By Phil Vasquez

I got a taste test today at Fratelli La Bufala, the Neapolitan pizza restaurant opening later this week on the corner of 76th Street and Broadway. In a word? Bellissimo! Or maybe Bravissimo!

The pizza is as Neapolitan as Salvatore Magno, the man who makes it. It stays warm even as you chew it. The crust is soft, but firm, and the sauce is so fresh you can taste the actual tomatoes it’s made from. Fresh basil leaves add another nice touch.

The pizza oven is right by the door, and you can watch the pizza-making process from everywhere in the dining room. It’s incredibly gratifying to see the magical process unfold. It reminds you that real pizza can’t really ever be achieved by dialing a number.

Fratelli La Bufala opens on Friday at 11:30 a.m.

Phil Vasquez is an Upper West Side filmmaker. Check out one of his films here.

Photos by Phil Vasquez.

FOOD, NEWS, OPEN/CLOSED | 8 comments | permalink
    1. Jay says:

      Great meeting you today, Phil! Please do come back and visit with us again soon. We’ll always have a table waiting for you.

      • Phil says:

        I plan on it, Jay.
        The food tastes as good as the picture looks, everyone. Drop by soon! You won’t regret it.

    2. Evan says:

      Looks great! Is there a chance in hell that they’ll ever offer a gluten-free crust option?

    3. Christie says:

      Thank goodness I don’t have to wait for my Miami trips to eat here!!

    4. Ms Badish says:

      I ate there today. The pizza and mozzarella-and-tomato salads were tasty, but the service is definitely a work in progress. Opening a new restaurant is hard work, so I’ll definitely go back again once they have a chance to work out the kinks; right now, it’s pretty darn kinky!

    5. John says:

      We were very disappointed. We were seated and waited for over 15 minutes at our table with no waiter coming with water or anything. And it was the same situation at several tables nearby. The restaurant is laid out poorly. There is no room for some of the tables and the pedestals below the tables smashed together along the wall leave no room for your legs. After waiting for 20 minutes, we decided to leave. Admittedly, we didn’t get a chance to try the food, but the pizza didn’t look so special (fyi, understand this is a chain in Italy). There are likely much better options in the neighborhood already. Its great to have new places, but I doubt this is one to be excited about. We will try it again when they have their act together. All in all, it was a very disappointing first visit.

    6. Rachael says:

      Very disappointed. Service was well well below par even for a first night. they need new staff and robust management. Spoiled what would have been great pizza. The place is very cold and the oven by the door so the pizza is luke warm at best by the time it reaches your table. Not great when it arrives with starters too; makes for a stone cold main course.
      They need an overhaul already. Shame

    7. jenn says:

      We ate there for lunch the other day. Servers were all over us and trying to be helpful. havign multiple people ask you over and over if you need anything can get annoying. The waiters need to be well versed with the questions that customers are going to have. Ours left three time to find out answers to some of our questions. Pizza was luke warm by the time it got to us, not sure why since there wasn’t many people there. Salad was good ( antiaging one). For lunch, i think the price is way too high. They should have a lunch menu. $15 bucks for an individual pie seems a little insane to me.