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America's Classic: Totonno's



May 11, 2009


Whether it’s a clam shack near the shore, a barbecue joint on the outskirts of town, or a sub shop on the busiest city street, chances are your favorite local restaurant is a James Beard Foundation America’s Classics Award winner. Each week at Delight's + Prejudices we'll profile one of these classic restaurants. First up, a pizza lover's favorite: Coney Island's Totonno's. A stone's throw from the Cyclone, Totonno's has been serving Neapolitan-style pies for more than 80 years, interrupted for the first time only recently when a fire forced the restaurant to close for several months for substantial refurbishment. One of New York's finest pizzaiolos, Anthony "Totonno" Pero left his job making pizzas at Lombardi's in 1924 to open a Coney Island pizzeria. His new enterprise, Totonno's has been in his family ever since. Lawrence Ciminieri, the fourth generation now in charge, has stayed true to the original recipe. Each pizza is made with imported Italian tomatoes, locally made mozzarella, yeast, flour, salt, and not much else. The last—and arguably most important—component is the oven. Totonno's original coal-fired oven creates a distinct and flavorful char on the crust that cult pizza lovers crave. Totonno's 1524 Neptune Ave. Brooklyn, NY Click here for a complete list of America's Classics Award winners.