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Di Fara Pizza

  1. Back of the House
    The $4 Di Fara Slice: We Break It Down Dom De Marco raised the price of a Di Fara’s slice to $4, and Chowhounders are aghast, reports Slice’s Adam Kuban. But do the accusations of making a quick buck lobbed against the Saint of Avenue J have any merit? We did a little research into the cost of ingredients at Di Fara and confirmed our suspicion that De Marco doesn’t make much money.
  2. Neighborhood Watch
    Rosé-Sparkler Tastings in Clinton Hill; Eat Cake, Not Dinner forChelsea: The former Daniele’s Piadina space on 22nd Street east of Sixth Avenue sat empty for two years, but it will reopen as a sandwich shop called Ashby’s on Monday. [Eat for Victory/VV] Clinton Hill: Gnarly Vines is hosting a rosé-sparkler tasting tonight, tomorrow, and Wednesday evening from 6 to 9 p.m., and bottles of those sample selections are 10 percent off. [Clinton Hill Blog] Dumbo: The ‘D’ Space Restaurant at Jay and Front streets serves Indian buffet, but will it raise the bar on local delivery options? [Dumbo NYC] Flatiron: Shaffer City Oyster Bar & Grill will close February 23 and reopen in March as Flatiron Joe’s with cheaper American fare and a jukebox. [Zagat] Fort Greene: In her list of last-minute Valentine’s Day options, Danyelle Freeman recommends Cake Man Raven if you want to “just forget dinner and grab a few whopping slices of the decadent red velvet cake that made this bakery famous.” [Restaurant Girl] Soho: In honor of this romantic week, it’s only right that bananas (and resulting desserts around town) are celebrated for being “not only insanely phallic but also brimming with potassium and B vitamins, which are necessary for keeping your sex drive going.” But you don’t have to tell your date that after deciding to share Blue Ribbon Brasserie’s top-rated banana split. [Gridskipper] West Village: Pig’s-feet and collagen temple Hakata TonTon has been closed by the Department of Health. [Eater]
  3. Neighborhood Watch
    Charcuterie Continues to Wow on the UWS; Beer, Cheese, and Chocolate Go TogetherChelsea: Cain’s Website is already “pimping” a London opening. [Down by the Hipster] East Village: Jimmy’s No. 43 is hosting a cheese, beer, and chocolate pairing on January 22. Luckily, cheese before beer, you’re in the clear. [Gridskipper] Danal on 10th Street has given up the ghost. [Zagat] Hell’s Kitchen: Tasting World is hosting its first Wine Essentials course of 2008 on January 17. [Tasting World] Midwood: The Amateur Gourmet’s “Best Place I Should’ve Been To Already and Where I Should’ve Already Gone Back To” for 2007: Di Fara Pizza. There are surely too many out there who can relate. Upper West Side: Ed Levine is as wowed by Sylvain Gasdon’s charcuterie at Bar Boulud as we were. [Ed Levine’s New York Eats via Eater] West Village: David Page and Barbara Shinn have left Home to focus on their North Fork winery and have taken the wine-sensitive heart of the restaurant with them. [Eater]
  4. Neighborhood Watch
    Dom De Marco’s Hands of Steel; Smith’s Opens Tonight in the South VillageAstoria: The Sparrow’s pain perdu dessert is “basically a grilled chocolate croissant with homemade butterscotch syrup on it, with a dollop of real whipped cream on the side.” [Joey in Astoria] Harlem: Doug E.’s Fresh Chicken and Waffles still isn’t ready to open. [Uptown Flavor] Gramercy: Blue Smoke takes top honors in this roundup of the city’s best sweet-potato fries. [Gridskipper] Greenwich Village: Smith’s from this week’s Openings starts serving tonight. [Eater] Midwood: Yes, Dom De Marco’s pies at Di Fara’s are impressive, but what’s really cause for amazement is “his asbestos hands. That man can pull a square pie out of the oven, which must be about 800 degrees, with his bare hands.” [Eat for Victory/VV] Nolita: Public’s butternut-squash soup with spiced marshmallows, crispy chickpeas, and pumpkin-seed oil is just one example in this list of fall dishes showing up all over town. [Restaurant Girl] Prospect-Lefferts-Gardens: Meytex Lounge is now calling itself Meytex Cafe, but their tasty fried chicken hasn’t changed. [Across the Park]
  5. NewsFeed
    Zagat 2008 Smiles on Daniel, Gordon Ramsay, OthersNew York’s little red book, the 2008 Zagat guide, is out today. It is more significant to the restaurant world than the Michelin guide, and for good reason: The same people who use it are the ones who write it. So what if it’s a popularity contest? Life is a popularity contest. There were some minor shakeups in this year’s rankings, such as Union Square Cafe retaking its sibling Gramercy as most popular restaurant, and Daniel retaking the top spot in cuisine from Le Bernardin. But the more interesting points required a slightly closer look.
  6. The In-box
    Eric Ripert to Feed Reader Who May Lose Sense of TasteDear Grub Street,Next weekend I’m getting surgery done on an impacted wisdom tooth which is growing very close to a central nerve. I’ve been told that if this nerve is damaged, there’s a chance I will lose a large part of feeling in my face – including a loss of my sense of taste. I’ve gone into “doomsday mode”, thinking of all the best flavors this city has to offer in an effort to get them ingrained into my gray memory. As of now I’ve got a reservation at Degustation, will be making at least three visits minimum to Ssäm Bar, and another to Sasabune. Are there maybe two or three dishes or places that should be added to this ever-growing list? Le Bernardin is in my sights of course, but understandably may be difficult to get into. Signed,Facing My Final Hour
  7. Mediavore
    Noise Police Harden Their Hearts for Mr. Softee; Trans-Fat-Free Fryer OilMr. Softee vendor busted for noise pollution: “I am aware of the law, but I need to play [the jingle].” [NYT] DiFara’s Dom De Marco bows to the Health Department, but he ain’t happy about it. [TONY] Steakhouse offers a “cut specifically for women,” but Nina Lalli ain’t having it. [VV] Drew Nieporent tells Baird Jones, with pickle breath, that he’s lost 50 pounds in 100 days. [NYDN]
  8. Neighborhood Watch
    Ramen Rivalry About to Boil Over in the East Village?Astoria: All pints of Lagunitas beer will be $4 tonight at Sunswick on 35th Avenue at 35th Street. The bar food is supposedly pretty good, too. [Joey in Astoria] Clinton Hill: Don’t get too excited over that fancy new organic market going up on Lexington Avenue near Grand Avenue; it’s part of a set for a Steve Martin flick. [Clinton Hill Blog] East Village: Momofuku responds to Setagaya’s claims that its ramen is more authentic… [Eater] And the Tokyo-based chain has already lured crowds of diners — and impressed them. [Eat for Victory/VV] The Sunday Greenmarket now has a Hamptons-based fishmonger. [Gothamist] Harlem: Fishers of Men has expanded to 125th Street, and rather than oust Papaya King from the space, the seafood restaurant has opted to share it. [Uptown Flavor] McCarren Park: JellyNYC’s summer pool parties kicked off the series this weekend with dodgeball, Slip ‘n Slide, Brooklyn Beer, and grilled grub (and we have video). [Down by the Hipster] Midwood: DiFara is once again up and running. [Slice] Park Slope: Union Market will bring its fresh produce to a long-empty storefront on Seventh Avenue, but there’s concern over nearby mom-and-pop grocers. [The Brooklyn Paper] Ridgewood: Butcher Karl Ehmer inspired such love of meat in a young girl that she now sells meat-inspired pillows to “hipsters, artists and Western Europeans.” [The Food Section]
  9. Neighborhood Watch
    Brooklyn Heights Barge to Feature a Fake Beach, With HamburgersAstoria: Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden opens at 3 p.m. today and next Friday for teacher appreciation days. The public is welcome, and the BBQ’s sure to be fired up. [Joey in Astoria] Brooklyn Heights: A swimming pool in a floating barge off the waterfront will take its maiden voyage July 4 and feature a man-made beach and concession stands. [NYP] Chelsea: Hotelier André Balazs may have a hand in restoring the Chelsea Hotel. [NYP] East Village: You need to send a recent photo of yourself if you plan on applying for one of the many positions still open at Tailor. [Eat for Victory/VV] Flatiron: Former CBS news anchor Bob Schieffer will step in as front man to country band “Honky Tonk Confidential” on June 27 at Hill Country barbecue. Songs he’s written include “Little Lulu and Sister Hot Stuff” and “TV Anchorman.” [NYP] Lower East Side: A tipster reports that Kossar’s Bialys has unveiled plans to sell hand-cut sushi from kosher vendor Eden Wok. [Grub Street] Midwood: Dom De Marco’s scarlet letter from the Department of Health has been covered in expressions of support in the wake of DiFara’s most recent close. [Eat for Victory/VV] Times Square: Brighton Beach’s Ladder Co. 169 brought home victory last night at Gallagher’s Fire Department grilled-steak-off fund-raiser. [NYDN]
  10. Neighborhood Watch
    Shopsin’s Arrives At Last in Its New Lower East Side BerthChelsea: Richie Akiva and Scott Sartiano will not utilize the old Plaid space for their next club; 1OAK (One of a Kind) is now set for 17th between Ninth and Tenth. [Down by the Hipster] Klee Brasserie will give out its new peach sangria for free this Sunday to mark Gay Pride Day. [NYS] Lower East Side: Shopsin’s finally open in the Essex Street Market. [Eater] Midwood: DiFara open tomorrow? No, but “maybe Friday.” [Lost City] Upper East Side: Owners of recently departed Jovia will give the townhouse space a more casual feel with a name and menu reminiscent of the owners’ Soho restaurant, Zoë. [NYT] West Village: Jefferson Market has the single-origin-chocolate ice creams from Choctál newly imported from California. [NYT]
  11. Mediavore
    New York is Now Fat City; Korean KFC Comes to New YorkFat is where it’s at in New York today, thanks to the efforts of what Adam Platt would call the “refined meathead” school of chefs like David Chang and Zak Pelaccio. [NYT] Related: You Know You’re a Meathead When… [NYM] Kyochon Chicken, the Korean chain behind the current wave of Korean fried-chicken restaurants, has opened in Flushing. Two more locations are planned for Bayside. [NYT] Ilan Hall defeated Sam Talbot in their outdoor Top Chef rematch yesterday, Hall’s soft-shell crab salad triumphing over Talbot’s grilled quail and potatoes. [NYDN]
  12. Mediavore
    Amanda Hesser in Trouble Again; Room 4 Dessert to ReopenTimes Magazine food editor Amanda Hesser runs afoul (again) of the paper’s strict conflict-of-interest policy, this time by reviewing a book by someone who had blurbed one of hers. [Gawker] Room 4 Dessert, currently closed, will be reopening in a week. [Eater] The DeMarco family has a special message to the public about Di Fara’s imminent reopening. [Gothamist]
  13. Neighborhood Watch
    Union Square to Host Top Chef Cook-off TomorrowHarlem: A plea goes out to identify that colorful “newish-looking” frankfurter stand on 125th Street; locals fear it’s just a case of mistaken papaya. [Harlem Flavor] Nolita: Barcelona-based hard-candy maker Papabubble plans to open its first New York store this summer. [Down by the Hipster] Prospect-Lefferts Gardens: Caribbean Sweet Hand opening on Washington Avenue, possibly a roti shop, possibly sells babies. [across the park] Roosevelt Island: Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation slapping restaurants with so much red tape that there are only two left on the island. [NYC Nosh] Union Square: To launch the new Top Chef season, the show is doing a big outdoor rematch cook-off between Ilan Hall and Sam Talbot from noon to 1:30 p.m. [Grub Street]
  14. Mediavore
    Senator Schumer Stands Up for the Red Hook Ball Fields; Di Fara Set to ReopenSenator Chuck Schumer visits the Red Hook ball fields and stands up for the vendors in front of rolling cameras: “Removing this for something that might make a little more money for the City of New York makes no sense. We don’t want McDonald’s here.” [NYDN] Earlier: Senator Schumer Springs to the Red Hook Ball-Fields’ Defense Di Fara will reopen by the end of the week. But it isn’t clear what owner Dom DeMarco will be doing to prevent another closure. [AMNY] FreshDirect has a rival in tiny, Long Island City–based Bread-n-Brie. Unlike FreshDirect, with its vast inventory, Bread-n-Brie goes to good markets and gets things for you upon request. [NYT]
  15. Mediavore
    DiFara Fans All at Sea; Gray Kunz Enters the Small-Plate WarsBrooklyn held hostage, day four: DiFara fans reeling from this latest, pointless blow from the Department of Health. “It hurts. It’s the best pizza in my life, ever.” [NYT] SliceNY uses the DiFara time-out to point out that, in recent months, the Saint of Avenue J has been burning his pizzas pretty badly around the edges. [SliceNY] Gray Kunz’s new small-plates restaurant, Grayz, joins a growing number of such restaurants run by lesser beings. [Diner’s Journal/NYT]
  16. Neighborhood Watch
    Midwood Facing a Second DiFara Crisis As Health Department RevisitsEast Village: Plans for the Bowery Hotel’s subterranean Japanese restaurant get scrapped for a spa. [Down by the Hipster] Drown your sorrows (or pickup takeout sushi) and head to Astor Wines for over 50 varieties of shochu, the Japanese alcohol that “goes down easy.” [Gridskipper] Fort Greene: The first South African restaurant in the United States, Madiba, has just been closed by the Department of Health. [VV] Long Island City: Junior’s Cheesecake and Harry’s Water Taxi Beach are among the participants in tomorrow night’s Taste of LIC to support the Chocolate Factory’s arts programs. [The Chocolate Factory] Midtown West: Starwood’s new (opening in 2010) green hotel overlooking Bryant Park will feature restaurants by Stephen Hanson. [Gothamist] Midwood: DiFara closed by the Department of Health for the second time since March. Dom, please just wear the hat. [Eater]
  17. In the Magazine
    Indulge in the Easy Life in This Week’s Issue New York’s food coverage this week has an air of decadence and satiety to it. Its mood is one of indulgence. Adam Platt wanders into two gastropubs and wanders out happy with one and very unhappy with the other. Charles Stuart Platkin describes the gastronomic orgy that is a tasting meal at Per Se and explains, scientifically, how insanely fattening it really is. Our three announced openings are likewise all of a starkly sybaritic kind: an expensive new sushi restaurant, a wine store, and a gelato parlor. And, this being Kentucky Derby time, this week’s In Season spotlights that perennial favorite of the idle, the classic mint julep, as prepared by LeNell Smothers, New York’s resident bourbon guru.
  18. Neighborhood Watch
    Porchetta Succumbs in Carroll GardensBedford-Stuyvesant: Heavenly Crumbs baker Shannon Pridgen demonstrates wedding-cake making in this sweet moving picture. [Eating for Brooklyn] Carroll Gardens: Looks like Porchetta has closed. No press release from Jason Neroni. Yet. [Eater] Ditmas Park: Connecticut Muffin coming to Cortelyou Road. [Living in Victorian Flatbush] Gramercy: 2007 James Beard nominee for outstanding wine service Charles Scicolone pours his ten favorite wines tomorrow night for a class at Vino, Italian Wine and Spirits. [Vinosite] Midwood: First tale of success from the Department of Health furor: DiFara’s Dom DeMarco wears a hat, and his pizza is better than ever. [Slice] Prospect Heights: Flatbush Farm will be barbecuing Saturday and Sunday from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. [A Brooklyn Life] West Village: That’s it for mice getting in easy at the Waverly Inn. [Gothamist] Williamsburg: Beloved gourmet-breakfast emporium Egg buys out Sparky’s. [Gawker] A Koolman truck’s been spotted on Metropolitan Avenue. Repainting spotted after last month’s garage fire, but no word on whether anyone checked the ice cream. [Gowanus Lounge]
  19. Mediavore
    Foodie Bloomie; the Starbucks Master PlanBloomberg holds sway over our eating habits like no mayor before him. [NYT] Wayne Nish is out to save Varietal from its folly, including a “full-of-itself wine list [that] boasted obscure, uninspired vintages masquerading as hidden treasures,” and desserts that were “scary messes.” [NYT] Behold, the Starbucks master plan for growth — which may help to explain its aggressive anti-union strategy, which has roused the ire of the National Labor Relations Board. [Business Week]
  20. Neighborhood Watch
    Late-Night LES Kimchee Cart Accepting ApplicationsBedford-Stuyvesant: In addition to Belgian waffles and couches for weary churchgoers, Common Grounds café will now offer homemade ice cream! [Brooklyn Record] Brooklyn Heights: Moxie Spot, planned for 81 Atlantic Avenue, wants a liquor license, says they’ll be family-friendly. [Brooklyn Heights Blog] Carroll Gardens: The new farmers’ market won’t launch until July 8. Meanwhile, they’ve hit the ground running in Union Square. [Brooklyn Record] Clinton Hill: Cadmen Congregational Church will host a Good Friday fish fry fund-raiser — plates will go for a miraculous $7. [Clinton Hill Blog] Lower East Side: Unless you’re willing to run it (seriously), the late-night kimchee cart may become a thing of the past. [Gridskipper] Midwood: DiFara reopens today. Dom DeMarco: 1; rat excreta: 0. [Slice] Soho: Balthazar challenger FR.OG, set to open on Spring Street Friday the 13th, brings mild ethnic slur to the fight. [Gawker] West Village: Department of Health nabs Kobma Thai; neighborhood resident unfazed. [Eater] The battle to rename part of Greenwich Avenue “Little Britain” rests with a man named Rupert. [Englishman in New York]
  21. Neighborhood Watch
    Village Rats Also Eat VegetarianChelsea: Varietal pastry chef Jordan Kahn, famous for his abstract desserts and now a slam from Frank Bruni, may resign. [Eater] Greenpoint: Unidentified soon-to-open restaurants spotted on both Greenpoint Avenue and Franklin Street. [Gowanus Lounge] Greenwich Village: Health-food mecca Gobo contributes to the rat-video craze. [NewYorkology] Lower East Side: Chickie Pig’s will open soon, but they may never have wine. [NYO] Midwood: DiFara hopes to reopen Saturday; stop in, if only to confirm that Dom DeMarco will be wearing a hat. [NewYorkology] Murray Hill: Wild Edibles now has a restaurant arm. [Gothamist]
  22. Mediavore
    De Marco’s May Close Forever; Let Them Make Foie Gras!The Department of Health rampage claims its most eminent victim yet: the venerable Brasserie LCB (formerly known as La Cote Basque). Apparently chef Jean-Jacques Rachou had a few things to say to the inspectors when they arrived. [NYP] According to the owner’s father, DiFara legend Dom De Marco, De Marco’s Pizza may close permanently in the wake of the recent shooting. [NYP] A more palatable way of making foie gras: Let the geese gorge themselves. [BBC via Chow]
  23. Mediavore
    DiFara Closed By DOH; Kosher Coke Is the Real ThingThe Department of Health closes beloved DiFara (temporarily!) because pizza maestro Dom DeMarco wasn’t using gloves or wearing a hat. [Serious Eats] And the much more tragic story for the family continues to develop: The De Marco’s shooter saw himself, as so many trigger-happy madmen do, as slow to anger. [NYT] So much food is being imported into America that the FDA can’t possibly inspect it all. [USA Today]
  24. The Other Critics
    Sripraphai and DiFara Challenged Close to HomeWill the “aptly-named” Spicy & Tasty be the next Sripraphai? Making a rare trip outside of Manhattan (but somehow missing the signature tea-smoked duck), Bruni hails the pleasure-per-dollar ratio of “some of the most distinctive Sichuan cooking in any of the five boroughs.” [NYT] Carroll Gardens’ so-new-it’s-not-even-open-yet homegrown pizza spot Lucali: not exactly DiFara, but on its way. [NYT] Oft-overlooked Escoffier time warp and Capote haunt Le Veau d’Or gets some love. [NYO]
  25. Click and Save
    Chowhound Wonders If You’ve Heard of This So-Called ‘Chinatown’ One of the pleasures of cruising the Chowhound boards is the vicarious thrill of discovery: There’s always somebody who just found out about DiFara or Sripraphai or Kebab Cafe. Last week, apropos of nothing, user Brian S. posted a guide to Manhattan Chinatown that includes a basic overview of various regional cookeries. An added bonus is the long, link-rich thread, centering on Chinese bakeries, which follows the post. (We recently essayed the same topic.) If only the Chinatowns in Brooklyn and Queens were given the same treatment. Eating in Chinatown — a beginner’s guide [Chowhound]
  26. User's Guide
    New Cookbooks You Might Actually Open Back in the day, of course, most kitchens could get by with a single massive reference tome; as the Times just pointed out, it was often Joy of Cooking. Now so many cookbooks come out every season that you could spend your entire grocery budget on them. Here are an exceptional handful by New York chefs or celebrities that have come out this fall.
  27. Openings
    Brick-Oven-Pizza Perfection Comes to Carroll GardensSlavering outer-borough Chowhounders have recently been storming the unmarked gates of Carroll Gardens’s newest brick-oven pizzeria, a rustic establishment being compared on that contentious, cultlike Website to such sacred pizza cows as Di Fara’s. It’s not only the posters who’ve evoked that mythic name — chef-owner Mark Iacono has as well. “My favorite pizza is Di Fara,” says Iacono, who looks a little like a Pope of Greenwich Village–era Eric Roberts. “The recipe is pretty much the same. Difference is, mine is made in a brick oven.” His pie is also imbued with a feisty smokiness, courtesy of a wood fire, and has a flavorful crust that’s comparatively soft and puffy, closer to classic coal-oven practitioners like Totonno’s and Grimaldi’s than Di Fara’s. “I call it old-school-Brooklyn style,” he says. “That’s what I’m going for.”
  28. Click and Save
    A Quest for the Best Bánh Mì, Ed Levine Salutes Heroes, City’s Dim SumWhether you’re ragin’ for Asian or perfectly fine with pizza and meatballs, this week’s weekly roundup of roundups delivers. Continuing its quest to find the mother of all bánh mìs, Porkchop Express breaks bread at Pho Sàigòn and A Chau Deli. [Porkchop Express] Five K-towners that go beyond grill-it-yourself. [NYT] Some dim sum. Okay, a lot of dim sum. [amNY] Artichoke renditions, from the dip everyone gets at Freemans to the slice everyone gets at DiFara’s. [NYDN] Ed Levine: My (top five meatball) heroes. [Ed Levine Eats] Tien Mao wolfs 25 slices in search of Strong Island’s best. [Gothamist]
  29. NewsFeed
    Black Is the Color of My True Love’s Crust Like a Maxim “special breast issue” or a Cigar Aficionado report on status anxiety, the definitive NY pizza blog Slice’s “Di Fara Roundup” is a redundancy. Di Fara’s is, with a handful of other pantheon pizzerias, Slice’s reason for existence. But look past this — back, that is, to the post on Egullet co-founder Jason Perlow’s photoblog Off the Broiler, which partly inspired the roundup. In singling out Di Fara’s square pie for special praise, Perlow reveals a big blind spot shared by the faithful. Beloved pizza man Dom DeMarco — and we count ourselves among his greatest fans — actually burns over half of the square pies. His oven is a million years old, give or take, and its hot spots are hard for him to control, especially given the equally ancient cookie pans the Saint of Avenue J uses for the square pizza. We aren’t kidding when we say “burned” — even the bottom of the slice Perlow shoots from below (in what Slice likes to call a “pizza upskirt shot”) is totally blackened. That no one even mentions this is proof of the most orthodox religious fidelity. [Slice: “Di Fara Roundup”]
  30. Welcome to Grub StreetGrub Street was an eighteenth-century London avenue populated by hungry writers. Those long-dead litterateurs never rested, and neither will New York Magazine’s food blog. Grub Street will be updated hourly, covering everything from the cult street vendor, nameless yet venerated, to the latest temple of gastronomy, awash in renown. You’ll find out which in-demand tables are available each night, where you might discover an overlooked lunch spot, what’s worth reading elsewhere on the Web, and what Matthew Barney orders at Balthazar.