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  • -[SPEAKING ITALIAN]

  • PASQUALINA PINELLO: [SPEAKING ITALIAN]

  • FRANK PINELLO: A little bit of hot peppers.

  • PASQUALINA PINELLO: [SPEAKING ITALIAN]

  • FRANK PINELLO: [SPEAKING ITALIAN]

  • PASQUALINA PINELLO: [SPEAKING ITALIAN]

  • FRANK PINELLO: [SPEAKING ITALIAN]

  • PASQUALINA PINELLO: Oh yeah.

  • You like the best pizza and best [INAUDIBLE].

  • [MUSIC PLAYING]

  • FRANK PINELLO: My name is Frank Pinello, and my place is

  • Best Pizza.

  • Best Pizza's pretty much just a by the slice pizzeria.

  • Very much a New York-style place where you could walk in,

  • grab a slice of pizza, grab something to drink, and be out

  • the door in five minutes if that's what you want.

  • We're lucky enough to have a 100-year-old wood fire oven,

  • so we cook the big 20-inch pies in about four minutes.

  • Pizza time.

  • I'm just going to go ahead and make you a white pizza.

  • It's like one of our signature pies over here.

  • When we first started making it, we were playing around

  • with like some arugula and stuff like that on it, and

  • then we decided that the white pie is about the ricotta

  • cheese, so let's not do anything too crazy.

  • Let's let the ricotta cheese kind of be the star the show.

  • And we do these caramelized onions that we let sit on the

  • raw dough and caramelize for a long time.

  • It's how that sweetness that people always keep talking

  • about coming in.

  • Pizza came from Napoli.

  • And when all those southern Italian immigrants started

  • coming over to New York, everybody started opening up

  • these small pizzerias, and it kept a lot of those values of

  • using really fresh ingredients and having really great

  • techniques.

  • And as time went on, their sons took it over or they sold

  • the pizzerias, and I think people started realizing, oh,

  • you know we could just use shitty pepperoni and shitty

  • mozzarella cheese and make a whole lot more money.

  • We started realizing, man, this pizza isn't as good as it

  • used to be.

  • So when we finally got in here, it was important to me

  • to try to preserve some of those old techniques and those

  • ideas of using the best stuff that you possibly can and hope

  • that we'll make it up.

  • I know a lot of people love pizza across the world-- you

  • know what I I mean-- across the country, but I'm not so

  • sure that anyone has done it better than Brooklyn--

  • like Napoli, like anywhere.

  • Pizza and Brooklyn go hand in hand.

  • I thought it would only be right to bring you to

  • Bensonhurst, of course.

  • Billy.

  • Billy.

  • My partner in crime is Bill.

  • Bill is a delivery guy here, but we spend a lot of time

  • together out at the bars, so I figured I'd bring

  • Bill along as well.

  • I've worked in pizzerias my entire life.

  • Delivery is a huge part of pizza places, and the second I

  • met Bill, I knew it was a match made in heaven.

  • BILL: I've been a bike messenger since 1982.

  • FRANK PINELLO: I've seen Bill take eight pies in a bag, and

  • to me, like that's mind blowing.

  • This guy rides a fixed gear bike with no brakes on it.

  • BILL: I have a break.

  • FRANK PINELLO: And sometimes it'll be like torrential

  • downpour, and he'll be fucking soaked to the bone, but he

  • gets the job done, man.

  • But we get the job done.

  • I think it was Brandon's from the Bergess's to get you a

  • cape, and I was like, fuck yes.

  • BILL: I told him I would totally rock the cape.

  • FRANK PINELLO: For me, the home base for pizza--

  • 18th avenue in Bensonhurst is a old Sicilian neighborhood,

  • and they got some great pizzerias.

  • J&V Pizza is a great by the slice pizzeria that's on the

  • corner of 64th Street and 18th Avenue.

  • Like the square slice at J&V is what their known for.

  • As a kid, I used to always go there and scrape up some

  • change, grab a square slice from J&V and an Italian ice,

  • and my afternoon was made.

  • What's up, Pop?

  • Can I get four squares please?

  • Thank you, Papa.

  • Bill, sit down.

  • Let's eat.

  • A proper square Sicilian slice is a nice thick, fluffy slice,

  • a crusty bottom, a nice fluffy middle, a saucy,

  • cheesy top to it.

  • So it's like three different components.

  • And when you get that ratio right, that's a

  • good Sicilian slice.

  • BILL: Crispity crunchy on the bottom.

  • Nice and fluffy in the middle.

  • [INAUDIBLE].

  • FRANK PINELLO: The cheese is really good.

  • You can tell, like, this is one of those places that just

  • kept the quality up throughout the years,

  • you know what I mean.

  • You could look around and see how many pizza boxes they

  • have, and you know that these guys are doing really good

  • business and that they're a staple in the neighborhood.

  • From J&V, we want to DaVinci's.

  • Thank you, man.

  • Take care, buddy.

  • And that was sort of like always the toss up.

  • Like when we had a couple bucks in our pocket or my

  • grandmother maybe didn't feel like cooking and wanted to

  • order some pizzas, it was always like, all right, where

  • are we going, J&V or DaVinci's?

  • Here we are.

  • The world famous DaVinci's Pizzeria.

  • Every classic pizzeria offers their version of a square and

  • their version of a round, and J&V for me was the square

  • size, DaVinci's was the round.

  • And as you can see, these guys do a nice job.

  • Beautiful crust, nice and thick.

  • Let's give it a shot.

  • ANGELO GNERRE: It's always been the same.

  • The recipe hasn't changed.

  • I just try to perfect it.

  • Maybe I add a little of this, a little of that.

  • I use different types of flour to give it that color, that

  • consistency, that flavor, that crunchiness.

  • FRANK PINELLO: Classic.

  • These guys know how to do it right.

  • So we were feeling pretty full after DaVinci's--

  • Thank you so much, man.

  • --and it was only right to bring you guys to Villabate.

  • It's just like Sicily rolled up into a ball and like thrown

  • in like a store front.

  • They make great espresso, like really, really tasty, and the

  • flavor of the coffee when it was in your mouth.

  • When I worked for a chef that I really loved, what I would

  • do is come here and by them a dozen cannolis and bring it to

  • them as a treat.

  • And the second they tasted it, they knew that it was like the

  • primo stuff.

  • Here you go--

  • Sicilian-style cannoli.

  • This place does it the best.

  • Thank you very much.

  • Grazie [INAUDIBLE].

  • Amazing.

  • Come on, Bill.

  • BILL: --being on a TV show right now.

  • It's called "Munchies."

  • FRANK PINELLO: I lived in Brooklyn till I was about 10

  • years old, and then my family moved out to Long Island.

  • On the weekends, you would always sort of drive back to

  • Brooklyn to spend the weekend with my grandmother.

  • And as soon as you would kind of like approach the steps,

  • you could like smell the aroma of what my grandmother was

  • been cooking for like the last three or four hours.

  • Oh yeah.

  • My grandmother would buzz us in and the door would open,

  • walk down the long hallway, and that aroma starts getting

  • a little bit more strong.

  • DIANE PINELLO: Frank?

  • FRANK PINELLO: Yes.

  • DIANE PINELLO: Hi.

  • Shower us with hugs and kisses and then walk right through

  • the little doorway, and bam-- the table would just be

  • stocked with food.

  • BILL: Oh wow.

  • FRANK PINELLO: You got some food?

  • DIANE PINELLO: Well, it's 8 o'clock and you can't keep a

  • room full of Italians--

  • FRANK PINELLO: Oh, what's up, Thomas?

  • What's going on with everybody?

  • I had never imagined I would take that walk with Bill.

  • Hi.

  • How are you?

  • Everybody sit down.

  • Eat.

  • BILL: Oh sweet.

  • Thank you very much.

  • FRANK PINELLO: We talked a lot about pizza today.

  • This is the style of pizza that I grew up eating--

  • country-style grandma's pizza.

  • My grandmother stuffed this one with some tomatoes, some

  • caramelized onions, possibly some anchovies in there--

  • I haven't tasted it yet, so I'm not sure.

  • But this is the way we do it.

  • Full table full of food, and eat until we're stuffed.

  • My grandmother put out a lot of dishes.

  • I know she knew that camera was coming, but I'll be honest

  • with you, it's always like that.

  • Classic Sicilian pasta right here.

  • Put a little bit of bread crumbs as a topping.

  • A lot of people in Sicily couldn't afford cheese as a

  • topping, so you see bread crumb pretty often on top of

  • pasta, which it's starch on starch but like the texture

  • combination goes really, really well.

  • PASQUALINA PINELLO: [SPEAKING ITALIAN]

  • FRANK PINELLO: Yeah I know.

  • He needs to eat, right, Nonna?

  • He needs to eat.

  • PASQUALINA PINELLO: You like it?

  • You love it?

  • BILL: I love it.

  • I love it.

  • PASQUALINA PINELLO: You eat it.

  • I love you.

  • I love you [INAUDIBLE].

  • FRANK PINELLO: [SPEAKING ITALIAN]

  • STEVE PINELLO: He loved to eat, and he was like around

  • the kitchen when my wife, Diane, was cooking.

  • He would actually advise us as to what spice to use

  • every now and then.

  • He would kind of put his own two cents into it as to say.

  • FRANK PINELLO: My family was never rich by any means, you

  • know what I mean.

  • We always grew up in apartments in Brooklyn, but

  • the one thing that we did right was eat.

  • The commitment to food that I think Sicilian people have in

  • general, it's crazy.

  • It's amazing, and I feel lucky that I was born into it.

  • BILL: Woohoo.

  • The Pinellos rock.

  • All right.

  • Thanks again you all.

  • It's great to see you.

  • STEVE PINELLO: Bill, be careful, brother.

  • BILL: All right.

  • STEVE PINELLO: All right.

  • Keep those wheels oiled.

  • FRANK PINELLO: After we left grandma's house, we came back

  • to Best Pizza.

  • And we had some friends waiting for us here, and we

  • did a meatball pizza, which is starting to become a popular

  • pie here, especially towards the end of the night when

  • people come in hammered from the bar.

  • We get our meat from Pat Lafrieda.

  • It's 50% short rib, 50% brisket.

  • All that fat is flavor, so we want to make sure that we get

  • all that nice, beautiful, clear fat mixed in with those

  • meatballs and back on top of the pizza.

  • Pizza is like the perfect accompaniment for drinking.

  • You come into a pizzeria, you have a few beers, some pizza.

  • You get yourself a nice base before you go out to the bar

  • and usually get hungry at the end of the night.

  • If you're done partying with your buds, coming back and

  • having a nice fresh pie out of the oven is to me-- it's like

  • you can't go wrong.

  • It's beautiful.

  • -Who needs a napkin?

  • FRANK PINELLO: [SPEAKING ITALIAN]