Outside of Naples, Italy, the fiercest contest for best pizza is right here in Brooklyn.
There are the old-school, such as Grimaldi’s under the Brooklyn Bridge that has been serving up the good stuff for years, and there are the new standbys Roberta’s and Paulie Gee’s, where on a busy Saturday night hungry customers wait for hours to taste the wood-fired pies. New or old, they all raise the bar on pizza perfection — and the latest member of the elite in-crowd is Saraghina in Bedford-Stuyvesant.
Though the eatery’s Margherita will satisfy even the most discerning pizza-lover, a recent standout is the more creative Coppa e Carciofi, which comes topped with fresh mozzarella, spicy Italian salami and artichoke hearts.
The pie is centered around the coppa, an Italian cured salami made from the neck of a pig, which becomes salty, fatty, and fragrant atop the warm pie. The artichoke hearts, marinated in chili flakes and garlic, are meaty on their own, and hold up well to the coppa and bubbly mozzarella. And though slightly less flavorful than some of the competition, the dough is beautifully charred in Saraghina’s wood-burning oven, which reaches up to 900 degrees.
It’s a carefully crafted pizza good enough to make the competition raise their eyebrows.
Finding a new standout in one of the most pizza-obsessed cities on earth is not easy, but when one arrives, it’s something worth celebrating. Though Saraghina is a bit of a trek for some, if you get close enough, the smell of the pizza from down the street will draw you into the restaurant’s warm glow.
Saraghina [435 Halsey St. at Lewis Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant, (718) 574–0010 www.saraghinabrooklyn.com].
Will Levitt is a Brooklyn-based food writer. Follow him on Twitter @UnderEggWill