318 W. 23rd St.
New York, NY 10011
PATSY LANCIERI OPENED a soon-to-be legendary pizza parlor in East Harlem in the early 1930s. This much is accepted as New York pizza gospel. What happened in the years to come can only be described as chaos. The short of it is that Patsy's pizza pedigree remains intact to this day despite a family feud over its debated ancestral discipleship. The Grimaldi clan would have you bypass Lancieri's importance en route to its Brooklyn digs, while Patsy's very name itself has been enshrined as Manhattan's marquee pizza moniker.
Personally, I prefer Grimaldi's. Aside from the simple fact that walking over the Brooklyn Bridge to order up a pie at the always-packed Grimaldi's is the quintessential New York experience, the pizza is just better. That's it. But we'll leave this conversation go until I have a chance this summer to visit L&B's. Then we'll have an opportunity to make a proper assessment of NYC's pizza titans.
Mint and I didn't order pizza anyways. Not tonight. We ordered pasta (what can I say--I had pizza last night). It's odd, yes, to visit Patsy's and skip the pie, but I've had pasta from its kitchen before (albeit uptown, not in Chelsea) and it was perfectly fantastic.
Not tonight though. I ordered the linguine fra diavolo with seafood. The sauce was rich and spicy, but the seafood was overcooked, remarkably to entirely different degrees; the mussels were just slightly overdone, ditto for the tiny scallops, the calamari was quite tougher, and the shrimps were the worst of the rubbery bunch. Not a great review, I know, and I do like Patsy's. Mint's simple spaghetti looked infinitely more interesting. Luck of the draw? Perhaps.
MIKE EATS NEXT TIME: One does not normally go to Patsy's if one is not seeking pizza. Lesson learned.