I haven't had the Margherita pie from Ovest progenitor Luzzo's in months, but from what I remember, it's pretty similar. The crust here is very crisp, just chewy enough, and had an airy hole structure and a crumb with just a hint of moistness.
It's in the gallery/nightclub area of Chelsea — just west of Tenth Avenue on 27th Street. (Scores is just down the street.) As such, the look is sort of industrial-gritty-hip.
The interior is beautiful. A bar greets you to the left of the door as you walk in, and the space opens into an airy dining room toward the back. The wood-fired oven is the focus of the room. There are bar seats in front of the oven, if you're a foamer who gets off on watching people make pizza. (Not that we know any of those around these parts, right?)
La Pizza Martha
As we were eating, the waitress brought around the "Pizza Martha" for lunchtime patrons to sample. As I said, Martha Stewart LURVES Luzzo's, and they named a pie after her at the original place in the East Village. What's on it? It's a white pie (no tomato sauce) with mozzarella, prosciutto, truffle pâté, and basil.
Pizza a Cono, Plated
Given my perceptions of Luzzo's going in, the one thing I really wanted to try today was the Pizza a Cono, since I am nuts about pizza cones. The Pizza a Cono is a smushed cone-shape crust stuffed with arugula, Parmigianno-Reggiano, mozzarella, and prosciutto. No sauce. Which is fortunate, because that could probably get messy. But I had one question about this thing ...
Yes, You Can Pick It Up!
I called over the waitress: "How do people eat this thing? With knife and fork or is this supposed to be a handfood?" By hand, she said. "Like a gyro." So I packed the overflowing greens and tomatoes into the pocket and picked it up. Unlike some messier gyros out there, this took all the stuffing back in and conveyed it to my mouth quite easily. And, because there's not sauce, it stays crisp and leakless throughout the eatin'.
Pizza al Portafoglio
Unlike the Pizza a Cono, the Pizza al Portafoglio that we tried was by no means a handfood. Even before I attempted to pick it up, it was was leaking sauce and molten gooey cheese.
Essentially an 8-inch Margherita folded in half once and then again to form a triangular conelike shape. It's billed as "eaten on the go slice" on the menu, but it would probably get all over the place. If you work over in Starrett, I would not recommend ordering this as delivery pizza. Go for the Pizza a Cono or a flat pie instead.
It's a wood-burner. What more can I say. It's the focal point of the dining area, and it's quite a beautiful little scene, with wood stacked to the sides of it and a nice chalkboard wall above.