Start with one of America’s finest pizza makers: De Lorenzo’s Tomato Pies on Hudson Street in Trenton, NJ. Add a selection of salads and a bathroom (there was none on Hudson). What do you get? The finest pizzeria in New Jersey, and one of the top ten in America, De Lorenzo’s Tomato Pies in Robbinsville, NJ. Yes, Robbinsville may be the suburbs, and the new restaurant sure is spacious and modern, but the pizzas that emerge from those ovens are identical to the ones formerly served on Hudson Street.
Trenton’s version of Little Italy (The Burg) is no more, or rather, to be more precise, The Burg still exists but it is no longer Italian. Almost every Italian restaurant in the neighborhood has closed up shop, many having moved to modern digs in the suburbs. The original De Lorenzo, founded by the late Chick De Lorenzo, remained open in Trenton after the opening of this suburban branch. That original finally closed, affording Chick’s daughter, Eileen Amico, and her husband Gary, a well-earned retirement. Their son Sam runs the Robbinsville store, although every once in a while you may spy Gary behind the counter getting his hands into the dough.
These world-class tomato pies are built upon extremely thin, crisp crusts. Canned tomatoes are used, not tomato sauce. There’s no hail of dried herbs here, just tomatoes, a modest amount of cheese, the toppings of your choice, and oil. The philosophy is balance, not extravagance. Toppings are applied sparingly; don’t expect pizzas weighted down with pounds of meats and cheeses. We know people (ourselves included) who consider one large pie per person about right (leftover slices are delicious straight from the fridge the next morning!).
Sam has added a few new topping options to the menu. You can now get things like homemade meatballs, fresh basil, artichokes, and roasted peppers, but our favorite toppings still include the juicy, chunky sausage and toothsome thick-sliced pepperoni. White pies with broccoli or spinach are also recommended.
As in many of the great pizzerias, salads have been added to the menu, and these are not mere formalities. They do a terrific job with salads, and we’ve enjoyed all kinds of seasonal combinations of pristine greens topped with things like juicy fresh blackberries, perfectly ripe and sweet heirloom tomatoes or melon slices, sharp cheese, and toasted pine nuts. One salad will serve two or three people generously.
De Lorenzo is open for lunch four days a week and dinner six days a week (they close on Mondays) but, no matter which day you go, expect to wait for a table if you arrive at a normal mealtime (they do not take reservations). If you really don’t like to wait the best approach is to arrive when they open, 11 am for lunch, 4 pm for dinner, when you should be able to waltz right to a table. They do not have a liquor license (a scarce commodity in New Jersey).2350 US-33 Robbinsville NJ 08691 609-341-8480 De Lorenzo’s Tomato Pies’ Website De Lorenzo’s Tomato Pies on Facebook