It's hard to believe Dino's Tomato Pie used to be a Western Union money mart. That grand bar looks like it's been there for a century; the row of roomy booths feel like something you might slide into after exiting the New Jersey turnpike in search of a slice at a decent tavern.
Dino's Tomato Pie is Delancey and Essex owner Brandon Pettit's homage to the pizza of his New Jersey youth. Its prominent location on the corner of Denny and Olive, plus the fact that Delancey's pizza genius is at the helm means Dino's will be packed, perpetually. The pizzas themselves are but distant cousins to the wood-fired Naples-meets-Northwest versions Pettit produces at Delancey; Dino's serves larger round pies, plus the square Sicilian-style pizzas, baked in pans in the gas-powered brick oven.
Pending one final inspection, Dino's official opening date should be Wednesday, March 9. Molly Wizenberg, Pettit's wife and writer extraordinaire, has details and photos aplenty on her blog, Orangette. The first priority on my next visit will be locating Pettit's high school prom photo, which hangs on the wall. My second priority will be locating the tap that dispenses the nitrogen negronis.
Dino's will be open seven days a week, from 4pm to 2am; it's mostly 21+, and Pettit will start doing takeout and pizza by the slice once the place has found its rhythm. More details, plus some '90s-era web hilarity, can be found on the Dino's Tomato Pie website.