Portobello’s Calamari Slice Throws a Knockout Punch

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I had been meaning to meet my buddy Dan for lunch for ages by the time we finally sat down together a few days ago. We’ve worked not more than 5 minutes away from each other for about 2 years now and hadn’t managed to grab a bite to eat in that entire time. It was ludicrous. So after a series of texts, it was decided: he’d show me a couple of places in his neighborhood and I’d tell him if he was getting a raw deal by working in west of Broadway Downtown. Dan’s response was to bust out the big guns and take me to Portobello’s Pizza and Sicilian Kitchen.
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Located at 83 Murray St. at Greenwich, Portobello’s is owned and operated by Anthony Catanzaro, a member of the training team for current former IBF Light Welterweight Champion, current WBO NABO Light Welterweight Champion  Paulie “The Magic Man” Malignaggi. Hence all the boxing gear when you step through the door. And the cheesy title I’ve given this post.
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Compared to the tiny facade, the inner dining room is massive and this place manages to fill just about every seat come lunchtime. Slices start at $2.50 and work their way up to $3.75 for the specials. If you’re not feeling the pizza, they’ve got you covered with the hot bar and a variety of Italian dishes on the menu.
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There are literally about a dozen kinds of pizza to choose from in this place, so you really can’t go wrong stepping through the door.  The day we went for lunch, however, was a special day. Every Wednesday and Friday, Portobello’s slings one of the most unique pies I’ve seen, perhaps even more unique than the Bacon Jalapeno slice at the Grotto (69 New Street).  Yes, Portobello’s is home to the Calamari slice.
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How can you go wrong with that? Admittedly, for some folks you can go quite, quite wrong with this but Portobello’s does an awesome job of cooking it well. Squid and octopus, in my opinion, are two of the most difficult piece of seafood to make edible and for me.  I am really not a calamari guy.  But this? This was good. Maybe it was the combination of the sauce and the crust and the cheese, or maybe it was just that someone here really knows how to make some calamari, but it was tasty.
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We also grabbed a lasagna slice. No offense to the Grotto, but this one held up way better than theirs. I think it wasn’t bogged down with as much ricotta and the crust had a little more integrity to it. It was really flavorful and rich. Definitely a good choice.
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Last but not least, I also got a buffalo chicken slice. Another fine choice. This one had a ton of chicken on top. If you’re hungry, this slice could definitely be the way to go. It was plenty filling.
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And the upskirt shot for those of you who are into that kind of thing.

Portobello’s is a sweet spot with lots to choose from, as long as you’re okay with Italian food. The pizza is a little more spendy than at other places, but these are slices you’re not getting many other places. I’d definitely recommend swinging by on a Wednesday or Friday to try and grab a slice of the calamari pie. It’s totally worth it. As long as Dan has this place, I think he’s just fine for lunch.

THE + (What somebody who likes this place would say)

  • Calamari on pizza? Genius!
  • I love it when pizzerias get creative with their pizza
  • Free delivery everywhere south of Canal St.
  • Unless you’re invited to his actual house, this is the only chance you’ll get to eat at the “home” of a boxing champion

THE — (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)

  • Calamari on pizza? Not my cup of tea
  • The slices are a little more expensive than I’m used to
  • I eat spaghetti every night for dinner and don’t like to have Italian for more than one meal a day

Portobello’s Pizza & Sicilian Kitchen, 83 Murray St. at Greenwich St., 212-766-1195



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    Those slices look amazing! Paulie actually isn’t the IBF champ anymore, he vacated that belt back in ’08, but he’ll be fighting for the WBA title next month at MSG.

  • Thanks for the update! I did a little quick research just now and adjusted the post accordingly. And I’d definitely recommend going to check this place out if you haven’t already.

  • You forgot a -. Associated with Paulie Malignaggi. If that guy fought half as good as he talked. At least the pizza can throw a knock out punch.

  • My mom works up the block, so I asked her about the site. According to her:

    Tried every pizzaria in the neighborhood all but one suck -
    Little Italy Pizza‎
    11 Park Place, New York, NY‎ – (212) 227-7077‎ -

    Their pizza tastes like good brooklyn pizza, all the others taste doughy n chewy n icky – you either get glamourous pizza or just plain skunk pizza. Little ITaly is incredible, and they don’t break down those wonderful crusty bubbles that popup around the edge of the pizza. Ask them for thin and well done and its the best krispy pizza you will find.

  • The buffalo chicken looks good, especially with ALL that chicken. The calamari doesn’t look like there’s as much going on but a very interesting idea for a slice. More meat please!

  • calamari slice!!!! love it!!!

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