united states (italian american)
Denino's is truly a funny place. The people inside might be dead serious, but all in all, it takes itself way too seriously and for that reason is so laughably enjoyable. It all starts with the screen door you have to open before the actual front door, which both look like they belong on a house in the suburbs. This pizzeria is in that kind of place in Staten Island though, so maybe it is fitting.
When the waitress comes around to the table, she is ready to take your order. Not to answer questions, not to wait while you decide. Order fast or she'll sneak away as fast as she came, and it might be a while before she reappears. Don't be too offended though, she's just busy and lives in New York City, after all.
Many online opinions basked the fried calamari ($7.50, above) with praise, so our group of three decided to enjoy the plate before our pie came. We all found that it was more fried than calamari, and hardly found the squid taste anywhere.
Another humorous anecdote worth mention is the size difference of drinks. A $1.50 "frosted glass" is similar to a small cocktail glass, served complete with tiny straw and all, while the $2.50 "large" is the normal red plastic vat of soda or iced tea that we are used to in this country. Put next to each other, it just makes you smile.
Half M.O.R. (meatball, onion, ricotta), half veggie.
When you speak of pizza in New York City, Denino's will always be part of the conversation, whether it is a top five or top ten list. Like any pizza debate, it will have lovers and haters with no middle ground. My opinion is very simple for this place: if you enjoy thin, crunchy crust, this is the place for you, because that is the most important part of the pizza here and obviously what they care about the most. It's nicely charred on the bottom and stays crunchy no matter how many toppings it holds.
All the pies come in one size and are priced from $13 to $18, easily feeding three or four people. The beers here are very cheap as well, with the highlight being $8 domestic and $10 imported pitchers.
Thin, charred crust, the highlight of the show.
The red sauce is used very sparingly and the ingredients are enough but not plentiful. If those are your main concerns in a pizza, I don't think Denino's is your type of joint. The three of us left very satisfied with our pie though.
By the way, don't come here for a slice. It's a sit-down place and only serves full pies.