Mike Giammarino—who operated Philly’s Lombardi’s pizzeria on 18th Street before that location succumbed to 10 Rittenhouse and, eventually, Serafina—is back, baking New York-style pizza in Philadelphia, where he belongs. Giammarino has opened Gennaro’s Tomato Pie just off West Passyunk Avenue, and despite the fact that it debuted just after New Year’s, the place already feels like it’s been here for decades. The World War II model planes and 1940s-era posters and advertisements certainly help, but somehow even the tattooed servers fit right in.
Though the pizza is available for takeout (no delivery), these pies are meant to be eaten right where they’re made—inside the 34-seat pizzeria, while the mozzarella is still melting, the chunky, herb-filled tomato sauce is still dangerously hot, and the snappy well-done crust can still stand up to the toppings without a hint of floppiness. If you can’t decide which kind to get (though really, there are no wrong choices), the pleasant staff will offer the option of divvying pies up by halves. But that politeness aside, this remains pizza worthy of being called New York-style.
Gennaro’s Tomato Pie
1429 Jackson Street
First appeared in the June, 2013 issue of Philadelphia magazine.