The other night I found myself in New Haven on a road trip as one sometimes does. Out-of-town guests were being entertained and the question of where to eat arose. “America’s first hamburger or pizza?” came the question. As the resident food expert the tie breaking vote was put to me. “Let’s go to Frank Pepe’s for pizza,” I responded.
One day I’ll return to New Haven to eat at Louis’ Lunch and figure out for myself if what they are serving is indeed a hamburger, but Sunday was a night for pizza, and lots of it. Naturally we got a clam pie, which was excellent as always, and my pal got a pie topped with salami and pepperoni. The real surprise of the night though was the fresh tomato pie that I ordered.
The seasonal specialty is available only from July to September and consists of fresh local tomatoes, garlic, basil and mozzarella. It was superb, the combination of the ripe tomatoes with the garlic and basil tasting of summer’s gone by and those yet to come. I took home two slices, thinking, “I’ll have these bad boys for breakfast topped with an egg.” Four a.m. found me eating them ice cold out of the fridge. The juicy tomatoes and sharp garlic somehow seemed even more refreshing. Such is the power of Pepe’s.
Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana, 157 Wooster St., New Haven, Conn., 203-865-5762