Legendary | Worth driving from anywhere
Zuppardi’s Apizza | Neighborhood New Haven Style Pizza
Review by: Michael Stern
Not A Secret
Many years ago, I sat with Roadfood.com co-founder Stephen Rushmore at a table in Zuppardi’s of West Haven, Connecticut. We were devouring a fresh clam pizza. At one point, we decided that it just might be New Haven style pizza at its best. We joked that perhaps we ought not to post a review of Zuppardi’s on the website. Do we really want to share such a treasure with others? Might it become so crowded that we can’t get in?
Not that Zuppardi’s is a secret. It opened its doors in 1934. On many nights — weekends especially — you will likely have to wait for a table, even if the second dining room is opened up. But given its location off the New Haven radar, it doesn’t attract the mobs of pizzaphiles who flock to the big guns on Wooster Street. It remains what it always has been – a neighborhood pizzeria. It serves New Haven style pizza that I consider to be among the best, if not the very best, anywhere.
Elements of Greatness
The crust is Neapolitan / New Haven style. Thin and crisp with a puffy circumference, it demands a good chew. It rewards that chew with profound yeasty savor. Toppings? Zuppardi’s makes its own fennel sausage and strews it across the pizza in rugged clumps. In season, you want fresh tomato. Broccoli rabe, escarole and beans, hot peppers, and roasted peppers lead my list of favorites.
The Legendary White Clam
About New Haven’s unique clam pizza: They open clams only when you order it, not before. And they spread them across the pie in abundance. These fresh clams are small and tender, glistening with briny-sweet oceanic liquor, complemented by a surfeit of chopped garlic and herbs. “Some customers ask for mutz [mozzarella cheeese],” the pizzaiolo shared with a disapproving frown, “But that just weighs it down.”
Directions & Hours
|Meals Served||Lunch, Dinner|
|Credit Cards Accepted||Yes|