Considering the number of flashy new Neopolitan-style pizzerias that have opened in just your zip code in the past decade, it’s no surprise the biggest news from the old-school city pizzeria front has been the proliferation of the $1 slice. Most of us who debate The Best Pizza currently argue over those baked in wood-fired brick ovens and topped with heirloom tomatoes and Vermont-made buffalo-milk mozzarella, rather than something sourced from Polly-O.
That’s why we wanted to remind you that here and there in this great borough of ours there are a still simple pizzerias that approach perfection in their sometimes overlooked genre, that being the corner slice joint. These are those that cook their crust to crispiness rather than as fast as possible, that use proper ratios of cheese to sauce (and that sauce itself is tomatoey and tart, instead of simply sweet) and that take pride in their pies, even if they aren’t Greenmarket sourced or made with flour grown on the roof and milled in the backyard.
One of those winners is the 61-year-old Tony’s Pizza on Graham Avenue in Williamsburg, which was reviewed favorably last year by those who know, aka Slice/Serious Eats. Tony’s–actually owned by a Phil, last name of Fontana–is in the still-Italian enclave where Graham and Metropolitan avenues meet. They still stock scungilli and breadcrumb-topped mussels along with ziti and a simmering pan of red-sauced meatballs. But their main draw, as their name says, is pizza: The focaccia-like fat-crusted pie sold by the wedge is fine; the regular cheese pretty damn good; and the skinny Sicilian, topped with a layer of fresh mozz and dolloped with sauce and spice, is supreme, its thin crust buttery good and almost pastry flaky.
But don’t take our word for it: How do you know Tony’s is legit? The last four letters of their phone number spell T-O-N-Y. A clear sign of corner slice joint greatness, if there ever was one.
Tony’s Pizza: 355 Graham Avenue between Conselyea Street and Metropolitan Avenue; 718-384-8669 (or TONY); tonyspizzaonline.com