Best Pizza -- Thick Crust (2004)

Vita Bella Pizza and Pasta

Some things never change, and the thick-crust, Sicilian-style deep-dish pizza served up by the Sarlo clan is one of those things. The pizza has been made the same way through three generations of this family, most recently by Anthony Sarlo and his crew at Vita Bella, the Italian eatery they opened

in suburbia two years ago. This pie is assembled from the best ingredients -- fresh spinach, stemmed by hand, astringent black olives, Pecorino romano, fresh mozzarella, garlic, garlic and more garlic -- that are sealed up inside a thick double crust like a true pie, then baked just the right amount in one of Vita Bella's big ovens. If you're thinking of ordering one of these monsters, you'd better be prepared to wait; even under the best of circumstances, they can take upwards of forty minutes to finish. But once you lift out that first slice? It's like Disneyland: You never remember the wait.


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