January 16, 2014 |

Throwback Thursday: New York Pizza in February 1988

By Mandy Wolf Detwiler

nov 88 coverHey, 1988! Our February cover story that year was New York pizza. Every legit pizza magazine (hey, there’s really only one, right?) has to have the perennial history-of-pizza-in-the-US story, and all roads led to New York City in this issue.

Gennaro Lombardi is generally credited for opening the first American pizzeria way back in 1905. Until the mid 1940s, however, pizza wasn’t widely known in the country. The New York pizza scene is full to bursting now, with a pizzeria on every street corner hawking just about every imaginable type of ‘za.

We recently trekked to NYC to cover what purists might consider industry “newbies.” Motorino and Kesté Pizza & Vino both have opened within the last five to six years. Both serve Neapolitan pizza. Both are operated by chef-owners who have taken hands-on approaches to their businesses. And both have garnered attention on a national level.

Here’s the kicker: are these two considered New York pizzerias? Other than physical addresses, they better meet the standards of traditional Neapolitan pizza. What does this mean? In our opinion, the face of pizza is changing.

Never before have we seen such an emphasis on the words “fresh,” “local,” “artisan” and “made from scratch.” In a saturated market, standing out is critical, and both Kesté and Motorino have managed to do this in a relatively short amount of time.