Thursday, March 27, 2008

Di Fara's!

If you had a problem with our blog today, ummm...that was my fault. Fortunately Blondie has html coding savvy that I lack. And she rescued our blog from the abyss. Yay. Thanks, lady!

Last night was a semi late night at the office for me and when I got home I was at a bit of a loss as to what to do for dinner. Lawman called me from his office to say his brother would be joining us for din din. Uh oh. Now I had to come up with something good and quick. Well, my dinner suggestion wasn't quick, but it was definitely VERY GOOD.

Let me start by saying I was raised on pizza. Excellent pizza. The best pizza in the world. My mother's first meal at Yale New Haven Hospital after my birth was a Sally's clam pie. I know pizza. After years of reading about Di Fara's, and dismissing it as too far out in Brooklyn, one month ago almost to the day, Lawman and I decided to give it a shot. It was a Saturday night, we didn't have any other dinner plans. This was around the time of the recent price increase and I had recently been reading Chowhound threads where members were debating if Di Fara's was worth the money. By the passionate responses I read, I knew that I had to go check it out.

Our first visit was on 2/23 and we've been back, ummm...four times since. Their pizza is as delicious as people say. Our first four times we've kept it simple and gone with the traditional round pie. Even with the price increase, at $20 for a round pie it's still a bargain for the love and care that goes into the creation of each pie, not to mention the quality of the ingredients (sauce made from San Marzano tomatoes, fresh bufala mozzarella, grana padana cheese sprinkled liberally on the top, freshly cut basil, and the generous drizzling of high quality extra-virgin olive oil).

When we arrived that first Saturday night, somehow our timing was such that the dinner rush hadn't yet arrived. There were a couple other people waiting for their pies. We put in our order and grabbed a spot at the counter to watch the master at work. Though a crowd was gathering, nothing was slapdash or hurried. Dom stretched the dough, spread the sauce and scattered the cheese with a Zen-like calm. Even as still more customers arrived, one of the things I noticed was how quiet the store remained. Everyone was transfixed.

Flash forward one month and three more visits later. The regular round pie is a classic, you can't go wrong with it, but we were ready to try something, so last night Lawman and his bro picked up our first square pie. I had been hearing about the wonders of the artichoke topping, most recently from Chowhounder, MMRuth, and I knew that I had to try it. Lawman and his brother wanted to mix it up further, so we finally settled on a square pie with one 1/2 artichokes and 1/2 onions. Lawman's bro is one of those car owning New Yorkers so he was able to phone in the order, pick it up and drive it to our place.

Wow! I'm not generally a Sicilian pizza kind of gal, but this was a cut above. It wasn't as bready as most Sicilians, due in part to the olive oil that Dom drizzles in the square pan that the pizza cooks in. The result--a crispy bottom crust. Yum. I enjoyed the sauteed onions, but the nicely charred artichokes hearts were my favorite topping of the night. I'll definitely order the square pie in the future, however, next time I think I'll go back to the classic round pie. I enjoyed the square pie and I definitely enjoyed the toppings, but there is a kind of perfection in the simple round pie that's hard to beat.

Blondie, we've got to get you out of Queens to Di Fara's. Field trip!

For those of you interested in more Di Fara's pics, check out our flickr.

Di Fara's Pizzeria
1424 Avenue J
Brooklyn, NY 11230
(718) 258-1367

Take the Q to Avenue J or for those of you in Park Slope/Windsor Terrace, take the B68 down Prospect Park Southwest/Coney Island Avenue to Avenue J.

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