Team Favorite: Pizza
New Haven County is famous, if not infamous, for its pizza. Friends who are visiting from out of town always want to try a famous New Haven pie, and locals argue about it constantly. Those who grew up here and have since moved away come home to visit and consistently work their schedule around a trip to Wooster Street for a taste of home. It’s like a cult following, and I totally understand it. If you didn’t grow up here, it really just sounds crazy. You could say we are overzealous for pizza in Connecticut, but when you’re faced with arguably the best in the country and two of the most famous pizzerias outside of Italy, whatever your preference, it’s (one of the few reasons it’s) good to live in Connecticut. What does our team think is the best pie around?
Tom Morrone, Principal, CFP ®, CPA
It is very difficult to say which is my favorite pizza place? After all you are talking to a guy who grew up in East Haven as a kid and has lived in North Haven for the last 28 years. In those two towns and the surrounding towns has to be some of the best pizza restaurants not only in the area but in the entire state of CT. Some would take it a step further and say this area has some of the best pizza from across the country. I would tend to agree with that statement because in my travels around the country when ordering pizza, more common than not I would say “this pizza is nothing like at home”! I also have to say my taste in pizza has evolved over the years. When I was younger I used to enjoy a thick and doughy Sicilian style pizza. Now I enjoy a thin crust and look for the flavor in the toppings. To narrow the selection to one location is very difficult but I would have to say Da Legna on State Street in New Haven. The crust is thin and lite and the array of toppings is endless. Put it on your list. There are countless other locations in the area that serve a great pizza and Wooster Street in New Haven is famous for its Italian cuisine. So enjoy your next pizza wherever you end up.
Paul Morrone, CFP ®, CPA, MSA
Whenever I travel to other parts of the country it is nearly inevitable that someone is going to ask me if I prefer Pepe’s or Sally’s. I’m sure this is as a result of the numerous food network and travel channel specials that highlight what many consider to be Wooster Street’s two biggest assets, but for me it’s not much of a contest. I’ve always been a devout Sally’s fan, although I do enjoy an occasional trip to Modern Pizza or Bar to change it up. But at the end of the day Sally’s reigns superior in my eyes. Maybe it’s the fact that the place hasn’t been renovated in decades, or that the wait staff is the perfect eclectic mix of what you would expect from a hole in the wall pizza joint, but at the end of the day it’s the pizza that keeps me coming back again and again. I’m a simple man when it comes to pizza, and have often said that if I had to choose my last meal it would be a small red pie (because small pizzas are always cooked better than large ones) and an ice cold beer. For those of you not familiar with a red pie, it is just about as simple as it gets. Just some dough topped with Sally’s traditional red sauce, some garlic, oven charred around the edges, served hot and topped with a bit of grated parmesan cheese. If you’re willing to wait in the line to get in, you won’t be disappointed.
Barbara Gode, Office Manager
John & Marie’s on RT 80 in East Haven is my favorite place to eat pizza in New Haven County. I have tried others like Sally’s (thin crust), and Modern Apizza, but I always go back to John & Marie’s. In the Summertime (only available seasonally), I love their Native Tomato pizza with fresh basil and garlic. I also like their antipasto salad with dressing on the side (and a nice cold beer). Just saying! A few other favorite pies to try: is their Chicken Florentine pie (I ask for grilled chicken, but they do offer breaded chicken as well), and a must try is Johnny’s Favorite which is mozzarella, mushrooms and sausage. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed no matter what you order. I hope to see you there!