Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Modern Apizza - New Haven, CT

As I was planning our trip to Connecticut for my stepmother’s birthday, I remembered we would only be about 20 minutes from New Haven. I grew up here but had never been to any of the “big three” New Haven pizzerias (Pepe’s, Sally’s & Modern). Why go there and wait when you could get a comparable pie from Zuppardi’s or Papa's? It was time to see what all the fuss was about…

After a grueling visit to Ikea (seriously, we were there for hours), we (my wife & sister) made our way towards Modern Apizza around 6 o’clock. Having read about the waits, we were expecting the worst. After parking we walked up and were a bit confused about protocol. There were about 10 people waiting outside and about 15 more in a small room. At first we thought that the people outside were in line, but after seeing a few people walk inside…we realized this was not the case. We sent my wife inside and she reported that it was oddly quiet (hungry people = no chatting?) Somebody directed her to give the server her name…but the server was nowhere in sight and there was a large sign instructing us not to enter the restaurant until our name was called. She came back outside to confer. We finally asked another group of people what to do and my sister went inside (busted past the sign!) and tracked down the server. We were finally on the list! After a 25 minute wait (not bad!), we were seated. The atmosphere was very pleasant; although it was packed, there was no bar area so you could talk and hear each other comfortably.

After just a few minutes, a waitress came over and took our order: Small mozzarella ½ pepperoni, small clams casino w/no mozz (clam, bacon, and pepper), small eggplant w/no mozz, two small salads and a pitcher of Foxon Park Birch Beer. I wasn’t timing things, but our pitcher and salads came out fairly quickly. Shortly after the salads were gone, the main course arrived…

Everything looked and smelled delicious! The crusts were charred well and the cheese on my ½ pepperoni was the perfect color. I was surprised how thin the crust was, this was different from other local pies. In my opinion it was almost too thin…I’m not one who loves a huge crust, but I think a little thicker crust could be enjoyable. The pepperoni was a little disappointing. Nothing special about it, and it was the type of pepperoni pizza where the wrong bite of pepperoni will take most of the cheese with it. I have no complaints about cheese on my pie, it fact it may be some of the best I have had! Just the right amount, perfect amount of saltiness…very delicious!

The ladies were not quite as pleased with their pies. They both said that they felt things were a little bland…I found this hard to believe, but it was true! Without the mozzarella the crust and sauce just couldn’t do the job. My sister (who never adds salt), sprinkled a little bit of salt on top and said it helped things. On the clam pie, I was surprised to see large pieces of soft bacon. It was good (who doesn’t love bacon?), but not great…overall the clam pie was a bit of a let down. We had similar feelings about the eggplant pie. The eggplant pieces were good, but not great…and overall the pie was just okay.

In summary, we had a great time a Modern Apizza. The wait was not bad, service was quick and friendly and the pizza was good. The mozzarella pie was very good and I would put this up there on the list of better pizzas I have consumed. If you live in the area, it is definitely worth checking out and even worth the wait. Did the make the list? Unfortunately not.

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