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Restaurant Reviews: Pizza East and Storey Deli in E1ish and Lucali’s in Brooklyn

This is a story of three pizzas.

First Pizza

The first pizza was at Lucali’s in Brooklyn. It is what I judge all other pizzas by. I managed to eat there three times whilst Jen was living in NY and each time the experience was perfect and excelled any attempts by all other pizza joints (be it in Italy, NY or elsewhere).

My summary at the time was the “best meal I have had in NY and one of the better ones I have ever had” (and this was just after going to Momofuku Ko). Annoyingly as the taste fades in memory my desire to go back there grows. The plain pizza with basil was perfect. No point going further. The calzone was good, though not for me, too much ricotta and too little crude backstreet calzone action. Having been raised on thumping chunks of calzone that leak their ingredients all over the table it was a bit too classy.

The plain pizza though…. Praise be. Ever since then I have had a slight reticence when I go to pizza places as they can only disappoint and, well, Pizza East and Storey Deli did just that.

Second Pizza

The second pizza was from the new E1 pizza kid on the block; Pizza East. From the reviews I have read everybody seems to love it. Quite frankly I miss the T Bar. The service, room, etc. are all fine but the pizza base is unfortunately hard and unyielding and looks like furnace tempered cheddar cheese. The toppings are better though.

Third Pizza

The third pizza was from Storey Deli (iphone picture above) which has been around for ages but I last ate there years and years ago. They used to do great salads and pizzas, they now seem to do just pizzas. Well they call them pizzas but it is more like puff pastry with some toppings in the middle. The problem with puff pastry is that it is a cruddy pizza base and crackles and crunches rather than rewards (see picture). This is a shame as the toppings were delicious.

  • Prices – US$46 for two at Lucali’s, £25ish at Pizza East and Storey Deli for two.
  • Addresses – different

15 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    Story pizza bases aren't really like puff pastry though are they – they don't have the multiple-layer like puff pastry has. They're more like a water cracker. This might sound strange and to some people who like their Pizza Hut or Pizza Express style pizza, this may be off-putting or unenjoyable. I personally love the pizza base at Story and find that the lack of 'dough' means the flavour of the topping can really shine. Love it!

  2. Tom

    Anon – I suppose what I should have said is that they are like one layer of a puff pastry. All crackly and fracturing.

    I am thin style pizza fan but actually found the crispy insubstantial nature of it a distraction from the topping. A properly crusty thin pizza base complements toppings better for me.

    Still I thought the toppings were great

    Tom

  3. ben

    Can I ask a stupid question – how the hell do you get your food blog list on the right to tell me when it was last updated – an hour .. a day .. a month ago etc …. I can't do it!
    Hope you enjoyed the Towpath Cafe ….
    Ben
    The London Review of Shopping

  4. Tom

    Ben – I just use the standard google plugin. Go to customise layout, click on the little spanner in the bottom right, then there is a tickbox half way down saying "date of last update". Simplish as that (unless you use wordpress and then I have no idea…")

  5. Ami

    Tom, have you tried Franco Manca in Brixton? I think the pizza is pretty good there………

  6. Tom

    Ami – I have been to Franco Manca but only once. My thoughts are here http://tomeatsjencooks.blogspot.com/2009/12/restaurant-review-franco-manca-in.html

    As you can even see from the picture the pizza just wasn't great. I know others love it so will probably revisit (or maybe go to their chiswick branch to see if it was a once off bad one)

  7. Greedy Diva

    Interesting. I didn't mind Pizza East at all, but I still haven't found a pizza here in London as good as some of my fav pizza places in Melbourne. I'm tipping they know how to do a good pizza in Brooklyn too!

  8. Tom

    I have still yet to go to Aus and NZ and can't wait to do so as I love fusion food and work with a lot of people from down South. They all rave about the food there.

  9. David J

    Tom, I'm encouraged to read that there are other London foodies also familiar with the NY food scene. Never did get to try Dave Chang's fried chicken dinner or the Bo Ssam but oh boy, the pizza.

    I never went to Lucali's – which was ironic since when I worked/lived in Brooklyn I was based in Cobble Hill and spent a lot of time in Carroll Gardens – but the pizzaioli stated his pies were an homage to Dom DeMarco's over at Di Fara. If this is true then I'd definitely encourage Jen to get on the grana padano trail – that stuff is ridiculous!

  10. Tom

    David J – NY's food scene almost made me try and keep Jen and I doing the NY to London commuting relationship. Getting off the plane and then diving into 3 new restaurants each day I was there was pure heaven.

    Lucali's (and I pray it has stayed as good) was an inspirational place to eat.

    Di Fara was the place I didn't manage to get to in Brooklyn which is a real real real shame. Especially as the owner is ticking on a bit now and if you don't go soon…

    The pictures on yelp make me hungry immediately.

  11. David J

    I would commute to NY just for the food. So many bloggers are too London-centric and tout our great city for its food based on a still-immature ethnic food scene and the Michelin guide (most of which frankly don't deserve their awards), but going to a town like paris, new york or shanghai where eating is in the blood is a real eye opener.

    franny's and patsy's are also very good. the former is particular polarising but i would go as far to say i preferred it to dom demarco's pies. do you guys ever attend pizza tuesdays?

  12. Tom

    David – I agree about the Michelin guide restaurants but think that applies both here and elsewhere. Some big 3* I have been to in France were big boring disappointments. Perfect service blah blah blah, boring food.

    However, London just doesn't have much food depth. I met the guys behind Hidden Kitchen (a supper club in Paris) when in Paris and the inevitable question came up – where should we go in London. And, I buckled. I just couldn't come up with anything uniquely London. SJ's is always been a disappointment each time i have been and then I was immediately thinking of ethnic or food from other countries which is done well here….

    Haven't been to Pizza Tuesdays yet as we have generally been busy. Also I love the idea but the problem is I just don't think there is enough good or even average pizza anywhere in London… Burger Mondays we can do… Pizza Tuesday… well give us 5 years and some guys from NY coming over to open up their own joints.

  13. Emma

    I heard that Santa Maria in Ealing is really good, though I haven't had a chance to check it out myself yet. Their website is quite interesting – they list the specific brand of each ingredient they use, so you get the impression they at least know their sourcing: http://www.santamariapizzeria.com/

  14. Jen

    Hey Emma – there are a few I keep meaning to try. It does seem as though any proper pizzerias in London are located in places where you need a train/ tube/ bus/ sledge combo to get to…

    I would bet now they have won T Out's best pizza they are a bit busier though. I have a week off work next week where i am meant to be packing to move… I may cycle on down there for a lunch

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