Our Man Sietsema: 'Is it a Salami or Is He Just Glad to See Us?'

People, get ready for a new round of the Great New York PIzza Battle. If you've eaten a pie in Naples, you understand how huge the goal of making -- or discovering -- New York's answer to the authentic margherita is. Dough, tomato, olive oil, mozzarella, and basil: the simplicity is what makes it so elusive, because there's nowhere to hide. No quattro formaggi -- let alone buffalo chicken -- to distract the eater from a sorry crust.

So, take note that Our Man Sietsema, who has put in plenty of palate-training in Italy, has found bliss on Front Street:

In the style of southern Italy, the 10-inch pies are intended for individual consumption. In fact, the margherita ($10) is the city's most perfect evocation of the true Naples style (even surpassing top spots like Una Pizza Napoletana and La Pizza Fresca).

Also note that he does not recommend veering from the Calabrian menu items. That's not what you're there for.

Il Brigante 214 Front Street (212) 285-0222

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