It can be fun (though sometimes cringe-inducing) to read things you’ve written years ago. So it’s been a bit of a blast to have stumbled across a cache of pizza writing from almost a decade ago. I’d thought that these 20 posts, originally published on AlwaysHungryNY, had been lost for good. They never got repurposed (save this one on the cold cheese slice) when we launched The Daily Meal, and despite early assurances by a former colleague, the original site was allowed to disappear. I don’t know why it took me this long to try to find them on the Wayback Machine — it certainly would have been a helpful thing to have thought of during numerous pizza caption-writing occasions over the years — but here they are now, nonetheless, and without all the weird stylization of an arbitrary stylebook (#nogrudgeshere).
Manducatis has been a Long Island City stalwart almost uninterrupted since 1959. No one is saying it’s the City’s best Italian. But there is still something fun about walking through its non-descript door and into the cascading dining rooms that each feel like secrets. Development may have infiltrated Long Island City, but Manducatis’ owners, the Cerbones, have made their own progress in the past two years. Namely, when their daughter, chef Gianna Cerbone opened her Italian café nearby: Manducatis Rustica.
There is a doll-house, but thrown together quality to Rustica’s decor. An old oven. Mismatching chairs. Brick walls. There’s a large open doorway to the kitchen. The layout takes a cue from Manducatis, with a working fireplace in the back of the first dining room.