Who Knew? And Then, There Was Pizza

‘Who Knew?’ is sponsored by Walter Stewart’s Market. The worst pizza I ever had was in a former Eastern Bloc country where I was shooting a TV commercial. A miscommunication (my fault) with the friendly set caterer meant that my slice arrived with no sauce, a greasy slick of Edam cheese, and a single, uncut, lurid red hot dog.  It was undercooked, visually startling, and, if I’m being honest, not that bad. 

Even bad pizza is still pizza, which is, by definition, good. 

But, for a concept so patently indestructible, pizza is also subject to some 900-degree opinions. Variables in its production, like geography, water source, flour type, leavening, canned tomato brand, olive oil, mozzarella provenance, and oven fuel, each engender some intense debate, and millions upon millions of food journalism column inches have been dedicated to their impact. I’m not necessarily here to add more, as I’ve had pizza of all stripes, thicknesses, and levels of purism that have done the pizza trick at the right time.

‘We’re Excited To Be Here’: Best Pizza Shop Opens on Main Street

John Parlatore and his young family were among the first wave of New Yorkers to make the move out of the city when COVID hit in March of 2020. 

“My sister lived up here for about four years and we’d come up and visit her all the time,” Parlatore said on a recent evening at Best Pizza Shop at 62 Main St. “We liked the area but never thought we’d move from the city. Our daughter was going to school and we had restaurants there. When the city said on Saturday by Monday we were closing, we just saw it as a preview of things to come of mismanagement and we were right.”
Parlatore—who owned several eateries in Queens—slowly shut down each establishment, including his Italian restaurant that had been operating since 2013 and a pizzeria that had opened in early 2020 with the intention of reopening in Fairfield County. 

Serendipity intervened for Parlatore when Vicolo’s closed after nearly three decades on Main Street, leaving New Canaan without a go-to destination for family birthday parties and postgame youth and high school sports celebrations. 
“We heard about what Vicolo’s was,” Parlatore told NewCanaanite.com. “I hadn’t been there but I heard that through the years that it was a gathering place for people and that families ate here.

‘Best Pizza Shop’ Plans Late-August Opening on Main Street

The new pizza shop planned for the former Vicolo space on Main Street is scheduled to open late-August, according to its owner. Best Pizza Shop will offer Detroit- and New York-style pies, chef and owner John Parlatore said. “This is a very exciting time for us as we just started the clean out process,” Parlatore said of the commercial space at 62 Main St., located down “the alley” from Ching’s Table and the Knights of Columbus building on Main. Pizzas will be available in individual as well as family-style, Parlatore said. “As a young family we want to bring a family style restaurant to the community to enjoy,” he said.