Benvenuti’s Pizza Is The Best You’ll Find In The BPC Lunch Wasteland
I never made it to Battery Park City to check out Samantha’s which was apparently a bastion of good, authentic Italian food. They shuttered, and in its place Benvenuti opened. Pictures of all their fresh pasta and other various Italian goods caught my attention, as did the fact that they were really proud of their Sicilian pizza. So I resolved to trek across the West Side Highway (and through a bunch of construction sites) for my lunch and I wasn’t disappointed.
It would be easy to walk past Benvenuti since it’s set back from the street in a sort of strip mall with pillars in front of it. There’s another pizza place called Picasso Pizza up the street, and I can’t tell you which one is the best. I had a good feeling about Benvenuti as soon as I spotted the refrigerated case full of antipasto, and homemade pasta and sauces in plastic containers. There’s a back counter where you can buy this stuff by the pound, or get one of their hero sandwiches.
At the other counter you’ll find the pizza, calzones and other carb and cheese combinations. The guy running this counter seemed to be the owner and made it seem like a small town deli, which I guess it kind of is if you consider BPC a town. I asked if they had Sicilian slices, which they sadly did not that day, so I was instead directed toward what I think he called the “crostini” slice, so I got one of those and a cheese slice. I’m not sure what they each cost, but the total was $6.50, which I consider a decent deal for a plain slice and a fancy one.
The square slice was good although unorthodox. You got some marinated peppers on top of tomato slices on top of a slice of mild cheese on top of a layer of fresh tomato sauce. All of this rested on a crisp crust, and eaten all together it did seem like some sort of appetizer. This one’s good if you’re a fan of cheese because there was blanket of it.
The cheese slice was also solid with a nice crispy thin crust and just the right amount of cheese. No complaints about this one.
This place is so far above the slices I got at Caravelli’s in the World Financial Center that it’s definitely worth your while to walk a few blocks, and that’s just judging by the pizza. The sandwiches here look like they’re worth a second look.
The + (What someone who likes this place would say)
- They have homemade pasta and dried meats hanging in the window, making it seem legit.
- There are a ton of pizza slices on offer and they all look good.
- They make a solid cheese slice.
- The guys working there couldn’t be nicer.
The – (What someone who doesn’t like this place would say)
- There’s no seating, and it’s too cold to eat outside this time of year.
- It’s too far to walk for pizza when there are two other options closer to the WFC.
- I like my pizza guys to be a little more surly.
Benvenuti, 235 South End Ave. (nr. Rector), (212) 945-2100