Why Chef Colleen Grapes Doesn’t Mind the Wait for Pizza at Di Fara


The precision required of a pastry chef makes chef Colleen Grapes of Oceana Restaurant (120 West 49th Street, 212-759-5941) particularly appreciative of pizza perfection. Recently, she stood awed at the skills of Domenico DeMarco of Brooklyn’s classic Di Fara Pizza (1424 Avenue J, Brooklyn, 718-258-1367), and didn’t mind the wait for her best bite of the month:

“The best thing I ate this month was Di Fara Pizza in Brooklyn. It’s magical watching Domenico make the pies, and totally worth the wait. I love how you make new friends when you’re waiting for a table, because you automatically share a common interest by watching the master at work.

“Everything is perfect about the pie. It comes out of the oven piping hot, and sometimes he uses his hands to take it out, so you’re just mesmerized by him. He uses his scissors to cut fresh basil over the pie and then puts a little EVOO on top. The crust is thin, flavorful, and slightly charred. The sauce has the perfect acidity and sweetness. And you can get spicy peppers in oil at the counter. I love everything about it. Pure bliss.”

Where do chefs go to eat on their nights off? We’re asking them — and they’re divulging the best things they’ve eaten in the last month in this weekly column.