For a county of just 450 square miles, Westchester has a lot of pizza places. We’ve got classic slice joints and wood-fired Neo-Neapolitan pizzerias. There are craft pizza trucks and old-school coal-oven places. And of course, there are plenty of chains. But if you’ve always thought that the latter had the monopoly on over-the-top permutations like stuffed slices with garlic-knots crust, then Irvington Pizza Company is here to show you that’s not the case.
Owned by six-time World Pizza Champion Bruno DiFabio (maybe you’ve seen him as a judge on Chopped) and Steven Cioffi, the pizzeria doesn’t cut corners when it comes to quality. “We use San Marzano tomatoes and Grande mozzarella from Wisconsin, [which is] the best cheese possible for New York-style pizza,” says Cioffi. The produce is locally sourced, whenever possible, and the pepperoni, which curls into little cups of spicy oil, comes in a natural casing. Most importantly, the dough is slow-fermented over three or four days, adding flavor, creating structure, and improving digestibility. (Go it Italy, ask an Italian about dough, and you’ll realize how critical that last one is).
The pair owns a host of other pizzerias — Bronx House and Amore Cucina in Stamford and Home Slice in Norwalk —but find that there isn’t one set formula for making a solid pie. “A lot of people have a great pizza recipe. It’s what their grandfather taught them 100 years ago and it’s the Bible to them,” says Cioffi. “We don’t do that. You can always improve things.”
Maybe at this point you’re asking yourself, why would a place like this make stuffed slice? Well, the answer is a combination of everything you’ve read above. Wanting to keep ingredients fresh, Cioffi started using up the day’s toppings by filling pies with leftovers like sliced meatballs, mushrooms, spinach, or whatever else was handy. Long fermentation makes the heavy slice sturdy enough that you can pick it up. And the garlic-knots crust? Well, it’s fun. Lasagna balls —squares of lasagna that have been breaded, fried, and served with rich meat sauce — came about similarly as a way to use up extra pans of the pasta.
Of course, if you want standard corner-pizzeria fare, they’ve got it. All the favorite slices, plus pasta, salads, and wedges on bread from the Bronx’s Terranova Bakery. The garlic knots and calzones are fried —again, the fermented dough creates a shell that prevents them from getting oily —then finished in the oven.
While there’s plenty that’s new about Irvington Pizza Company, the name is vintage. “I was going to name in Bronx House but, in Irvington, everything’s got acronyms and is so local,” explains Cioffi. “[So, we thought] let’s name it after the original pizzeria, Irvington Pizza, that’s been gone for 20 years. Let’s bring that back.”
Irvington Pizza Company
106 Main St
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