mozzarella. We believe the creamy cheese overwhelms this combo's essential delicacy. This pizza is cheeseless. Look at all those clams!"
Michael Stern


The small burnt areas of crust around the edge are an essential part of the Modern Apizza experience.
"The small burnt areas of crust around the edge are an essential part of the Modern Apizza experience."
Michael Stern


These are the little bits of burnt semolina that remain on the serving paper once the slices have been eaten.
"These are the little bits of burnt semolina that remain on the serving paper once the slices have been eaten."
Michael Stern


Modern is unique among New Haven's great pizzerias in that it is NOT in the old Italian neighborhood on Wooster Street.
"Modern is unique among New Haven's great pizzerias in that it is NOT in the old Italian neighborhood on Wooster Street."
Michael Stern


A shot of the nicely charred, thin crust - a result of Modern's coal burning oven.
"A shot of the nicely charred, thin crust - a result of Modern's coal burning oven."
Jack Barry


We ordered a 'medium' and thought the kitchen had made a mistake when this broad boy arrived at the table. No, this IS a medium ... but big enough that we took half of it home with us for reheating at lunch today!
"We ordered a 'medium' and thought the kitchen had made a mistake when this broad boy arrived at the table. No, this IS a medium ... but big enough that we took half of it home with us for reheating at lunch today!"
Michael Stern


Modern's menu warns, 'Our brick oven reaches a temperature in excess of 700 degrees. Some pizzas may blacken around the edges and even lose their perfect shape due to contact with the brick floor of the oven.' Amen to that! We love the places were the cheese oozes over the edge and the crust turns crunchy-dark.
"Modern's menu warns, 'Our brick oven reaches a temperature in excess of 700 degrees. Some pizzas may blacken around the edges and even lose their perfect shape due to contact with the brick floor of the oven.' Amen to that! We love the places were the cheese oozes over the edge and the crust turns crunchy-dark."
Michael Stern


Here's a section of crust that didn't blacken in the oven and didn't get flooded out by a cheese spill. It's chewy, full-flavored, and delicious.
"Here's a section of crust that didn't blacken in the oven and didn't get flooded out by a cheese spill. It's chewy, full-flavored, and delicious."
Michael Stern


No, it's not a perfect, symmetrical pizza and the edges are charred (we asked for this one well-done). But such imperfections only add to the beauty of what we consider one of the world's best pizzas.
"No, it's not a perfect, symmetrical pizza and the edges are charred (we asked for this one well-done). But such imperfections only add to the beauty of what we consider one of the world's best pizzas."
Michael Stern


About that charred edge. I happen to love it, but if you do not, there is plenty of uncharred, chewy crust to enjoy on a Modern pie.
"About that charred edge. I happen to love it, but if you do not, there is plenty of uncharred, chewy crust to enjoy on a Modern pie."
Michael Stern



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