Your Guide to Authentic Regional Eats
Sign In | Register for Free!
Restaurants Recipes Forums Eating Tours Merchandise FAQ Maps Insider

Patsy's Pizzeria

2287 First Ave., New York, NY - (212) 534-9783
Posted By Michael Stern on 4/28/2005 9:20:00 AM
Patsy's was the last of four New York pizzerias that the Roadfood team sampled on a June afternoon; and most of us agreed that it was the best. Sold by the slice at a stand-up storefront or by the whole pie in a sit-down restaurant next door, Patsy's pizza is a New York classic.

While all sorts of toppings are available, we felt that a basic tomato-cheese pizza was the way to go. It is the simplest pie imaginable, easy to hoist slice by slice, built on a marvelous thin crust with charred spots all along the edge that have the smoky flavor that only a coal oven delivers. Two versions of plain cheese pizza are available: fresh mozzarella, with thin pools of creamy sliced cheese are spread out within the microthin layer of tomato sauce, and regular mozzarella on which saltier, slightly oilier shredded cheese is spread evenly all across the surface. They have a very different nature, topping-wise, but they both sport that marvelous wafer-thin charcoaled crust.

The place is a true destination restaurant, way uptown in a place that is not exactly "restaurant row." It's ancient, going back to 1933 when Pasquale Lancieri first opened for business; and it has the well-aged character of a neighborhood restaurant that hasn't changed even as the neighborhood around it has. We were especially charmed by waiter Victor, who advised us that in his opinion, "98% of the pizza places in New York aren't worth walking past."

15 out of 15 people found the review helpful. Was it helpful to you?

No Yes

Scorecard

4 - Overall: One of the Best - Worth a Trip
Overall: One of the Best - Worth a Trip
Mozzarella Pizza
Slice
Fresh Mozzarella Pizza
Rate this place

Reviewers Photos [Upload Your Photos]

Cheese on the fresh mozzarella pie melts into pools across the surface. It is very subtle-flavored. When we ordered both kinds of pie, we were advised by the staff that we should eat this one first, as fresh mozzarella has a shorter half-life than one made with regular cheese.
"Cheese on the fresh mozzarella pie melts into pools across the surface. It is very subtle-flavored. When we ordered both kinds of pie, we were advised by the staff that we should eat this one first, as fresh mozzarella has a shorter half-life than one made with regular cheese."
Michael Stern





What makes Patsy's pizza so good: a fine crust with just enough char to give its bready circumference a smoke flavor.
"What makes Patsy's pizza so good: a fine crust with just enough char to give its bready circumference a smoke flavor."
Michael Stern


The granddaddy of New York pizza-by-the-slice. It is thin, crisp-crusted, and full-flavored. This is a whole one, but when you arrive at Patsy's, you'll likely see customers standing around on the sidewalk or inside the walk-up storefront eating it by the slice.
"The granddaddy of New York pizza-by-the-slice. It is thin, crisp-crusted, and full-flavored. This is a whole one, but when you arrive at Patsy's, you'll likely see customers standing around on the sidewalk or inside the walk-up storefront eating it by the slice."
Michael Stern


Roadfooders Chris and Amy joined me for a slice and, man, was it good!  Crust.  Sauce.  Cheese.  With a hint of coal oven char.  Just right.
"Roadfooders Chris and Amy joined me for a slice and, man, was it good! Crust. Sauce. Cheese. With a hint of coal oven char. Just right."
Bill Homan


Waiter Victor stands under the oil portrait of Frank Sinatra that graces Patsy's wall. Frank supposedly liked this pizza so much that he had it flown to movie locations and night clubs when hunger struck.
"Waiter Victor stands under the oil portrait of Frank Sinatra that graces Patsy's wall. Frank supposedly liked this pizza so much that he had it flown to movie locations and night clubs when hunger struck."
Michael Stern


A Harlem institution since 1933.
"A Harlem institution since 1933."
Bill Homan


You can sit down in the restaurant next door or walk up to the takeout counter and grab a slice to eat at the window.  Drinks are from the vending machine or the bodega two doors down.
"You can sit down in the restaurant next door or walk up to the takeout counter and grab a slice to eat at the window. Drinks are from the vending machine or the bodega two doors down."
Bill Homan


On First Avenue between 116th and 117th Streets, Patsy's is a New York gastronomic landmark.
"On First Avenue between 116th and 117th Streets, Patsy's is a New York gastronomic landmark."
Michael Stern


By the looks of this sign not much has changed at Patsy's in the last 78 years.  This is a good thing.
"By the looks of this sign not much has changed at Patsy's in the last 78 years. This is a good thing."
Bill Homan


If you find yourself standing on this corner then you are just steps away from pizza greatness.
"If you find yourself standing on this corner then you are just steps away from pizza greatness."
Bill Homan



What is Roadfood?  |   Submit Content  |   Privacy Policy  |   Contact Roadfood.com   Copyright - Roadfood.com