Pizza Worth Travelling For
By Paul Morrone CFP®, CPA, MSA
It’s no secret that one of my favorite foods in the world is pizza; you’ve seen me write about it before. In the past, I’ve professed my love for Sally’s on Wooster street (which recently sold to a new owner!) and am lucky enough to be able to get a great pie from any one of about 10 places within only miles of my house. It’s easy to see why people who move away always come home craving a New Haven pizza because there really isn’t anywhere else in the world that can live up to its reputation. Every town has its staple take-out places, but I find the best experiences are sometimes off the beaten path.
Aside from making my semi-annual pilgrimage to Wooster street, we generally get pizza as take-out and eat at home. While not as exciting as a night out, it gets the job done and I’m equally as happy not having to deal with parking and waiting in line to get dinner, especially during winter time when a cold or wet night can completely ruin the experience. That being said, there are two places locally that I genuinely enjoy going out to, and the pizza is top-notch.
If we’re feeling adventurous and planning ahead, we will try to grab one of the 10 seats at the bar at Bufalina in Guilford for one of their Neapolitan style artisan pizzas (which are phenomenal), and in my mind represent the closest resemblance of an authentic Italian pizza this side of the Atlantic. The restaurant is tiny and reservations are usually a must. The pizzas are all small in size, think personal pizza, with an impossibly thin and soft crust. They are topped are topped with fresh and high-quality ingredients, something that most pizza places lack. During our first trip to Italy, Jill and I stumbled upon a small restaurant in a piazza on the outskirts of Florence. We needed a quick lunch and just grabbed a pizza because, well, why not. A couple of days later we had been back to the same restaurant several more times because the pizza was so good; we were eating it as a ‘snack’ even if we weren’t hungry. A night at Bufalina brings me back to that piazza every time.
Another favorite of ours is a seasonal pick, mainly because it has arguably the best location of any pizza place in CT, with direct waterfront views of the Thimble Islands in Branford. It doesn’t hurt that the pizza is of Wooster street quality in the classic New Haven style. Oh, and the restaurant is BYOB (so is Bufalina), what could be better? If it’s a nice sunny evening we will go see Val and Greg (and Rob) at Stony Creek Market, get a pizza or two, and relax overlooking the Thimbles with a bottle of wine or some cold beers. After dinner, we’ll feel less guilty about all of the food we ate after walking through Stony Creek along the water as the sun sets. Unfortunately, they only serve pizza through the summer months (April – November, I believe) so it will be well into 2018 before we make our way back there again.
It’s hard to find a ‘bad’ pizza place anywhere in the New Haven area, but if you’re looking for a really good pie and an experience that doesn’t involve waiting in line in downtown New Haven, these places are worth a shot.