BAY RIDGE- “One bite. Everybody knows the rules.”
Two Bay Ridge pie havens, Elegante Pizzeria and Gino’s, recently got their 10 minutes of fame on popular sports and pop culture blog Barstool Sports’ fan-favorite segment, Pizza Reviews, in which Barstool’s founder David Portnoy — who has visited hundreds of pizza joints over the past few years, from upscale establishments in Manhattan to chains such as Little Caesar’s and Costco — assessed the local favorites.
On Tuesday, Jan. 7, Portnoy, who rates each slice he samples on a scale of 1-10, posted his review of famous local Bay Ridge spot Elegante Pizzeria, 6922 Fifth Ave., after a viewer kept suggesting he try it.
“A guy hit me up on this place,” he said as he walked out of Elegante with a pie. “He’s like Elegante. DM after DM. ‘Hey, wake up you jerk. Go to Elegante. How many times do I have to tell you about this place?’ No frills. He’s like, go to this place.’”
Portnoy, who is known to be a tough grader, acknowledged that the place appears old school, referencing the vintage cash register and lettering.
“I have high hopes,” he said. “It’s a very basic football-looking pizza. It’s a big pie. Let’s see what we got.”
After taking a bite and pondering the taste, he said, “A little greasy. It’s good pizza.”
He then gave the Elegante slice a score of 7.4.
Nonetheless, “Is it worth that guy calling me [expletives] because it’s that good?” he mused, adding,”I don’t think so.”
While Portnoy was reviewing the Elegante slice, a member of Bay Ridge Security who is a fan of Barstool approached him to take a photo
“These guys [Elegante] are the best,” the man said. “I appreciate you. You go everywhere. I watch you all the time on Facebook.”
He also suggested that Portnoy try Gino’s, 7414 Fifth Ave., which is where he headed next to review its slice.
“You tell me a place. I will try it,” he said. “That’s how I work. I’m open-minded.”
Gino’s slice actually scored a little higher than the slice from Elegante.
“I like how it gets thick at the end,” Portnoy said. “That’s a rare thing. Keep it thick in the front and then progress to a nice thick crust.”
After taking a couple of bites, he gave the slice a decent score.
“It’s good. It has a little tang to it, more tang than Elegante,” he said. “I like it. This has more flavor. Both are good. I’m going to go 7.6. That’s a good quality score.”
Fans chimed in on Portnoy’s Facebook page about his opinion and local eats.
“Espresso Pizza 94th and 5th old school Italian making the same pizza for over 30 yrs best slices in Bay Ridge,” wrote one fan.
“Go to Vesuvios and get a square. 73rd and 3rd Bay Ridge,” wrote another.
“You have tried the rest now go try the best!” a third suggested. “Bay Ridge Pizza on 77th and 5th ave. Fresh ingredients. Be a real pizza taster.”
The reviewer has nibbled local pizza before. Back in April, Portnoy tried out Pizza Wagon, 8610 Fifth Ave.
“Solid slice,” he said at the time. “Basic slice. If I dreamt up what a slice tastes like in my brain, it would be this. A little bit on the thick side. 7.4 — very basic good slice.”
Barstool Sports’ Pizza Review segment has become widely popular. The One Bite Pizza Review Youtube channel alone has over 141,000 subscribers. Many times, Portney reviews a slice with celebrities and sports personalities such as Kevin Hart, Guy Fieri, WFAN radio host Mike Francesa and Philadelphia Phillies all-star Bryce Harper.