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Dining

Slice of life: Pizza makers and eaters share their most memorable bites

    • Penn Jillette, Illusionist

      “Eating pizza with Lou Reed at the original Grimaldi’s in Brooklyn after seeing John Cale and Lou do Songs for Drella, with Lou ordering the pie, saying ‘… and we’re from NYC so don’t f*ck us.’ And now we have Grimaldi’s in Vegas.”

    • Mario Batali, Celebrity chef and restaurateur

      “I would say the most memorable was the first bite of a pizza with just pomodoro, marinated anchovies, hot chilies and oregano in the town of Amalfi, under the duomo, looking out at the sea. The frame was crisp but not crunchy, the base was soft and pliable, the tomato sauce vivid and the briny anchovies just sweet enough to ride with the chilies and create a perfect backdrop for the fragrant oregano to whisper. This may have had something to do with the location, maybe.”

    • Jim Begley, Las Vegas Weekly food writer

      “A few years back, I was invited to a gathering with Michael Mina Group chef Gary FX LaMorte and Comme Ça chefs Brian Howard and Daniel Ontiveros, the selling point of which was: Let’s drink our way through some ’97 vintages, including the coup de grâce—Opus One. I arrived to a townhouse where I found a table overflowing with wine bottles and Ontiveros furiously working in the kitchen. My mind wandered: What was the chef preparing? Foie gras? Loin of wild boar? Finally, he appeared, feast in hand: two well-crisped Red Baron pizzas. Not the best pizza I’ve ever had, but surely the most memorable, and it paired perfectly with the Opus One.”

    • Kate Neuhaus, Culinary programmer for Life Is Beautiful Festival

      “Having been away from my hometown of New York City for three months, where a slice of pizza is never more than a few blocks away, I was craving NYC-style BBQ chicken pizza. Everywhere I went in Vegas seemed not to have it until my friend took me to Metro Pizza and I met the owner, John Arena. We were there for breakfast at the adjoining restaurant Lulu’s, but I told him my sob story about missing my favorite slice and before I knew it, he came out with a fresh, hot BBQ chicken pizza pie! It was easily better than any of the slices that I missed.”

    • John Arena, Co-owner at Metro Pizza and pizza educator

      “Several years ago I was with Jon Goldsmith of Spacca Napoli at Pizza Expo and Antonio Starita, who was Pope John Paul’s pizza maker, made us a pizza with offal—tender bits of calf’s liver, brain and kidney—that he had smuggled in from Italy. The combination of great company, contraband and the skills of one of the world’s greatest pizza makers made this my all-time favorite pizza.”

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    Brock Radke is Las Vegas Weekly's food editor and author of the Strip-focused column The Incidental Tourist. He has written ...

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