Daily Slice: Queen Margherita, Nutley, NJ
Daily Slice gives a quick snapshot each weekday of a different slice or pie that the folks at the Serious Eats empire have enjoyed lately.
Even a regular Wednesday is prime people-watching time at Nutley's red-sauce staple Queen Margherita, with a packed room of regulars who will cut you if you don't respect your place in line. White-haired gents gesture with their canes and complain in Italian about the wait, glaring at the leisurely dining pace of a woman (who, if she's not the infamous Tanning Mom, might be her cousin) hooting over a bottle of BYO Pinot Grigio with the ladies.
But nerves are soothed by the basket of bread brought straight from the wood-fired oven—a peace offering that takes every iota of willpower not to tear through before the pizza arrives. Swathed in its burgundy napkin like the hero of a Caravaggio painting, the bread's the same dough that arrives a few minutes slathered with fresh tomato sauce, only puffier.
And it's the dough that truly reigns here. Exquisitely charred, pillowy, and pliant, it's the reason to sink your teeth into both the bread basket and the pizza. On this trip, I went out on a limb with the cheese-less Marinara with black olives, anchovies, and garlic ($9.95).
With such a soft crust, it's hard to resist rolling each slice from tip to crust, creating a spiral of bright tomato punctuated by pockets of briny salt. But it's a dangerous move with those anchovies swimming around. Like Eric Cartman, they're big-boned, and will jab you right in the throat if you're not careful. It's a worthwhile slice, but forewarned is forearmed: ask for your 'chovies de-boned in advance or risk the consequences.
246 Washington Avenue, Nutley, NJ [map]
973-662-0007; website infected*
*(queenmargherita.com appears to pose a viral risk and is not linked to here.)
Related Post:Nutley, New Jersey: Queen Margherita Is a Must-Visit
About the author: Casey Barber is the editor of Good. Food. Stories., a freelance food writer, and a transplanted Pittsburgher making the most of the Garden State. Find her on Twitter: @GoodFoodStories