The best pizzeria in the U.S.? It's not Mozza, according to 'Every Day with Rachael Ray'
Ed Levine and Adam Kuban of the pizza blog Slice crisscrossed the country to find the best pizza in the United States in the March issue of "Every Day with Rachael Ray," which hits newsstands this weekend. The article says Levine and Kuban "scouted 64 pizzerias in 25 U.S. cities before slicing down the competition to 16, then trekking a total of 11,000 miles to check them out." Pizzerias were judged on service, toppings and "the interplay of crust, sauce and cheese." The four finalists, announced last month, were Pizzeria Mozza in Los Angeles, Motorino in New York, Great Lake in Chicago and Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix.
Of Pizzeria Mozza, this is what they had to say:
Mozza chef partner Nancy Silverton was already legendary in L.A. for her work at La Brea Bakery. No wonder her crusts have all the chewiness and rich flavor of artisan bread. And when that base is topped with one of the inventive combinations of ingredients (the pizza with peppers, olives and oregano is especially good), you can't go wrong. Some pizza purists ding these pies for being too bready -- as if that's a bad thing. You won't leave a scrap behind.
They explored "dynasties" (DeLorenzo's in Trenton, N.J., and Sally's Apizza in New Haven, Conn.), underdogs (such as "Cindarella stories" in Portland, Ore., and composer Brandon Pettit's Delancey in Seattle), and "storied rivalries" (Sally's vs. Pepe's). (Totonno's in Brooklyn had burned down and wasn't included in their search, but it has since reopened.)
In the end, they deemed Chris Bianco's Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix as the best pizzeria in America, and maybe even the world.
-- Betty Hallock
Photo: Nancy Silverton at Pizzeria Mozza. Credit: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times