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Sunday, September 20, 2009

Peachy Picks Mimi's

First we brought Mimi's to you in Tasty Tidbits:

Whom You Know is pleased to announce this is now among Peachy's Picks! Peachy Deegan just loves Mimi's. In fact, this is where she went to celebrate her birthday. She is in love with the pizza. Even when Peachy lived in London, she dreamed of this pizza and if she had the transportation options that Paul McCartney does, she too would have had their pizza flown over. (It is true- Paul McCartney has been known to do this. You can ask owner Steve Vanacore.) The first thing Peachy did upon getting to the Upper East side from across the pond was to go to Mimi's and get a slice of pizza!

Today Mimi's Pizza is at 1248 Lexington Ave. at 84th Street where it has been since 1965, but it was founded in 1959 on the west side: the original location was on 50th street and 10th avenue, and it was founded by Mimi himself: Dominic "Mimi" Vanacore. Today his son, Steve Vanacore, does an absolutely amazing job with Mimi's and here he is with the delicious pastas he served us:

It offers one of the best deals in the city and in this time of economic crisis for many Manhattan businesses, Mimi's has not seen a decline. To the contrary, we see lines here often, and fortunately they move quickly. Mimi's is a place you can go to three or four times a week and not break the bank.

Also, the service is super-friendly and oftentimes customers are called by their first name, usually by Dylan with a smile on his face. Having a slice of pizza at Mimi's is like being at home! In days past, Linda and Paul McCartney made pizza themselves here one day, and as Paul is still a devoted customer and was at Mimi's as recently as a month ago. Liv Tyler came here as a kid, and was known to pull up in Aerosmith's limo. Bruce Springsteen and Lenny Kravitz also frequent Mimi's Pizza. Brendan Shanahan has been known to order delivery...

Mimi's boasts a traditional Italian menu that has recently added whole wheat pizza and buffalo wings. Chicken Parm and Grilled Chicken are among the most popular sandwiches ordered. Renovated six years ago, Mimi's has a friendly yellow interior and the Whom You Know dining panel was graciously served by Judy DeVito, 15 year veteran waitress. She fabulously recommended the fried zucchini which we found absolutely mouth watering. Javier Oropza and Maurico Gama also provided friendly service.

We started with piping hot garlic bread pictured here (Peachy was so excited she ate one before she took a picture)

and three fantastic salads: Arugula Salad, Italian Mixed Salad and Caesar Salad, all of which were served fresh with super crunchy vegetables. They all go well with the pizza or entrees. We sampled a cheese pizza which is to die for- not that we advocate any kind of addiction at Whom You Know but to be truthful Peachy Deegan is addicted to this pizza and has been for years. About 250 pizzas a day are made at Mimi's on an average day but on a busy day, it can be as many as 350-400.

The pastas we had included the Baked Ziti which was Peachy Deegan's favorite among the group, Pasta Primavera, Penne ala Vodka and Chicken Marsala were also top-notch and highly recommended.

Peachy Deegan drank both the Chianti and Cabernet Sauvignon and both were excellent. Tiramasu was the firework ending and it was perfect! The Whom You Know dining panel was so pleased with Mimi's:

Mimi's is a fabulous place to feast! No wonder it was jammed by 8PM last night when I met my party for dinner. I knew we were in trouble when I saw the garlic toasts! The garlic was finely pureed, mixed with butter and fresh parsley and sauteed before it was slathered on the bread. Is this what gladiators ate?

Then came the salads. My favorite was the wild baby arugula. It was dressed in just enough olive oil and white vinegar to showcase the how fresh the tomatoes, onions, and other vegetables were.

Oh no, now a perfectly baked cheese pizza has landed in the middle of our table! The crust alone is a wonder - amazingly crisp and textured on the bottom yet moist and chewy on the flip side. A tangy fresh tomato sauce and gently melted mozzarella complete the picture.

Each of Mimi's entrees that we tried had incredible sauces. The chicken marsala's was delicately flavored with fresh mushrooms. Penne a la Vodka's sauce was bursting with tomato (heirloom?) flavor and fresh oregano. The baked ziti had a pink sauce that was ripe with red peppers and ricotta.

How we even had room for a bite of Tiramisu was a miracle. It was the right mix of creamy layers of mascarpone cheese topped in chocolate sauce and dusted with cocoa.


Mimi’s is a bustling pizzeria and Italian restaurant located on the Upper East Side on 84th and Lexington. The restaurant is split in two distinct halves: the takeout pizzeria and the full service table seating. Mimi’s was quite busy, especially in the take out pizza side, as the main draw seems to be the thin crust pizza.

Our gracious hosts, who selected a trio of salads for us to share along with garlic bread for starters, seated us. We sampled the house, Caesar and spinach/arugula salads, which were fresh and full of olives, onions, croutons and tomatoes. We then sampled the thin crust tomato and cheese pizza, which was outstanding. I was impressed with the flavors of the crust given the wood smoked taste. The pizza was lighter than many I have tried which is ideal so it could be sampled as an appetizer. For entrees, we tried a few pastas, namely: the baked ziti, which had a twist with a touch of a pink vodka sauce; the penne primavera and the penne in vodka sauce. We also tasted the chicken Marsala which was my favorite due to the mushrooms and savory sauce.

The wine was surprisingly good, especially the California Merlot. For dessert, we sampled the tiramisu, which was served cold which to us tasted better than other tiramisu’s. I am not fond of tiramisu but this was much better as it was colder and almost half frozen which created a new dynamic in taste.

Overall, we recommend Mimi’s Pizza to anyone looking for some of the top pizza in the Upper East Side. Plus, the prices are very reasonable and the service is quick and friendly.


Mimi's also delivers: 212 861 3363

Whom You Know enthusiastically recommends Mimis! Peachy Deegan dreams about the fabulous pizza [and everything else!] on a regular basis. Let Mimi's occupy your cuisine choice and your dreams too.

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