The Nanuet Hotel & Restaurant
132 Main St, Nanuet, NY 10954-2803
Homemade crust topped with half cheese, half pepperoni and cheese.
Established in 1944, The Nanuet Hotel offers an excellent, albeit non-conventional pizza with regards to a typical NY-NJ bar pie. The pie also closely resembles its rival, The Nanuet Restaurant, which is just up the block and across the street. These two Rockland County establishments are as renowned as they are old.
Side note: From what I can gather from Internet research, The Nanuet Restaurant, located a little further up Main Street, was founded by Bob Lampone and Frankie De Lucia who originally worked at the hotel and later opened the restaurant in February of 1952. They’ve been there ever since.
That explains it – two pizzas, each a very distinct style, yet very similar. The taste difference I'll leave up to you.
On to the pie...
Seeing and tasting this style of pizza reminded me to always stay humble and open-minded when trying new foods, especially pizza. We are often quick to judge a pizza based on our own personal favorites which are usually located within a 2 mile radius of where we grew up. If you can put aside the taste buds you grew up on and taste this pie with complete impartiality, you'll be able to appreciate these pies for what they are – delicious.
If you approach this pie with a predetermined expectation of what it "should" taste like you will most likely turn your nose up to this pizza for the simple fact that is doesn't conform.
Much like that of their adversary, the crust of the Nanuet Hotel pizza is more like pastry dough than pizza dough, yet it's impossible to be disappointed. The amount of cheese was perfect, the tomatoes were great and that crust… I just keep thinking of that crust... it had a flaky, buttery taste to it, which I thought was a nice diversion from standard New Jersey, Italian bread style crust.
I loved the cozy retro ambiance of the seating in the bar area as much as I did the pizza…the whole experience worked for me and I can't wait to get back. Next time it'll be a plain pie because in my opinion, less is definitely more with this bar pie.
One major con for the NH – the pizza took waaaaaaaaaaay too long to be served, especially for a lunch hour. Our pie took every bit of 40 minutes. Not good for business folks, I guess that's why there were only retirees eating lunch (except for us, we’re not there yet!). Shame, because it would be a killer lunch spot if they could knock out pies in 10 minutes.
With the exception of the serve time, kudos to the Nanuet Hotel people, who did an excellent job.