Bella Vita: Are looks Deceiving or is it Midtown’s Best?

Date June 6, 2008

The quest for the best slice of pizza in Midtown near Times Square continues. Thus far, Bella Napoli’s Grandma slice has received the only mark of distinction. I’ve heard good things about the brick oven pizza at Bella Vita, on 58th between 6th and 7th, but have only had it by delivery. It’s time to put Bella Vita to the test with a fresh pie, in house. Are looks deceiving or is it delicious enough to take the Midtown crown?

The Brick Oven pie: Half Cheese, Half Pepperoni ($16.50)

The Pepperoni Slice

The Plain Slice

The Verdict


Generic fresh mozz. Basic, thin tomato sauce. The ratio of cheese to sauce varies depending on slice. Overall, could have used more cheese and sauce.


Way too much end crust for a pizza with dry, tasteless crust. Cardboard-like texture under the slice, dry and thin. By far the worst aspect of the pie as you can see from the leftover crust below.

Conclusion: Definitely not the best in Midtown

The pepperoni was the most redeeming quality of the pie. Small, crisp and slightly spicy. Unfortunately most of it was sprinkled on just two of four slices. Overall flavor of the pie was light and bright thanks to the combo of tomato sauce and fresh basil but the crust and lack of fresh mozzarella made it a little toothsome. Not a pie I’m particularly looking forward to eating again.

Bella Vita

158 West 58th St b/t 6th & 7th Avenue
New York, NY 10019
(212) 664-7670

12 Responses to “Bella Vita: Are looks Deceiving or is it Midtown’s Best?”

  1. Lil NYC Food Guy said:

    Ouch. I swear it was better the first time I had it with Marc.

  2. DocChuck said:

    I would have sent it back

  3. Pepperoni Peter said:

    NYC Food Guy,

    that slice looks great. what’s your favorite slice in the village?

  4. Dr. Dyspepsia said:

    Am I alone, or is an order of a plain slice, anywhere, the equivalent of “Just fuel”? Get some chow, scarf it down, move on, doesn’t really matter what it tastes like, it’s just filling.

    I prefer my pizza with “everything”: each slice is a buffet in every sector, each component to be evaluated on its own merits. You sample the pepperoni, the sausage, the meatball (my favorites), the mushroom, each on its own merits. Extra cheese and onions are nice. Don’t care for green pepper, olives or anchovies myself, but that’s just me. Chicken, tofu, and other “California” crap on pizza are an abomination.

    So Food Guy, thanks for the warning. You said all you need to say to keep me away from this place. The meager pepperoni portion as the only redeeming quality is enough said.


    PS for the LI (specifically Great Neck) readership: Elio’s (decades-old favorite) was lights-out by 8 PM last night, and Napoli on Northern Blvd near the defunct Blockbuster is a sleeper to be sampled: thin and almost-crispy crust, excellent preparation.

    PPS: nice to see that the Food Guy is getting off chocolate chip cookies, at least for one posting. I was concerned you were pregnant with weird cravings.

  5. Dr. Dyspepsia said:

    Jeez. I do blather on, don’t I?

  6. Lil NYC Food Guy said:

    Dr. Dyspepsia: Living in Great Neck, I actually never liked Ellio’s. For some reason it just never did it for me. Napoli was one of my least favorite spots growing up but the old fashioned pizza guy outside was sweet. My favorite sleeper spot for Great Neck pizza- La Rotunda- semi-new restaurant on bond st.- brick oven, delicious, reasonably priced- I usually go split a 16 dollar pepperoni pie with whoever wants to go and have never left disappointed. Francescas is also pretty good, but only when you get a fresh pie. Gino’s has gone way downhill, and I’ve always had a burning hate for Scotto’s (Mangia Benne’s now?).

  7. Dr. Dyspepsia said:

    Lil Guy, I guess there is no disputing taste in pizza. I respect your opinion, but I REALLY like Napoli- had a meatball and pepperoni slice yesterday, and found the toppings way above the ordinary, and the crust thin and crisp (the way I like it).

    And I agree completely on Rotunda, Francesco’s the decline of Gino’s and the hatred for Mangia Bene.

    Michaelangelo not bad either, if you like thin crust.


  8. The NYC Food Guy said:


    Good to have you back, its been a while. What are you doin over at Napoli? Isn’t that a little far from your stomping grounds? That place is way underrated. The special slice (meatball, sausage, roni) used to be my go to along with a couple knots. Mangia Bene is a joke. Haven’t had Michaelangelo’s in a long time. When’s the last time you’ve been there? They make a decent regular pie too if my memory serves me correctly. Whats your top pizza on Long Island?

  9. Dr. Dyspepsia said:

    Found Napoli while in the car, in the throes of severe hunger after missing lunch, and it was a random drive-by with a parking place. I lucked out- I think the place is the best in Great Neck, so far, and I am a major Elio’s guy.

    Best pizza on LI? I am not qualified to even start the discussion, as I rarely leave my beaten track, certainly not to go for pizza. Right now I’m obsessed with Napoli.

    Nevertheless, here’s a “Best of LI Within 20 Minutes of Great Neck” list for your perusal:

    Best steak: Bryant and Cooper (Roslyn) Hands down. Peter Luger is alright, but this is better.
    Best Japanese: Hinata (Great Neck) Unusual selections, outstanding service
    Best Chinese: Orchid (Garden City) A basement sleeper.
    Best Italian (overall): That place in Huntington- someone help me, please?
    Best osso bucco (my private obsession): Vespa (Little Neck), when it’s on the menu. Many try, many fail, Vespa does it right.
    Best deli: Kensington. Period. (See Food Guy on Kensington)
    Best Greek diner: Louie’s (sp?) (Port Washington)
    Best burger: my back yard. Haven’t tried Houston’s (Roosevelt Field mall) yet (see Food Guy on Houston’s)
    Best French bistro: Cafe Citron (Roslyn)
    Best barbecue: There isn’t one within the radius. I’m sour on The Spare Rib. Can someone help me with a referral?
    Best all-you-can-eat: Churrasqueira Bairrada (Mineola). Honorable mention to East (Huntington), who would get the #1 spot if they brought back the prime rib bones. (See Food Guy on East)

    Sorry for going on. Maybe I should start my own “Twenty Minutes from Great Neck Food Guy” blog.

    The Doctor

  10. Dr. Dyspepsia said:

    On “Best Greek Diner”, I meant Louie’s in Manhasset (Plandome Road). Sorry. If there’s a Louie’s in Port Washington, I never ate there.

  11. Lil NYC Food Guy said:

    There actually is a Louie’s in Port Washington. It’s actually a famous high priced seafood restaurant and was very confused when you said it was a Greek diner. That restaurant was actually featured in Meet the Parents briefly (thats where they supposedly are during the scene when Robert de Niro calls home to hear the message from his neighbor saying that they found his cat and he realizes Ben Stiller is a fake). Just thought I’d throw that out there.

    Never had Bryant and Cooper heard good things…Burton and Doyle is excellent too I think the steak is better than Lugers.

    I’ve never had your backyard burger but i gotta give the best burger in the area to the lunchtime special of Peter Lugers (even though the last two times i went i ordered it medium rare and it came medium well- extremely upsetting)

  12. Dr. Dyspepsia said:

    Should try the Luger burger, too, but it’s disgraceful that they can’t cook a burger to order there, especially with their limited menu. I suppose they have the third-string cooks at lunchtime.

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