|Thoroughly Modern Pizza|
First up was Modern Apizza in New Haven, Connecticut, which has been around since 1934. A lot of Italians settled in the New Haven area, and having grown up nearby, I was familiar with the well-known pizza establishments that have been mainstays of the New Haven scene for years, particularly Sal Pepe’s Pizza and Sally’s, both on Wooster Street in downtown New Haven. However, having been twice disappointed on my most recent forays to one of these establishments, I decided to do some research before the trip, and came across glowing reviews for Modern Apizza, which was #1 ranked on Tripadvisor.com among all restaurants in New Haven. So on Saturday night, after picking up my father, who lives in Wallingford, we all went into New Haven to Modern. The parking lot was mobbed, and there was a line outside the restaurant. But the parking attendant, who, like all the staff I came into contact with that night, was incredibly friendly and helpful, directed us to the one empty spot.
While my wife waited in the car with my father, who is in a wheelchair, I went in to leave my name. The place was mobbed, but I could see that the line moved fairly quickly, and it was a pleasant evening to wait out on the street. After about a 20 minute wait (I was later told that was very short for a Saturday night), we were seated. The staff helped me get my father out of his wheelchair and into a seat, and when I had trouble folding up the chair, one of them said he’d just put it off to the side to save me the trouble.
The helpfulness and friendliness of the staff at Modern continued throughout the meal, with our server explaining about the local beers they had on tap, and recommending the Caesar salad, which was excellent. We had a pepperoni pizza and one with eggplant, and they were outstanding. And while I’m far more of a wine drinker than a beer drinker, I thought the beer from Elm City Brewing was superb. I can see why Modern is so highly rated, and why it’s always busy. I’ll definitely be back.
|Ready for the oven|
Sunday morning we had another food find that was as pleasantly surprising as Modern Apizza; Neil’s Donuts in Wallingford. I had stumbled across it on the Internet the day before when looking for a place to get something for breakfast on Sunday morning, and there were glowing reviews. As with Modern, the reviews were spot-on, and the place was just as crowded. I should have known as much, since when I stopped for gas nearby and I asked where Neil’s was, the person at the gas station pointed me in the right direction and, when I asked if it was good, her face lit up ands she said “The best; they make them by hand, not by machine like at [well-known donut chain].” I got apple cider doughnuts, a glazed cruller, and a glazed chocolate, and all were excellent. Not greasy, and not too heavy (for a donut, that is).
|[Neil's Photos from Roadfood.com]|