BEST PIZZA (1999)
Not to get Aristotelian on all y'all, but What Is Pizza? Is it the dough, the sauce, the cheese, the toppings? Or is it the spicy freedom that pizza represents and allows, the get-up-and-go meal that's car- and TV-friendly, the democratic crust that supports both the lowliest hamburger and the most highfalutin' prosciutto? If pizza is the crust, then Punch Woodfire Pizza must win, because their crust is the smoky wisp of a hardwood fire, the biscuity warmth of fresh bread. If pizza is the toppings, then the best pizza would be at someplace ritzy like Pazzaluna with its Parma ham, Tuscan sausage, and Gorgonzola cheese. If pizza is conviviality, then surely the prize goes to the hopping hollows of Broadway Pizza. But if, as we assert, the best pizza is the one with the highest composite score, then Lucé doesn't even have a close competitor: The chewy crust, zingy sauce, and fancy toppings all gain points, and Lucé more than holds its own in human-interest categories like pricing (love those giant slices for just over two dollars), laid-back grace (where else can you get Summit with your slice?) and general friendliness. So wipe some Vaseline on your teeth, kids, and smile, smile, smile--you're a winner!