Pizza Note:
San Matteo
6 February 2019

ΒΆ When I went to order a pizza from Vinnie’s the other night, this newly-discovered source of good but ordinary pie was not taking orders, nor was the phone answered. You tell me.

I moved on. Or rather, I moved back, this time making a more considered effort to give San Matteo a try. San Matteo had turned me down at the beginning of the quest, when I was told that I lived outside its delivery area. It seemed that I might have been trying to order from the 81st location, which isn’t that far away β€” but it’s one block more distant than the location on 90th Street. Having made sure that I was dealing with 90th Street, I ordered something with mushrooms and prosciutto. The order was handled by Slice, which made use of all the information that I had provided for ordering from Vinnie’s β€” a rare instance of online convenience. 

The pizza was Wow. I was reminded of the upscale pizzeria on Third Avenue, Loui Loui, where I had many an agreeable lunch in bygone days. I was reminded of the place that Megan ordered from when she lived on Avenue C. “Why can’t we have pizza this good on the Upper East Side?” I would whine, to which Megan would give a look that was less than a hundred–percent smug-free. Well, now we do have pizza this good. We’ve had it for a while (San Matteo didn’t exactly open yesterday). And now I’m enjoying it. 

San Matteo’s crust is light and soft and a bit charred at the edges β€” it would be delicious by itself. I can’t tell you why the rest of the ingredients made such a good pizza, because I’ve tried them all myself, and the result has never been better than passable. Not entirely okay. If I could copy San Matteo’s tomato sauce, I’d be halfway to real satisfaction. Their juicy, flavorful mushrooms were cooked, I conclude, separately, and were strewn on the pizza the moment it came out of the oven, not before. 

Kathleen is not crazy about prosciutto, so, when I ordered another pizza this evening, I asked in the “special instructions” box for sausage to be substituted in its place. I had no idea if this would work, but I was glad that I gave it a try, because the pizza that arrived was dotted with discs of sausage and no ham. I would prefer the prosciutto, but tonight’s pizza was just as scrumptious as the first one. 

Poor Vinnie’s. Were they having an off night, or did they go out of business all of a sudden? I wonder if I’ll ever find out. 

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