28 April 2008

Lost City: New Haven Edition: Modern Apizza

Modern Apizza is the only one of New Haven's three great pizza palaces to have evaded me to date. I've been to Frank Pepe's and Sally's Apizza, which are both on the same street, Wooster, in New Haven's Little Italy (very little). Modern has always been a harder assignment because it's a little out of town, a goodly walk from the main square.

On this visit, however, my New Haven friend was intrepid and agreed to the necessary trek. It helped that he, too, was annoyed at never having visited the place, despite living there. Compared to Frank Pepe and Sally's, Modern is relatively unsung. It wins some polls, but, unlike its competition, is relatively unknown outside New Haven. Visiting Modern at lunchtime was a breeze. No wait, though it was bustling. Unlike its New Haven pizza rivals, Modern pies are not misshapen, but the usual round items; they're not overly hung up on the circular shape in this town. But like the other pizzerias, they offer a clam pie. We didn't go that way. We order two small: one half plain, half pepperoni; one a white pie, half spinach, half artichoke.

It was all good, but the artichoke slices were particularly savory and creamy, and the artichokes were fresh. The pepperoni was excellent, spicy and zesty. The verdict? Frank Pepe's is probably the best of the three. But Modern scores many points for being a much more low-key affair. You don't have to wait in horrendous lines, and the place is not stuck on itself. It's lack of airs is refreshing.


Isaac said...

What I usually get at Modern is eggplant and hot peppers, plus anchovies -- though I know people who do that same pie without the anchovies. I used to live about a block away, so for me Modern is "the" New Haven apizza place. They make a mighty fine pie.

I know this is sort of inappropriate, but I think you might be interested in some of the photos of New Haven that I've turned into postcards. All of the locations are within about 25 minutes' walk of Modern. Here's a link to a post about them.

Anonymous said...

As a New Haven native, I've always said that Modern is the place where New Haveners go to eat pizza.
Next time you are in NH, check out BAR on crown street. They are the dark horse of brick oven pizzarias in New Haven, and they make their own beer to boot!

Brooks of Sheffield said...

Thanks, guys. I gotta say, I like the commentary from New Haven readers so far. Another thing to like about your town.

Isaac said...

Although Modern will always be my sentimental favorite, I have to concede that Bar does make a very nice pie. The mashed potato and bacon is a lot better than it sounds.