The restaurant is situated in a strip along Delaware
Avenue now studded with stellar dining options,
most notably La Divina Mexican Store, where some
of the area’s best tacos are found.
The interior is small but comfortable, with a
number of tables for two and a few four tops.
Relaxing acoustic music plays as we take in our
surroundings, painted in greens and yellows.
Although the place emits a casual vibe, refined
touches emerge: a candle on each table and, when
the pizza’s served, a glass bottle of water to enjoy. A
A small bar, where local and imported beers and
red and white wines are served, faces the kitchen. In
it, Langfelder fluidly tops pizzas and works dough, all
while chatting up customers at the bar. He appears at
ease, genuinely enjoying his craft. At Jay’s, customers
order at the counter, find a seat, and wait for their
pie. We check out the menu above us listing the nine
varieties of pizzas available–all in the traditional
twelve-inch Neapolitan size.
It is difficult to choose, but we narrow down to
three: Amanda, Margherita, and Pancetta. We settle
in at a table, and a server brings us the drinks we
ordered. A couple of minutes later, the first pizza—
the Margherita ($13)—arrives. (Traditional Neapolitan
pies are cooked in less than a minute, the blazing
heat of the fire crisping the pies quickly, and these
are cooked at that same speed.)
The Margherita is the simplest of the three. It
comes topped with tomato sauce, fresh basil, and
fresh mozzarella. It is the classic pie. The dough is
silky in texture, slippery thin, and the crust pillowy
with charred patches from the intense heat. A bright,
fruity sauce punctuates the silkiness of the crust.
The basil tastes like summer.
Shortly after digging into the Margherita, the
other two pizzas arrive. The Pancetta ($15) features
fresh mozzarella, pancetta, red onion, rosemary, and
chili honey. The Amanda ($14.5) features fontina,
fresh mozzarella, Gorgonzola, pecorino, crushed red
pepper and chili honey.
It’s 6: 15 p.m., and a line has formed at the counter.
Some people pick their pies up to go, but many
choose to eat in. A couple walks in with their young
daughter, who totes a scooter behind her. A group of
friends sidle up to the window seats; not long after,
Langfelder brings them a few of his creations. This
little establishment is as much a neighborhood spot
as it is a destination.
The Amanda and Pancetta are similar, but of
the two, the Amanda wins. The variety of cheeses,
combined with the bits of heat from the pepper
and sweetness of the honey, create a combination
that sings. The Pancetta’s rosemary is an interesting
addition, but, combined with the onion, it’s slightly
too pungent for me.
In addition to pizza, Jay’s also offers a few
small plates. These include marinated olives ($5),
prosciutto and mozzarella ($8), and mixed greens
with red onion, tomato, mozzarella, pecorino, and
balsamic vinaigrette ($7). A dessert menu can be
found on a chalkboard by the register: tonight it’s
tiramisu bread pudding ($6), passion fruit tart with
whipped cream ($4), and rhubarb fennel pie ($4).
Langfelder combines a time-tested method with
high quality ingredients to bring something truly
special to Western New York eaters. Authenticity
and quality trump quantity here, so if you’re looking
for pizza that’ll transport you out of Buffalo and into
Napoli, Langfelder will happily be your guide.