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First Look: Nicoletta, Michael White's New NYC Pizzeria

[Photos: Adam Kuban]

Pizza fiends and pizza friends, you've heard about Nicoletta, right? How could you not have? It's the latest venture from James Beard Award–winning Michael White, one of New York City's most highly regarded chefs and the man behind Marea, Osteria Morini, and Ai Fiori. Which means the hype surrounding the place has been through the roof.

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Nicoletta is slated to open this Friday (June 15) in NYC's East Village, but we got a look at some of the pizzas on the menu there during a friends-and-family service (including the Patate, top, and the Maialona). Peep the slideshow above for a sneak peek.

White is both a native Midwesterner and a high-end NYC chef known for his Italian cooking. So what type of crust will he be going for? Keep in mind that White and team are still tweaking the pizza there, but what we sampled on Thursday night was somewhere between Midwest cracker-crust and the thicker, chewier NYC style.

It's a low-hydration dough (57%) with a high degree of crispness, some of that due to the 10% durum wheat used in the crust and partially because it spends close to 10 minutes in the oven (Marsal & Sons, running just around 600°F).

White gets his whole-milk mozzarella from Wisconsin. His sauce is thicker than usual on NYC-style (or Neapolitan) pizza and has a Midwestern flavor to it since it's seasoned with dried basil and oregano.

"I'm not trying to reinvent pizza," White said. "This pizza has already been done," he said, referring to Domenico's in his hometown of Beloit, Wisconsin, where he ate his first pizza and had his first food-service job. "I'm just bringing attention to detail and great ingredients to it."

White told us last week that he's leaning toward tavern cut, but according to the New York Times, it looks like he's undecided on that.

Nicoletta

160 Second Avenue, New York NY 10003 (10th Street; map)
212-432-1600; nicolettanyc.com

About the author: Adam Kuban is the founder of Slice, where he has been blogging about pizza for more than eight years. You should follow him on Twitter: @akuban.

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