27 Church St., Harvard Square, Cambridge
Small pizzas $7-$13; large $13-$24.
The verdict: This one [the simplest pizza] is really good, but otherwise . . . theres not a lot of love in this pizza.
513 Tremont St., South End
Small pizzas $7-$10; large $14-$17.
The verdict: See the flakiness, see the hole structure? . . . Thats what Im talking about.
69 Salem St., North End
Slices $2.75-$3.50; pizzas $11-$15.
The verdict: Its churlish to compare this to [Picco]. But this slice is very nice.
11 Chelsea St., East Boston
The verdict: Not bad. Cooked all the way through. And nice bubbles. Its too much cheese for me, but you will never go broke putting a lot of cheese on Americans pizza.
Here are the four places Levine included in Pizza: A Slice of Heaven:
Campo De Fiori
1350 Massachusetts Ave. (Holyoke Center Arcade), Cambridge
The verdict: They were all delicious: fresh-tasting, yeasty, obviously made with good ingredients. The crust was thicker than what I found in Rome or New York, but it had terri.c hole structure.
40 Hampshire St., Cambridge
Small pizza $8-$15; large $11-$20.
The verdict: The crust . . . was basically a homemade lavash cracker. . . . The cheese . . . blanketed the whole pie in overwhelming fashion. . . . This couldnt be the best pizza Boston has to offer.
8 Perkins St., Jamaica Plain
Small pizzas $12-$16; large $14-$18.
The verdict: The crust had a quarter-inch layer of spongy, gooey, unbaked dough. The sauce tasted as if it had been cooked, a pizza no-no. If this was the best traditional pizza to be found in Boston, I found myself asking just what tradition it was trying to adhere to.
11.5 Thatcher St., North End
Small pizzas $7.50-$10; large $12-$17. The verdict: The crust had bubbled up beautifully. It was indeed crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. The mozzarella was, as advertised, decent-quality aged mozzarella, but what made the pie . . . was the Romano cheese generously sprinkled on the top.