Dean's Pizzeria Restaurant
In an ongoing effort to find some steady, satisfying dining on the Upper West Side, Scoboco again joined forces with my mom, this time sampling the family-friendly fare at the spanking-new Dean's Pizzeria Restaurant. Apparently owned by the same family who gave us Angelo's (never been) and Patsy's (been a bunch, and usually enjoyed, but I also always leave feeling totally garlicked out), Dean's is a surprisingly handsome place with a huge, high-ceilinged back dining room, an open kitchen, a long bar area, and a nifty terrazzo in the front with about six tables, which is where the four of us ate last Thursday evening.
We started with the Siciliana Salad, a nicely-done plate piled with vinegary canned goodies such as marinated artichokes, roasted peppers, capers, olives, and a lonely anchovy, which was odd because our server specifically asked if we liked them, and we all expressed our enthusiasm for the salty fish, and then we got... one. Which we split. Anyway, as we were tearing through our starter our pizza arrived, a large Old Fashioned Square pie, half sausage and olives, half broccoli. My three companions had nothing but praise for this dish: for the thin, crunchy crust; for nailing that crucial balance between sauce and cheese. Three thumbs-up. Me? I was less convinced. To me the toppings were either too sparse (I couldn't taste the sausage...) or too heavy-handed (...because the kalamata olives overwhelmed everything) or too burnt (not a good idea with broccoli). And the cheese desperately needed some saltiness. And cheesiness. And the crust and sauce were equally bland. But that's just me.
My mom picked the dessert, a crowd-pleasing Warm Melted Liquid Center Chocolate Cake which was appropriately sugary and gooey with a molten middle that tasted exactly like Jello chocolate pudding, in a good way. This took about six seconds for the four of us to finish.
Dean's Pizzeria Restaurant is located on 85th Street between Broadway and Amsterdam. Although the back room was nearly empty at 7:00 on a Thursday night, this place definitely has the potential to become a neighborhood family favorite. The menu implied that there were also other Deans, in Midtown and the West Village, but I've never seen them.