In the 2010 Zagat New York dining guide, Le Bernardin and Jean Georges get 28 out of a possible 30 points for food. Di Fara gets 27. So perhaps the rather high tabs here are not so bad, relatively speaking. I personally consider my $20 (3 slices of anchovy/garlic and a diet soda) money well spent.
If you care, Di Fara's got 4 points for decor. It is probably the diviest pizza joint I've ever been in and I've been in some dives. But, again, I'm not really complaining about that (except maybe they could splurge on a few more second hand chairs from Craig's List). It also gets 8 points for service, but I found the 3 or 4 employees and Mr. Di Fara himself quite pleasant if busier than bees in a hive.
The pizza is sublimely unusual (or unusually sublime). As everybody has said, the ingredients appeared to be the best obtainable. The mushrooms begin as fresh mushrooms. The garlic on my slices obviously did not come out of a jar but were sliced from whole fresh garlic cloves. The cheese was buffala.
But what was most unusual was the way the toppings, including the tomato sauce (delicious by the way), seemed cooked just to the point of melted perfection--not at all burned or dried out--but the crust had that black-blistered New York coal oven look (from what appeared to be the same kind of electric oven your corner pizza joint probably uses, no less).
Somewhere above somebody complained about the subway ride. Again, I will demur. I admit I enjoy riding the subway. First thing I do when I hit NYC is buy an unlimited ride MetroCard. Getting to Di Fara took me about 30 minutes on the B-train, one easy transfer, from Chelsea. For those staying near Times Square, the Q also works and I took it back to see a movie on 42nd St. For me, this jaunt was no problem at all--it's about the same as the ride to Queens for New York's best Thai food at Sripraphai which I've done a number of times.
<message edited by BT on Thu, 01/6/11 12:31 AM>