Pizza Review

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About Paradise Restaurant

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Yelp Rating
49 Yelp Reviews
Tue11:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Wed11:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Thu11:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Fri11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sat11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sun9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Pizza Review
Paradise Pizza, since 1947. If I’m not mistaken, this is the *oldest* continuously running restaurants in our area. And you can’t tell it from the looks of the place, you can tell it from the pizza. So Paradise Restaurant and Seafood is an old school Italian “Family Style” restaurant and bar. And that’s a dying breed in Westchester. Though that restaurant format is holding stronger on Long Island, across Jersey, and in the southeast part of Connecticut. It’s best thought of as an establishment that serves a similar role as a pub in the UK, in the sense that it was designed to be a daily after-work watering hole for dock and factory workers, an affordable outing for families who could get family style meals, and a hub for community and group events. These days it’s closer in format to many other restaurant with a bar. Though that old school DNA of the place shines through in a number of ways. But enough with the history lesson… What’s up with the pizza? Well, it’s *distinguished*. This isn’t the same pie you can just get at any just any slice shop. They don’t sell slices, they only do sit-in or takeout. Pictured here is a small personal pie. I recommend you also look on Google Maps and Yelp for some better views of the pizza. They can make some beautiful looking pies. I think mine here is just an average looking one. But I’ll tell you why. I have a feeling this place appeals to their average clientele tastes above all. You have to ask for a pie to be well done for the pizza to get to it’s full potential. I might sound like I’m talking it up right now. But I should blunt that by saying that crust-wise, this is *not* like Westchester’s own, Johnny’s. That’s in the elite tier of ultra thin, crispy, and crunchy crust. So get that out of your head now. I know when you hear “Since 1947 and Italian run” you’re probably thinking that but it’s not Johnny’s North. But that’s really my main complaint here. It’s got the thinness, brown/black bake, and the lightness of a better crust like Johnny’s but isn’t near as crispy and certainly not crunchy, except for the breadsticky cornicione. But I think it gets closer to that direction if you order it well done. I want to be clear though, Johnny’s is not my ideal pizza. I don’t care that that’s blasphemy as a Westchester boy. I can say that this was easily more flavorful than Johnny’s. The sauce was punchy, well blended, and bright. It’s herbaceous and smells of oregano and tastes garlic spiked. And while I know some people notice a subtle sweetness to the pizza, I actually think that comes from the crust and cornmeal at the bottom, not the sauce. It’s not something I think most people notice or would be turned off by—Dominoe’s does it and is popular. But pizza connoisseurs would notice. Cornmeal or semolina on the crust is an old school move that some first generation Italian American born here made when they were Americanizing pizza making. It made it for easier handling of the dough for unskilled younger family members who didn’t grow up a baker or for anyone outside of the business. Cornmeal, semolina flour, bench flour, or *anything* suitable makes it easier to prepare a pie on a peel and to launch a pie into the oven. While their cheese to sauce ratio gets good marks by me—their low moisture mozzarella, had nice separation and cheese pull—the cheese was a bit oily. You can kinda see that here. That’s a minus. I don’t think they do it, but I could swear the cheese tastes sharp like they sprinkled parmigiana reggiano on it. I’m a flavor over everything guy. That made up for that flaw. And that’s really the story with this pie. It’s not a slice joint, “put out the product” pie, it’s uniquely this restaurant’s pizza, and a family recipe handed down across the decades to serve the working class mostly Italian people in Verplanck. And you can tell its the restaurant of choice of so called townies and *anyone* here today enjoying the lake on the docks and well-worn hamlet by the river. That paints a too rosy picture that some people wouldn’t. I feel I should mention that, though I’m not here to “review”their town. I just like that they kept lots of their historic buildings and they’re there unadulterated. Anyway, do I think this is as great as old school pizzeria of its era or the artisanal sourdough pizzas of the new school? No. But it’s better pizza that stands out, and should be tried by any pizzaholic in the area.
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