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Openings and First Reports: Artichoke

"Manhattan has its Di Fara." --Eric Miller, tipster

Editor's note: A number of readers have flooded my inbox with reports on Artichoke, a new place on 14th Street in the East Village. --The Mgmt.

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20080328-chokesquare.jpgFirst with the word was Eric Miller, who today snapped the pix you see here:

As a pizza enthusiast, I get excited by the mere whispers of a new pizza joint opening up in my neighborhood. In the East Village, we have Vinny Vincenz and Una Pizza, but now it's time for a new slice. For a few weeks now, the buzz has been about Artichoke on 14th Street between First and Second. I tried it last night, and may I say--Manhattan has its Di Fara.

It's a small location without any seating and free--yes, free--bread (cooked on premises) and cauliflower fritters to snack on while you wait (I hate cauliflower with a passion, but these were amazing). And then the pizza comes out bubbling. The sauce is sweet, and the cheese layered on in perfect proportions with an ample amount of char at the bottom for a crisp crunch with every bite. This place is the real deal and with the "traveling beer" in 32-ounce styrofoam cups only two weeks away, it will sure be the talk of pizza town.

Also reporting is homeslice Steven B. His raves and more pix, after the jump.

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Hi, Adam. My name is Steven B., and I'm a regular reader of Slice. I wanted to write to let you know that during a solo "slice crawl" earlier today, I discovered an excellent newcomer that bears visiting called Artichoke. This unique pizzeria opened only seven days ago and is located on 14th Street between First and Second. Anyway, the place serves up its own signature creation--an artichoke and spinach pizza that makes a powerful impression before, during, and after the first bite.

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I'm not a food writer, but I am a foodie, and this place absolutely differentiates itself in a very good way. Run by two affable guys--lifelong friends and cousins--Francis Garcia and Sal Basille--both in their early 30s and hailing from a serious Italian food family (Francis's mom has been running Basille's restaurant on Staten Island for more than 20 years), these guys have food in their blood and create a nice, cool, welcoming atmosphere. They also serve up traditional Neapolitan and Sicilian pizzas, and, of course, stuffed artichokes!

I just discovered this place today, and will definitely be returning. Check it out.

Eric, Steven:
Thanks for the emails and pix, guys. I saw this place a couple weeks ago and am now kicking myself for not going in for a slice. I think you all can understand, though, when I tell you I was on my way to Momofuku Ssam for bo ssam dinner and needed to save stomach space. ;)

And, in case you didn't catch the location, here you go:

ARTICHOKE

Address: 328 East 14th Street, New York NY 10003
Address: 212-228-2004

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