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Di Fara is back! And our reporter had the first pizza • Brooklyn Paper

Di Fara is back! And our reporter had the first pizza

That handsome devil on the wall behind master paesano Dom DeMarco is DeMarco himself, from the 1960s.
The Brooklyn Paper / Julie Rosenberg

You asked for it, and the city delivered.

The legendary Di Fara’s Pizza re-opened on Wednesday around 12:30 pm, giving pizza-philes one last chance to snag a slice before Thanksgiving, after the restaurant breezed through the city’s health re-inspection that morning.

“It feels like a grand opening,” said Margy DeMarco Mieles, who works along side her father, owner Domenico DeMarco, in the shop. “Fresh starts always feel good.”

The city shuttered the renowned pizzeria on Avenue J in Midwood, often named the city’s best, last Thursday after a Health Department inspector said he found evidence of mice and flies in the kitchen.

Pizza-lovers citywide were up in arms — some accusing the department of trying to make a sacrificial pie out of the pontiffs of pizza.

But after a city re-inspection, the joint reopened, slowly churning out deliciously charred buffalo mozzarella pies.

“This is the best pizza in the universe,” said Frank Benpensata who rushed over to the shrine as soon as he got word DeMarco was back. “I’m happy they re-opened.”

A pie ordered by The Brooklyn Paper was delicious, a sign that the restaurant had not changed in the week that it was closed.

The DeMarcos said they harbored no resentment toward the Health Department, but they thought that the shutdown could have potentially been avoided.

“The [Department] is trying to make things better and says its interest is in the public’s health,” said Mieles. “But people will tell you they live for our pizza — they’re not dying over it.”

Customers concurred.

“I would eat this pizza if it had dog s—t on it,” said Tom Kissane, a Di Fara fanatic who was so untroubled by the Health Department’s allegations that he came from Queens with his pregnant wife to enjoy some pre-Thanksgiving pizza.

Di Fara Pizza was closed on Thanksgiving but will be open on Friday for normal business hours. Saturday it will be closed briefly for a private event.

Di Fara Pizza [1424 Avenue J at E. 15th Street in Midwood, (718) 258-1367].

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