Brian Girgus, a drummer, barbershop owner, and “pizza freak” from Los Angeles, sent us a heads-up that today is Di Fara Pizza owner Dom DeMarco’s 79th birthday. He also sent along the link to this sweet video of himself giving the old guy a haircut.
Girgus lived in Ditmas Park for a bit a few years ago and says he visits the famed shop whenever he gets back to the city. “I’ve been going to Dom’s for something like fifteen years and I’ve always kind of been enamored of him and how he does it,” Girgus says.
One day last June while he was in New York for a wedding, Girgus spiffed up DeMarco’s locks before the pizza master set out on a date with his wife, capturing the moment with the help of DeMarco’s daughter Maggie and another friend.
Di Fara, you should know, recently topped our list of New York City’s best old-school pizzerias. Here’s what our restaurant critic, Zachary Feldman, had to say about the place:
1. Di Fara Pizza (1424 Avenue J, Brooklyn; 718-258-1367)
New York City’s patron saint of basil-snipping, Dom DeMarco opened this Midwood dough shrine in 1964 and has presided over it ever since. From his spare corner shop, he and his family turn out beautiful, imperfect rounds drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with punchy grana padano cheese. While the oven occasionally lends pies a good deal of char, Di Fara’s recipe — which includes a mix of buffalo and cow’s-milk mozzarella and both canned and fresh tomatoes — yields a pie that’s better than most even when it’s verging on burnt. The place was swamped even before jerks like us deified the poor guy. Some will tell you to get there early, but we prefer to double down on delicious by placing an order at Di Fara and then walking around the corner to split one of the Italian comfort food dishes served at sister restaurant MD Kitchen (the DeMarcos just opened a sweets shop nearby as well). If you’re going to suffer a two-hour wait, you should at least take solace in a plate of shrimp parmigiana.