Excellent | Worth a Detour
Review by: JBarry713
In 1905, Gennaro Lombardi started selling pizza on Spring Street, making his restaurant the first of its kind in the United States. The original Lombardi’s closed its doors in 1984, only to reopen down the block, at its current location on the corner of Mott and Spring Streets in 1994. Still operated by the Lombardi family, this Manhattan institution is a must-visit for any pizza enthusiast given its history and atmosphere that exudes a feeling of old New York.
While the nostalgic environment of Lombardi’s may be first class, the pizza itself is not. Maybe expectations have been set too high for this landmark establishment. Zagat reviewers claim that it is the “best on the planet”. The impressive coal burning oven can be seen by visitors as they walk through the kitchen. The pizza itself had several defects, the most obvious of which is the inconsistency of mozzarella cheese on each pie. Only fresh, sliced mozzarella is used, but it is spread sparingly over each pizza, leaving many bites without cheese. What is left (on a typical margarita pizza) is an average tomato sauce that lacks much flavor, an unnoticeable dusting of Pecorino Romano cheese, and fresh basil. The moderately thin crust, though chewy and firm, lacked the charred taste or crispness one would expect from a pizza cooked in a coal-fired oven. Also ordered were pies topped with a bland sausage and red onions and another with a more flavorful pancetta. Roughly a dozen toppings are offered.
Overall, Lombardi’s does not serve the best pizza around, but neither does it dish up a bad product. Service is efficient, quick, and friendly, avoiding the stereotypical brusque attitude that other New York establishments maintain. The excellent wait staff, combined with decent pizza and a great historical atmosphere, continues to make this pizzeria one of the most popular in the city.
|Meals Served||Lunch, Dinner|
|Credit Cards Accepted||No|