Poor Larry. It must have been at least a year of nagging before he finally got me to accompany him to Nunzio's where, he claimed, I would taste "the best pizza in the city. No, make that the country!" It's not that I didn't believe him, it was the fact that Nunzio's was located in Staten Island. And I knew that, door to door, the round trip would be 4+ hours. So, understandably, a weeknight was out of the question. And, on many weekends, I'm either out of town - too hungover - or just not in the mood to do much else besides eat takeout and press the buttons on my television's remote control.
We met at the Staten Island Ferry terminal on Sunday at 10:45am. "Boats leave on the hour, and I think that noon would be too late," Larry stated. I agreed. An 11am departure sounded fine 'n dandy...prior to my epic 4am night. After a pleasant 20-minute boat ride to the 'Island, we hopped aboard the S51 bus enroute to Nunzio's (from the Staten Island ferry terminal, take the S51 bus towards "GRANT CITY via BAY ST," and get off at Hylan Bl-Midland Av.). Due to a horrible hangover bout - which led to a near-vomit episode from bus-induced motion sickness - I would have much preferred taking the subway. Unfortunately, trains were not running on Sunday. Fortunately, I did not puke...
Hugging the busy corner of Hylan Blvd. and Midland Ave., Nunzio's houses both a takeaway/quick-service area and a full-service restaurant. After our long-ish journey, we opted for the latter.
Casual/no-frills and friendly, Nunzio's dining room is an ideal setting for any occasion - unless you're looking for a lil' romance...
Despite the ample Italian menu, there was no question what we were there to order: Pizza pie!
One of the first things I noticed about Nunzio's whole pie was how large each slice was cut. And I *like* that! Not only did the crust look like it was homemade, it had that extra flour-y, slightly gummy texture, which mass-production can seamlessly amend. While I loved the sweet sauce, chock-full of tomato nibs - and the ample amount of it - I found the mozzarella cheese to be a bit rubber-y. That, I can say, was definitely not homemade.
All in all? Nunzio's makes a damn good pie.
"So, do you think Nunzio's was worth the trip to Staten Island?" Larry asked. For this pizza, alone? Absolutely not. I can get a good pie in my own 'hood. However, for pizza and some time to explore the 'Island? Without a doubt! Aside from the fact that one of my favorite 'guilty pleasure' television shows, Mob Wives, takes place on Staten Island, it's a borough that I've regretfully not spent much time on...but would like to!
Until we eat again,
The Lunch Belle