Weekly Pizza Lunch: Coney Island’s Totonno’s rises from the floodwaters

Totonno's pizza plain pie

Totonno’s serves one of the better coal-oven pizzas in NYC. A plain pizza from just after the joint’s triumphant post-Sandy reopening.

You know, you’re not going to go wrong adding toppings to a Totonno’s pizza, but when the joint is firing on all cylinders, like it was when I visited yesterday, you only need a plain pie for a satisfying meal.

Of course that didn’t stop me and my dining companion from getting another pizza topped with sausage.

As you may know, the place has had some rough times in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, which flooded the nearly 100-year-old pizzeria.

Anthony Totonno Pero and Gennaro Lombardi

This is the infamous ‘flour-dusted shoes’ photo. The family who runs Totonno’s has long claimed that Anthony “Totonno” Pero (left) was the one who actually *made* the pizzas when he was at Lombardi’s. The tell? He has flour-dusted shoes whereas Gennaro Lombardi (right) does not.

Not like you could tell. The place looked almost exactly the same. The only notable difference was the red tabletops, which have replaced the previous faux marble laminate ones. Even the photos and memorabilia are in the same positions on the walls. Louise “Cookie” Cimineri, the notably testy matriarch who runs the dining room there, told me the family took pictures of the pictures before taking them down for restoration. That way the signed Ramones photo would make it right back to the same spot is has hung in for years—just below a photo of Billy Vera.

Totonno’s

1524 Neptune Avenue, Brooklyn NY 11224 (near West 16th Street)
718-372-8606