Need A Solid Slice Of Pizza? Cucina Bene Is Highly Recommended

If you don’t know Cucina Bene on Exchange Place (btw. William & Broad) exists, you aren’t alone. I’ve probably walked by the block that this pizza place sits on hundreds of times, but unless you look over and see the neon sign proclaiming “Pizza” you wouldn’t notice it. Its entrance it right in front of one of those raised things to prevent cars from driving down the street, and across from a Blimpie sandwich shop.

Enough about its out of the way location…you want to know about the pizza, right? Well, I’m here to tell you they served me some of the best, no-frills slices I’ve eaten in my time as Downtown Lunch editor. 

I was in the mood for a grandma slice or something similar, but they only seemed to have the regular round slices, and the only square variety I spotted was blanketed with way too much cheese to look appealing. Instead, I got a regular slice ($2.50) and a wild card with sausage ($3.50). The most popular option here seems to be the two-slice and a soda special for $5.

I ate the sausage slice first since clearly I was craving salty meats. Normally I don’t like the sausage slices in NY shops because it’s invariably sliced sausage which I think is inferior to the crumbled or small pieces approach. While this one had slices, it also had balls of sausage, making it awesome. There was a high sausage to cheese ratio, and the crust was thin and crispy enough to not sag despite all of the meat heaped on it. Win!

I didn’t have high hopes for the plain slice, despite getting it from a pie that had been freshly pulled from the oven. From above it looked like the cheese-to-crust ratio was too high and it also looked really greasy. Appearances are sometimes deceiving, and to my surprise this was a kick-ass cheese slice with a thin crust that may have been a little too dark on the bottom, but tasty nonetheless. Also, if you don’t like a cheese overload and a good balance of sauce, this is the slice for you. About the only other flavor happening here was dried oregano, and that wasn’t overpowering. Bravo Cucina Bene on putting out some solid slices!

Cucina Bene, 41 Exchange Place (btw. William & Broad), (212) 635-0345, 635-0354


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