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Conte’s Pizza may have the best New York style pies in Delray Beach

Conte’s pizzas on display (Conte’s Pizza photo)

Crispy crust  and zesty sauce make for slices that pack a wallop of flavor.

 

A tiny shop in a Pineapple Grove strip center three blocks north of Atlantic Avenue may sell the best slice of New York Style pizza in all of Delray Beach, if not all of Palm Beach County.

That shop, with seating for just a dozen patrons, is Conte’s Pizza, an old school, New York-style by the slice/pie shop that shares ownership with Conte’s Italian Deli next door on NE 2ndAve. It’s the kind of place you pop into for a slice – there’s a private parking lot just outside the door – or for a pie to go, or for delivery.

Open only since early Fall 2018, Conte’s is one of the rare places in Delray Beach that does slices to order.

Pizza maker Thomas Odierno

Behind the counter is pizza maker/manager Thomas Odierno, a gracious, hospitable hulk of a man, even when he’s working the shop solo. He brings more than 20 years of pizza-making experience to the job, having previously owned Wngdale Pizza Express in Duchess County, NY. , and consulted up and down the East Coast. He’ll ask if you want a center slice or one from the corner on the square pies. I’m a corner kind of guy who grew up chowing on slices in Brooklyn.

I recently sampled the traditional thin-crust, New York-style pie and the grandma, a style invented on Long Island not many years ago, and was taken by both. Slices and pies are dressed after coming out of the oven with a sprinkling of olive oil, oregano, grated cheese and garlic. You don’t see that done anywhere, except perhaps the famous DiFara’s pizza in Brooklyn.

The round, as we called it in New York, had a crust that was crispy and pliable, not too thick. It was a large slice with the zesty red sauce and cheese taking center stage.

The grandma pizza is a thinner, denser cousin to Sicilian or square, pizza. It’s rectangular and cooked in an olive oil-coated pan. The version at Conte’s has a crunchy crust topped with cheese, tomatoes and basil leaves, all of which adds up to a wallop of flavor.

Giant garlic knot

Round slice and grandma slice

The menu also features all sorts of pizzas (oddly, they offer a Hawaiian pie with pineapple and ham), calzone, garlic knots and more. The garlic knots are fist-sized and coated with butter, grated cheese, bits of the chopped allium and flecks of parsley.

To wash it all down, there are cans and bottles of Coca-Cola products, bottled teas and water, and cans of Dr. Brown’s in a cooler at the side of the counter. Dessert? Pop next door into Conte’s deli for a cannoli.

Conte’s Pizza

309 NE 2nd Avenue.

Delray Beach, FL 33444

561-292-2020

contespizzadelray.com

 

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