Overall Experience - 8.5
Summary : The outpost of this notable Staten Island pizzeria lives up to the original. Their pies are flavorful and crispy -- nothing too fancy, but prepared to near perfection.
I’ve had nothing, but good experiences at pizza places in New Jersey over the past few years. Some of the highlight of my pizza eating adventures there have included meals at Santillo’s in Elizabeth (639 South Broad Street), Star Tavern in Orange (400 Hight Street), and Ah’ Pizz in Montclair (7 N. Willow Street), Federici’s in Freehold (14 East Main Street), and A Mano in Ridgewood (24 Franklin Avenue). Today, I have another spot to add to my list of New Jersey favorites: Denino’s Pizza Place in Aberdeen (1077F Highway 34).
It should be noted that this Denino’s location is an outpost of the original Denino’s Pizzeria & Tavern on Staten Island, which has been serving some of the boroughs most delicious pies since 1951. I ate there a couple of years ago, before this blog started, and have always remembered how tasty it was. Had the pizza at this outpost not lived up to the pizza at the original location, I wouldn’t be posting about it on this site. But I was pleasantly surprised at how delicious the pizza was in Aberdeen.
Walk into the place and you feel like you’re transported to New York City, just 20 miles away. A line of booths alongside the kitchen are located in the front of the restaurant. Head to the back and you’ll find space for about 50 people. It was full when I was there and I hear that’s a common occurrence.
Small pies run between $10.45 and 12.45, large pies between $16.45 and $18.45 (other than a plain pie which costs $8.25 and $11.45). There are 14 pies on the menu. Our party of four had a tough time finishing three large pies, although they are quite thin. We ordered one regular pie, one vodka pie, and one M.O.R pie featuring meatballs, whole milk ricotta, and onions. All were equally fantastic. The crunchy crust was charred to perfection. Not burnt, but crispy, especially around the edges.
I’ve had a hard time finding vodka pies on menus in New York City, and when I have, I’ve often been disappointed. The vodka pie at Denino’s is simple and tasty, featuring just mozzarella and vodka sauce. But first time visitors must kick things off with a regular pie. It’s a classic New York style thin crust pizza, and is as good as you’ll find anywhere in the city.
The reason a Denino’s outpost landed in Central Jersey is because one of the Denino sons – Michael – wanted to open an outpost in his hometown. I can only hope that down the road, future generations of of Deninos continue to open new locations. Everyone deserves to have a place like this in their hometown.