Cobble Hill: Sottocasa
Another week, another wood-fired-oven joint! Sottocasa is a Neapolitan-pizza slinging newcomer to Cobble Hill. Behind the helm here is Luca Arrigoni, an alumnus of Greenwich Village's Kesté Pizza & Vino.
You may have read the story of Sottocasa's oven on pizza tour guide Scott Wiener's website. It's a neat story.
Apparently the floor in this below-the-sidewalk space (sottocasa = "below the house") was not strong enough to hold a two-ton prebuilt Acunto oven, so they craned this thing OVER the building and into place, where Mr. Arrigoni and crew built an enclosure around it.
Sottocasa serves Neapolitan-style pizza—as if a guy coming from Kesté is going to do something else!
The menu comprises 20 different pizzas plus a calzone. They're all fairly traditionally topped—various combinations of prosciutto, olives, sausage, eggplant, artichokes, mushrooms, etc.
The Parmigiana (above), for instance, boasts tomato sauce, eggplant, soppressata, Parmigiano-reggiano, and basil.
The soppressata crisped up nicely around the edges, and the eggplant was meaty, avoiding the bitterness that too often plagues improperly prepped specimens.
Our favorite pizza on a recent visit, though, was the Salsiccia — and not just because of my well-documented* predilection for sausage. Of the three pies we tried on our visit, it was the one closest to the way I like my crust—with a little bit of charring but not so much that it tasted burned.
With the Margherita and Parmigiana, unfortunately, the charring stepped a little too far into "burned" territory, and the crust overall on these was dry.
Moderate hole structure on our pizzas. Not as crazy puffy as you'd see at Motorino (probably the craziest puff in the city) nor as airy as I've seen and had at Kesté.
With Sottocasa having been open only a few weeks now, it's still too early to tell where it will shake out and land on the spectrum of wood-oven Neapolitan joints.
* Well-documented at least among people who have been reading along for a while and who have bothered to make a note of this. Also, if you are one of those people, stop. You're freaking me out, weirdo.