Daily Slice: 'Whipper Snapper' at Roberta's
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.
I have a complicated relationship with Roberta's pizza; not love-hate, but love-really love. When a Roberta's pie is fresh out of the oven, it's one of my favorites in the city, with a downright tender, crazy-soft crust interior and serious crisp and char. A fresh Roberta's crust is just a fabulous thing. But it falls off that peak within about ten minutes of cooling time, before I get a chance to finish eating. A cooled-down Motorino pizza is about 80% as good as a bubbling hot one; a cooled-down Roberta's pizza, maybe 50% as good.
But even when the crust is off its peak, the toppings are usually more than good enough to compensate. My favorite pie on the menu at the moment is the 'Whipper Snapper' ($17). The pizza builds a thick, creamy layer of mozzarella and rich, faintly goaty capra sarda atop, which it's dotted with snap peas and pancetta, and a drizzle of white balsamic over the top. The peas are vibrantly fresh, with that incomparable green sweetness, really showcased by pancetta's fatty richness and only enhanced by that hit of acid. I went to Roberta's expecting just a late-night slice, but I ended up polishing off this pie myself. Nothing wrong with a second dinner, right...?