What can you say about Di Fara Pizza that hasn’t already been said? There are millions of articles, comments and tributes to what Zagat, Time Out New York, New York Mag, the NYTimes and a whole bunch of others deem one of the best pizzas, if not the best pizza in NYC. And yet I had not made it out to Midwood to try a slice for myself.
A 30 minute train ride on the Q from Union Square, Di Fara is one block from the train station and easy to miss as it blends in with the bustling neighborhood. Di Fara was always a place I wanted to visit but the talk of the crazy waits and the fact that I had no clue where it was (where is Midwood I would ask?) deterred me from going. Luckily for me, my friend Jason hosted a private pizza party Tuesday night for the first 30 people to respond to his invitation a few weeks back (I said yes without even knowing who I was going to bring and almost immediately after getting his email in my inbox). And so armed with my girl Kara, $40 and a six-pack of beer (the cost of the party was $30 without tip and the place is BYOB), I prepared for pizza greatness.
*MM & KK*
Di Fara has been making their pizza the same way for decades…seriously. There is one guy, Dom, making every single pizza by hand every single time. A good pizza is one made with a lot of heart and Dom puts everything he has into each pie.
*Di Fara all to ourselves*
*Dom putting the finishing touches on a pie*
What makes these pizzas so great? It’s simplicity. Each slice is perfection and is literally nothing like the one made before it (because Dom made it by hand), other than it’s consistency in tasting out of this world delicious!
It is fascinating to watch Dom work. Before he began making the pizzas I was able to catch a brief moment of him preparing himself for the evening as he rolled up his sleeves and prepared his workstation like a painter ready create a masterpiece.
There are two kinda of pizza’s made, a long rectangular crust and a thin crust pie but the process is still the same…a little bit of sauce is spread out onto the dough, then a cheese grater is brought out and a bunch of fresh mozzarella is sliced onto the pie, then more tomato sauce is ladled onto the pie, followed by freshly torn mozzarella di bufalo spread all over the pie and then topped off with fresh grated cheese and drizzled olive oil before being shoved into the decades old oven.
I lost count on how many slices I consumed but I think the number is close to six or seven slices! From plain cheese to a white pizza with porcini mushrooms, a pepperoni, and the Di Fara classic …. we were filled to the brim. Of course the ingredients made the pizzas different in taste but each crust was chewy and crunchy, had a balanced sauce to cheese ratio and was swimming in a sea of tomato sauce with chunks of milky melted cheese. My favorite little touch was the way Dom cut fresh basil right onto each pizza and drizzled it with olive oil.
My experience with Di Fara was vastly different to most as I didn’t have to wait in a long line but I’ll wait hours if I have to for this pizza it’s that good. I look forward to singing its praises to everyone I know and taking people for their first Di Fara experience just as Jason did for me!
1424 Avenue J (between East 14th and East 15th Streets) *Brooklyn