Connecticut pizza continued its domination in 2014. Earlier this year, The Daily Meal acknowledged what pizza lovers here have known all along - Nutmeg State pies are among the best in the country, with seven entries on its 2014 "101 Best Pizzas In America" list. Of the substantial Connecticut representation, four New Haven pizzerias landed in the top 25.
Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana's white clam pie, which has consistently topped Daily Meal's list in recent years, took the #1 spot again. (The vote came courtesy of a team of food writers, pizza bloggers and other experts.) "If you want to discuss the loaded topic of America's best pizza with any authority, you have to embark on a pilgrimage to this legendary New Haven pizzeria," editors wrote. Noting that white clam is "...a Northeastern pizza genre unto its own," they declared "Pepe's is the best of them all — freshly shucked, briny littleneck clams, an intense dose of garlic, olive oil, oregano, and grated Parmesan atop a charcoal-colored crust."
Cross-Wooster Street rival Sally's Apizza came in at #5 for its cheeseless tomato pie. "The folks at Sally's will be the first to tell you that Pepe makes a better clam pie, but their tomato pie (tomato sauce, no cheese), well, they have the original beat there," editors note.
Modern Apizza on State Street, which many consider the third of the "big 3" pizzerias in the Elm City, landed at #12. "It's likely that you'll hear it spoken about as the place 'the locals go instead of Pepe's and Sally's,'" editors said, praising its iconic Italian Bomb pie loaded with bacon, sausage, pepperoni, garlic, mushroom, onion and pepper.
The unique mashed potato and bacon pie at BAR, coming in at #24, "sounds ridiculous," editors write. "And looking a bit like it's covered with thick béchamel, it kind of is. But the mashed potatoes are well seasoned and fairly creamy for having just baked in an oven, and there's lots of garlic. A definite check-it-off-your-list item."
At #36, Stamford-born Colony Grill's thin-crust "bar pie" was recognized for its trademark topping of chile-infused oil. "That signature hot oil is a must — if you don't do it, don't bother going."
Zuppardi's Apizza in West Haven came in at #50, with editors noting its "New York City crust that's lighter and airier than the ones you'll find in Gotham" and praising not just its "special" with mozzarella, mushroom, sausage, and marinara, but also its freshly-shucked clam pie and an escarole and bean white pie.
And at #76: "Roseland [Apizza] is probably one of Connecticut's most underrated pizzerias — and this in a state known for its famous pies," editors write of the storied Derby institution. Though its tomato pie is highlighted, Roseland's sausage and mushroom, shrimp and white clam versions are also given nods, along with the big-ticket market price "Ponsinella" with lobster, shrimp and scallops (which can cost up to $65.)