Archive for the Lombardi's (NYC) Category

Lombardi’s

Posted in Lombardi's (NYC) on July 13, 2009 by jaydel818

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32 Spring Street (at Mott Street)
New York, New York
212.941.7994
www.firstpizza.com


5 Second Summary:
Price Range- Large pie $19.50, Small Pie $15.50 (at time of posting)
Ambiance- Pizza parlor casual
Cuisine- Pizza, calzones, salads
Hits- Coal-oven pizza and historicity (landmark status)
Misses- Long lines of tourists
The claim to fame at Lombardi’s is age.  In a city where historic buildings are torn down to make way for new structures (rather than preserved), age is a virtue.  That said, Lombardi’s isn’t in its original location.
Opened by Gennaro Lombardi in 1897 as a Little Italy grocery market, it gradually evolved into something else as Mr. Lombardi broke into the lunch market and began to sell “tomato pies,” wrapped in paper and tied with string, to Italian laborers on their way to work.  This economical snack was sold by the piece the way it is still sold in Italy.  Customers proffer the amount they’d like to purchase, and an equivalent slice is cut from the pie.  In 1905, Lombardi’s was licensed as the first pizzeria in the country.  After WWII, pizza came into its own and enjoyed immense popularity.  Lombardi’s closed in 1984, but reopened ten years later under the patronage of a Lombardi family friend.  It was at this point that Lombardi’s relocated.
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With decor largely composed of wood paneling and exposed brick, Lombardi’s is a lot like that old Italian grandmother’s den.  I guess the best words to describe it are old school. DSC03753Simple and straightforward, Lombardi’s is casual and manages to stay something more than just red and white checked tablecloths.DSC03754
Lines of tourists curl around the block during peak meal times, even though there are quite a few back rooms.DSC03756
Your best bet is to go during unusual hours or take out.  Lombardi’s also delivers.    We ordered a large, half-pepperoni, half-meatball pie that was just delish.  The crust is thin and soft, and the coal fired oven taste is unmistakable.  Sweet, simple, red sauce and fresh, white mozzarella make it seem more Northern Italian, although the restaurant’s roots are Neapolitan.
DSC03762Our pepperoni curled into gorgeous little cups, and our meatballs were light and delicately flavored with cheese.  They had a great texture, not rubbery, not heavy.
DSC03755Lombardi’s has a string of accolades and recognition by the History Channel, the Food Network, Discovery, and Zagat, but the real reason to go is to taste a little slice of New York history.
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