Staten Island feels more like the suburban New Jersey than a borough of New York City, primarily because it does not lend itself to walking. It's the borough that many residents and former residents love to hate.
There are, however, many good things to be found there, and I have featured a number of places of interest from the borough over the years writing for this website: Todt Hill, Richmond Town, St. Luke's Cemetery, South Beach, and one of the most remarkable places in the five boroughs - the Tibetan Museum.
So, when a friend who is a Staten Island resident recently insisted that we must journey to Brooklyn or Manhattan for good food, I rose to the occasion on a search mission for good food in the borough.
I had heard from another resident about Denino's. This was my first "discovery" and was hugely successful in impressing said friend that there is more gastronomically in Staten Island than meets the eye. More recently, however, I was not in the mood to traverse across half the island for a second visit to Denino's, and I relished the challenge to find another pizzeria of merit.
An online search quickly returned a brand new and well-reviewed establishment only a few blocks away. We were quite hungry, it was late, and some persuasion was necessary to convince my friend that it was worth the culinary risk when we had already found fabulous pizza at Denino's. I played the ultimate trump card: my authority based on my previous discovery. I said, TRUST ME. After all, this is the man that found you Denino's. I won the hand, and off we were to New Dorp Lane, where I was pleasantly surprised with a brand new, immaculate sit-down pizzeria with a beautiful open kitchen and wood burning oven.
It was a Kodak moment - within minutes of arriving, one of the pizza makers was spinning dough in the air. Immediately fascinated by his manipulations, I introduced myself and learned that Giorgio Giove was a thirteen-time CHAMPION pizza acrobat (three-time world champion) who was featured on the Food Network in a Throwdown with Bobby Flay. I also learned that Pizzeria Giove was a family-owned business, and I had the privilege of meeting all three brothers my first visit: Franco, Marco, and Giorgio.
For the longest time, the popular mantra of pizza lovers is THIN CRUST, and you will find one of the thinnest, crunchiest crusts I have had. This is artisanal pizza. The Giove brothers hail from Italy, where pizza making is a family tradition - Giorgio's father and grandfather were both pizza makers.
After just a handful of visits, we are already being treated like family. Great food and service. When the slice hits your eye like a good pizza pie, that's Giove :)
Want more on pizza? Check out my take on the Best Pizza in New York.