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A few of New England's hidden pizza gems

By Alex Nunes

Publication: theday.com

Published September 25. 2012 2:00PM   Updated September 25. 2012 3:25PM

I've not yet tried enough pizza places in New London to definitively declare my favorite. But I have to say I've developed a real affinity for 2Wives on Huntington Street.

I ordered takeout from there recently, which reminded me of just how impressive the pizza is. It's a thin crust but it has enough crisp to keep it from getting floppy and soggy like some pizzas tend to. The toppings are also top notch and always fresh-- plus they offer whole wheat crust for the health conscious eater (myself not included).

The other day I ordered the vegetable pizza, which comes with a nice pesto sauce under the cheese. What I like about this pizza is the vegetables appear to have been roasted ahead of time. Often pizza places put the veggies on raw and the result is a soggy, watery slice. Totally gross.

2Wives seems like the type of place that's great but probably doesn't attract too much attention outside of southeastern Connecticut. This got me thinking...People far and wide seem to know about Pepe's and Sally's in New Haven, but there are some other places in New England that are also worthy of great praise.

So I made a brief list for your future reference. (Send some of your own picks in and I'll add them below.)

Naples Pizza in Farmington: Growing up in Farmington, this was a favorite of many in the central Connecticut area. Thin crust, conservative on the tomato sauce and always delicious. The best bet here is to get a few boxes of just plain cheese and see how many slices you can eat. At least that's what I did when I was 16.

Luna Pizza in Simsubry: When I was younger, families were often separated by a dividing line of pizza allegiance. While some went with Naples, others living closer to Avon and Simsbury liked Luna Pizza. Fortunately for me, my family members were equal opportunity pizza eaters. Luna always had a delicious thin, crispy crust. Taking a trip down memory lane on their website today, these pizzas stuck out to me: white salmon, clams casino and BBQ chicken.

Bob & Timmy's Legendary Grilled Pizza in Providence and North Smithfield, R.I.: Bob & Timmy's, as most call it, is probably my favorite pizza place in Rhode Island's capital city. The pizza here gets a hard-to-describe, but wonderful, flavor from the grilling process. Some suggestions: the BBQ chicken pizza with smoked gouda, parmesan and Romano cheese, or the portabella primavera with portabella mushrooms, garlic, parmesan, spinach and sautéed red bell peppers.

Providence Coal Fired Pizza: This relatively new pizza joint is located downtown and a short walk from the Dunkin' Donuts Center, if you're there for a game or show. As the name would suggest, it's coal fired pizza (and prepared expertly). My favorite is the baby bella with oyster mushrooms, truffle oil, ricotta and mozzarella cheese.

Penguin Pizza in Boston: A while back, there was a great place I loved in the Mission Hill neighborhood of Boston called Pig's Pizza. Based on what I'm seeing online, Pig's spun off into Penguin Pizza, which appears to be carrying the torch for quality pizza. They carry a Tuscan fig and prosciutto pizza made with goat cheese and caramelized onions; there's also the Ultimate Penguin, which somewhat resembles a pizza once found on the Pig's menu: bacon, ham, meatball, braised duck leg, sausage, roasted potato, hot cherry peppers, cabbage and caramelized onion.

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