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The Year in Pizza Innovation, 2010

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This year, New York’s favorite food got even better, thanks to the hard work of a few forward-thinking restaurateurs and pizzaiolos. Here’s a look back at the great pizza innovations of 2010:

Naples on the Hudson:
[Donatella Arpaia with Enzo Coccia; a slippery-cheese pie from Eataly, Paulie Gee]
By the start of 2010, New York diners had made their pizza preferences known: large classic-style pies were out, 12’’ Neapolitan pizzas were in. The city’s restaurateurs didn’t question why everyone suddenly wanted small pizzas where the cheese just falls right off. Instead, they responded to the demand, trying to outdo each other with their claims to the Neapolitan birthright. Paulie Gee’s in Greenpoint opened with an oven from master craftsmen Stefano Ferrara. Eataly’s Rossopomodoro kicked things off with not one, but two guys from Naples who basically started slinging pies 90 minutes after stepping off a plane at JFK. And in a bold move, Donatella in Chelsea opened with both a bespoke Ferrara oven and a living Italian legend, Enzo Coccia, at its helm — he spoke even less English than the Eataly guys.

The Search for Perfection:
[Jean-Georges; a complicated mathematical equation; a pie from Pulino's]

Those that didn't go for Neapolitan Gold explored other accelerated forms of pizza making. Jean-Georges Vongerichten loaded his pies at The Mark with the pricey, rare black truffles. Nate Appleman gave New York a pizza that appealed to both fans of crust, and their friends who hate the little doughy nubs. And, newcomer Revd Up Pi adopted a highly scientific approach to pizzacraft. From their website:

We’ve included heat-resistant probiotics, cutting edge antioxidants, various fibers including one that enhances calcium absorption that we infuse our sauce and the crust to avoid the use of sugar!.... We are further inspired by a symbol that provides common ground between mathematicians and non-mathematicians.
Nice work, guys. You deserve a day off.

The Pizzeria Comes to You:
[Photo: Eddie's Pizza Truck, Roberta's in Madison Square Park, tagliare at LaGuardia]
Gone are the days of trekking out and around the city to find the perfect slice. In 2010, the pizzeria came to you. New York saw the rise of pizza trucks like Eddie’s, who set up shop outside of offices full of hungry pizza fans. Those fancy brick ovens began hitting the streets, too, like the one Roberta’s brought to Madison Square Park. Legendary Midwood pie shop Di Fara even expanded to LaGuardia airport with Tagliare, making its three cheese-topped ‘za easily accessible to travelers from all over the world. And, thanks to the mobile arm of Pizza Moto, New Yorkers were finally able to enjoy one of their favorite foods while shopping at a flea market, or while grooving to the smooth stylings of St. Vincent in Central Park.

Pizza Wings, Flying Dangerously Close to the Sun:
[The Grilled Pizza at Fornino Park Slope; K! Pizzacone; The mac 'n' cheese pie at Pinch & S'Mac],
But not every experiment in the pizza arts was successful. At the new Fornino in Park Slope, chef Michael Ayoub decided to cook his pies on a grill, like a burger — it is widely regarded as a misfire. The Meat Hook injected a leftover pizza course into their new, weird brunch, which has left diners scratching their heads. K! Pizzacone's attempt to change the shape of the classic dish resulted in its quick shutter. And a mac 'n' cheese pizza at Pinch & S'Mac failed to please fans of pizza, mac, cheese, or food in general.

The Future:

Untitled from Farolito Films on Vimeo.

What does the future hold for New York pizza pies? That's anybody's guess. We know that it goes great with root beer, and that it usually tastes good the next day, even if you leave it out on the kitchen counter. But, the team from Roberta's have dreamed up one vision of pizza's destiny, that, though improbable, sounds pretty good to us.

· All Pizza Coverage on Eater [~ENY~]

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