Staten Island

Pier 76

Like its more famous cousin Rubirosa over on Mulberry Street in Manhattan, Pier 76 is an offshoot of the legendary Joe & Pat’s. A very short (trip?) from the St. George ferry terminal, it’s a multi-pronged operation: part dim but family-friendly sports bar, a table-service area cut off by a rope, and a brightly lit takeout slice shop. Pitchers come cheap, just $11 for Budweiser, and there’s a decent selection of liquor that includes some finer brands like Absolut Elyx vodka. The menu covers the Italian-american bases, including baked clams, pasta primavera, and sausage-and-broccoli-rabe heroes. Specials might include tangy-spicy Buffalo-chicken sliders on buttery rolls, served with a side of peppery curly fries that will throw you right back to your childhood. The main event, though, is the pizza, which is prepared in the venerated thin-crust tradition of Joe & Pat’s. There are a handful of specialty pies, including a pesto pizza with fresh mozzarella. Go for the blue-cheese-optional Buffalo chicken, which will convert even the snobbiest palates to this underappreciated topping. Pizzas can also be customized with some 23 different toppings, including calamari that, if you’d like, comes with a generous side of warm, thin marinara sauce. Get it. The Day-Glo vodka sauce is lusciously smooth, best atop the Sicilian. Snag a corner slice: blistered and enjoyably chewy mozzarella peeks through the soupy sauce, covering a crust that just underneath is sublimely buttery. — Chris Crowley

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