During my NY trip, I decided to pop along to Lombardi's one lunch time, to see what all the fuss was about.
The atmosphere :
The restaurant is warm and inviting, the staff were friendly, but all this is to be expected from any run-of-the-mill restaurant in this day and age. But I digress, it was nice at first glance.
I was seated at a small table directly in front of this wall :
On the wall were many awards and accolades, I was excited.
The menu :
The menu is simple, with few choices, as would be expected from a restaurant with such highly acclaimed food. The choice of pizza toppings were basic, nothing spectacular. The only exceptional seeming item on the menu was the seafood pizza, unfortunately I'm not a seafood fan.
The food :
I ordered a raspberry seltzer soda, and this was the least disappointing part of my meal. It had a good raspberry tang, and the cream added a little pizzazz, but it was just a drink...
I decided on bruschetta to start, expecting something amazing. The tomatoes were piled high, a little too high in fact as it led to soggy bread underneath. It lacked that something special that I was expecting, but I held my breath for the main, since pizza was what they were famous for. "Best pizza in New York"...
I ordered my pizza with a topping of mushrooms and homemade meatballs. It was spectacular in only one respect - it was spectacularly disappointing. It looked like any pizza from any average pizzeria, it was far from the "best". In fact, I'd go so far as to say I've had better pizza from Irish takeaways. The meatballs lacked any excitement, and left a tangy, unpleasant aftertaste in the mouth. The mushrooms were tasty, as was the mozzarella, but even the base sauce was unimpressive. The crust was thin, yes, crispy, yes, tasteful - oh hell no. It was, by far, the most boring and underwhelming pizza I've ever had, with the possible exception of frozen pizza, and I've had quite a few pizzas...
The final thought :
I definitely would not return to Lombardi's, and I certainly won't be recommending it to anyone. As pizza places go, the only reason I can see for it being the "Best in New York City" is if every other pizzeria is utter crap.