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Dave Portnoy said he never had heard of Stuart before, until one pizzeria put this small coastal Florida town on his radar — and he drove over two hours just to try a slice.
Portnoy, the founder of the digital media company Barstool Sports, stopped by Fantini's New Haven Style Apizza to give one of his self-proclaimed strictest and hardest "One Bite" pizza reviews, which he posted on social media Wednesday.
Portnoy uses an alias to order a large cheese pizza, but scores it on only one bite, then delivers a rating between zero and 10 in an online video review.
How did Fantini's fare?
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"A little more grease than I like; sometimes that does happen on New Haven (style)," Portnoy says in the video, admitting he was late picking up his order, which could have contributed to that.
"Still really good," he says. "Great pizza ... Fantini's in Stuart, Florida — wherever that is."
Portnoy drove to Stuart from Miami, where he bought a home in March, according to the Miami Herald. TCPalm does not know how he heard about Fantini's.
His verdict was an 8.1.
"Anything in the eights is really, really good," Fantini's owner Jimmy Fantin told TCPalm Thursday. "I'm not complaining."
Before Fantin brought his expertise to Stuart, he worked at Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana in New Haven, Connecticut, which Portnoy ranked the second-best pizza among the hundreds of reviews he's done nationwide over the years.
Portnoy posts his reviews on various social media platforms including YouTube, Instagram and Facebook. On Instagram, Barstool has 12.8 million followers and Portnoy has 4 million. His first Youtube video is dated January 2019, but TCPalm does not know what year he started doing his "One Bite" reviews.
New Haven style "abeetz," as it's commonly called, receives Portnoy's toughest critiques, he says in his review, because he believes the Connecticut city is the pizza capital of the world.
"I got a little nervous in the beginning," Fantin said, adding he immediately recognized Portnoy, but didn't hound him for information. "I've been in the pizza business a while and watch all his reviews, so it was actually cool to see him here."
Portnoy seemed to be in a rush and didn't stick around too long after his review, Fantin said, but took a few photos with him and the staff .
This is not the first time Fantini's has garnered attention from celebrities. Sam J. Jones, an actor best known for starring as the superhero in the 1980 Flash Gordon movie, stopped by the restaurant in June when visiting a friend in the area.
Fantini's New Haven Style Apizza
Address: 1560 N.W. Federal Highway, Stuart, in the North Stuart Plaza
Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday; 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 3 to 9 p.m. Sunday and Monday; closed Tuesday
This article originally appeared on Treasure Coast Newspapers: Barstool Sports, Dave Portnoy One Bite Pizza Review at Fantini's Stuart