My love affair with the mistress called Pizza has been well-documented on this site, so my hunt for the finest in the city will be my never-ending quest. Lactose intolerance, be damned! The sheer amount of pizzerias in each of the five boroughs is daunting, but you have to take it one slice at a time. On this day, my journey stopped me at “Numero 28” in the West Village.
Named after their building number on Carmine Street, “Numero 28” serves freshly made pasta and pizza a few doors down from another Italian restaurant, which is across the street from several more pizzerias. To say it’s a packed area would not do justice to how many slices you could accumulate in a matter of steps. However, the one thing that this place has that the competition does not have is the rare gem of pizzas, the Pizza D.O.C.!
I came for the Margherita Pizza D.O.C., and you will leave this review understanding why I wanted it so badly. The acronym stands for “Denominazione di Origine Controllata”, and essentially is the only way to authentically replicate the Italian standards of pizza overseas. Only two types of pizza fall under this special validation, the classic marinara and margherita pizzas, and falls under the strict jurisdiction of a specific sanctioning body. A restaurant can not just claim to be D.O.C., but must be inspected to see that they are using a proper wood-burning oven (like the one you see pictured above that NUmero 28 uses), authentic Italian ingredients, and the dough must be kneaded and shaped by hand. The pizza itself may not be cooked for more than 90 seconds, making it a very strict and highly-regulated affair to consume.
The Margherita D.O.C. pizza is one of the most beautiful and awe-inspiring things you will see in your life, and is most certainly guaranteed to taste amazing. The one from “Numero 28″ is no exception, using the finest Italian ingredients, this pizza comes in three sizes like the rest of the pies here. The 14″ one that you see above is $18, while the 18″ is $29, and the massive 29” pie costs $37. Lovingly slathered with their homemade marinara sauce, this special pie is topped with fresh cherry tomatoes, basil leaves, and bufala mozzarella, which is really the only cheese that you can use when you make a D.O.C. approved pizza, and drizzled with a fine finishing extra virgin olive oil to give it that sheen.
Simplicity is the first word that comes to mind with Italian cooking, but simplicity does not mean they skimp on flavor. Freshness is what matters most, and these fresh toppings combine for a wonderful sensory experience. The sweet scent of the basil leaves, the slight acidity of the tomatoes, the creaminess of the bufala cheese, and the crispy thin crust. It’s a slice that stands up to the toppings and has a great bite and texture to it. Frankly, I don’t have much more to say, since I feel in this review, a picture is worth a thousand words. So enjoy, a few thousand words that I don’t need to write.
You can thank me later… after you went out to get some pizza.
Is this the only place in New York to get a D.O.C. pizza? Of course not, there are plenty of other places that have it in the local area. However, it’s still a treat to get one, and “Numero 28” captures the essence of Italy with it’s comforting environment, earthy dishes, and service that makes you feel like “famiglia”. I can vouch for the other menu items too, as I have gone back since writing this review, and you would be hard-pressed to find anything here that was not just as good as their pizza.
“Numero 28” is located at 28 Carmine St (between Avenue Of The Americas & Bedford St), New York, NY 10014.