Welcome to one of our favorite places to eat in all of New York City. L & B Spumoni gardens is often referred to as just Spumoni or Spumoni Gardens. While they are now famous for their pizza, Spumoni Gardens got it's start selling spumoni out of a horse drawn wagon. Spumoni Gardens was started by Ludovico Barbati, he came to the United States in 1917, from Torella Di Lombardi, Italy. He learned to make spumoni and began to sell it up and down the streets of Gravesend & Bensonhurst, Brooklyn
All of this spumoni talk may have you confused, especially if you do not know what spumoni is. Spumoni is an Italian dessert made up of layers of molded ice cream. Traditionally flavors include cherry, pistachio chocolate and vanilla.
In 1939, Ludovico, Sr. decided he needed a place to make his Spumoni and bought a plot of land in Brooklyn and built their first building to be their factory. People began to line up at the factory to get spumoni and that is when they realized they would need to build a sit down area for customers.In the mid 1950's L & B Spumoni Gardens built the second building, which is now the Pizzeria. Then progressively, though the years the third building was added, it became their luncheonette. When you go to Spumoni today you can still see the 3 different buildings that comprise L & B Spumoni Gardens.
While they have tons of things to offer, we went to Spumoni to get some of their famous Sicilian style pizza.
The beauty of Spumoni Gardens is how basic the pizza menu is. Pizza is the only thing they sell in this section of Spumoni Gardens is, so orders go quickly. You can order slices or whole pies but you will have to choose between traditional round pizza or their famous Sicilian. We have never gotten the traditional slice but we hear it is very good. For us if you are going to Spumoni Gardens the only thing you can buy is the Sicilian pizza. You may think one or two slices of Sicilian pizza will be enough for you, but trust us you will want more.
What We Ate:
Sicilian Pizza - Lots of it
We are not even sure words can do this pizza justice, but we will try. Pizza is a simple meal consisting of three main things dough, sauce and cheese. You start with the dough, add the sauce and then top it all with cheese. Here at Spumoni they change those rules a bit. They start with the dough, then add the mozzarella and top it off with tomato sauce and a sprinkling of Pecorino Romano cheese. It is this method that sets their Sicilian slice apart from any that we have ever had.
Adding the layer of cheese before the sauce is a game changer. It creates a layer of protection for the dough keeping the sauce from soaking in. It also adds this amazing texture in the middle of the pizza, which creates one of the four layers that makes this pizza so good. The first layer of goodness is the sauce. Made from San Marzano tomatoes, the sauce is naturally sweet and made fresh. Next comes the cheese which we have already mentioned above. The third layer is the soft airy dough in between the cheese and crust. The dough has great flavor and is not as dense as many other Sicilian pizzas. Here it is very light which allows you to eat as many slices as you like. The final layer is the crispy layer on the bottom of the pizza thanks to the tray. It creates this crispy golden brown crust that gives the slices enough support to be picked up. Every other layer in this pizza is very soft so the bottom layer helps to bring in that needed crunch.
When these four layers come together in each bite it is just so good. Our favorite part is the gooey center created by the cheese and dough. It provides a unique texture and gives the pizza a unique sensation when bitten into. Everything about this pizza is so good that you can't resist eating slice after slice. When we go now we don't even bother order 2 or 3 slices we just order a half or full sheet. We may not eat it all there but leftovers are no problem. You will be surprised at how many slices you can eat. This pizza also reheats perfectly losing none of its glory in the fridge, which is why the leftovers do not last very long. You may however find that this pizza is amazing cold also. No matter how you like your pizza, spumoni will not disappoint.
Check out this video from the TV Show, Man Vs. Food
Should Or Should Not Eat:
L & B Spumoni Gardens is a Should Eat. It is the best Sicilian slice of pizza you will ever have, we promise. It is worth the drive and the wait any time of year. Some quick tips when eating at Spumoni, have part of your group secure a table while the other half orders the pizza. Order more slices than you expect to eat, you will thank us. Get napkins it can get messy especially when eating the middle slices with no crust.
L & B Spumoni Gardens
Brooklyn, NY: 2725 86th Street > 718.449.1230