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Denino's
Credit: Denino's Pizzeria & Tavern

For a restaurant that has only been open for two years now, Denino’s Pizzeria & Tavern has certainly made itself at home in Greenwich Village.  Their sister restaurant, located in the heart of Staten Island, first opened its doors back in 1937, and based on the food and experience we received last night, I have no doubt in my mind that their newer location will have that sort of longevity as well.

I’m a sucker for those classic type of Italian restaurants, ones that you would see out of a mob movie except I’ve never been shot at when I go.  Denino’s look and feel rings true to that sort of premise, where it doesn’t exactly match the trendy restaurants and bakeries that inhabit Greenwich Village in all its glory.  It’s a vital thing in Manhattan to be able to stand out, and Denino’s does that beautifully with it’s classic approach to what an Italian restaurant should look like.

Credit: Denino’s Pizzeria & Tavern

If you are smart, you will come hungry, as the food options are on par with several other types of Italian restaurants, only theirs is much, much better.  We were treated to a delicious tasting experience there on a cold Sunday night, where the amount of food we had forced us to grab a bigger table rather than a two-seater in order to accompany just how much we were going to eat.  Suffice to say, it was worth it and then some.

As previously mentioned, the food options here ring similar to others, but there is a twist.  That being said, here are the best options we recommend the next time you find yourself at Denino’s.

I am not the biggest fan of Mozzarella Sticks, however their wait staff assured me that it is one you should order as they are freshly made as opposed to frozen which several other restaurants do.  The taste difference was very apparent, and the sticks themselves were quite tasty on their own, although the marinara dipping sauce definitely added extra to the already fabulous appetizer.

Their Penne Vodka, a dish I have had a zillion times before, had a richness to it and a twist to a traditional vodka sauce that was out of this world delicious.  Pair that with one of their homemade meatballs, and you are in for a good night.  I am a sucker for a good meatball, and there’s was superb with just the right amount of texture and flavor to make them taste incredible.

Credit: Denino’s Pizzeria & Tavern

The pizza options are truly incredible.  Blown away.  I rarely, if ever, get any sort of pizza with seafood on top, as I’m more of a meat and veggies guy when it comes to these sort of toppings.  After reading that Eater named their Clam Pizza the best in New York City, I knew that this was the one I wanted to try.  Made with Fresh Garlic, Parsley & Olive Oil and Sprinkle of Grated Cheese, this pie easily makes my list of one of the best I have ever had in New York City.  Keep in mind: no sauce.  It’s not necessary, as the pizza speaks for itself.

Another pie that is worth trying, if you don’t want to go the seafood route, is their Garbage Pie, which consists of Sausage, Meatballs, Pepperoni, Mushrooms and Onions.  It tastes nothing like garbage, first off, as all of those flavors really sing well with one another.  Overall, Denino’s made us smile throughout with their incredible Italian cuisine, and we hope it will do the same for you the next time you find yourself there.

For more information on Denino’s, please check out their official website.