Emmett's, a three-month-old South Village tavern, has everything a local pub could need. There's a cozy room, a surprisingly good wine and beer list, and tastefully eclectic decor that skirts TGI Friday's kitsch. It has two problems: food that is not very good and a long queue of prospective diners who think that it is.
'Manhattan' on Serious Eats
New Yorkers may have enjoyed a renaissance of high-end pizza of late, especially for lovers of Neapolitan-style pies. But what is increasingly missing, especially in the East Village / Union Square area, is the middle ground: authentic NY slices for under $3, at the ideal intersection of cost and quality. Which is why I'm so giddy that Joe's has, at long last, expanded. And yes, folks, it's still the real deal.
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 NYC'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.
Ribalta, which boasts three different types of ovens for the three types of pizza it serves, replaces the wacky pizzeria Piola on 12th Street just below Union Square. Oh, it's also the first U.S. outpost of the Scuola Italiana Pizzaioli, which teaches folks how to make Italian and Neapolitan pizza.
It's worth noting that the gluten-free pizza at Don Antonio is wood-fired gluten-free pizza. That's not unique in all of pizzadom, but I do believe it is unique for NYC.
Check out La Montanara, the all-fried pizzeria from Forcella's Giulio Adriani, with five variations on the montanara, Neapolitan snacks, and even some fried desserts. This isn't your grandfather's county fair fried dough.
The Neapolitan pizza juggernaut just won't quit. Coming just a few weeks after Don Antonio's opening, Via Tribunali opened its doors on Monday for dinner. A mini chain, Via Tribunali comes to NYC by way of Seattle, where owner Michael McConnell opened the first location in 2004. There are now four VTs in Seattle and one in Portland, Oregon. This is the first in NYC, and it opens along with next-door neighbor Caffe Vita, McConnell's coffee shop mini chain.
Nearly a decade into the wood-fired Neapolitan-pizza surge, it seems that square pizza is due for some love. Roman-style pizza has slowly made some inroads into the New York scene, and new joints like Best Pizza and Cotto Bene are both upholding the traditional NYC square styles while also doing something new. Add to that roster Prince Street Pizza, which bills itself as the "Home of the Soho Square."
It's no surprise that the menus at Kesté and Midtown Manhattan newcomer Don Antonio are similar, but there are some exciting new pies at the Midtown joint — including the Montanara Starita, a version of the deep-fried pizza that's been cropping up among the newer Neapolitan places. Slice got a sneak peek at some of the items exclusive to Don Antonio. Peep the slideshow here to get the skinny.
The problem with dollar slices is that you almost always get what you pay for. Sometimes not even that. Of those I've eaten around the city, the best I could say about the best of them was that they were cheap — and probably good for after-bar scarfing. But Percy's Pizza, a newish dollar slice joint on Bleecker amid all the bars and jazz clubs, might be the best dollar slice I've had.
First off, let's be clear: this is not the thin, crisp pizza al taglio you'd find in Rome. It's a much closer cousin to focaccia genovese, soft and spongy. Chasing my best memories of Genoa, I chose a piece piled with onions.
From their new Bowery location, we were big fans of the Fuorigrotta ($14). The crust is crisp and chewy and a little bit charred and all those things we like; our one criticism would be that parts of the crust were a little bit doughy in the middle. (But that's a very minor point.)
Pizzas are a little bit pricey for what they are but not outrageous and none breaks the $20 barrier, despite some fancy-soundin' ingredients. The menu ranges from the basic (classic Margherita, a pepperoni pie) to the more sophisticated toppings Todd English is known for (like his signature fig and prosciutto pizza, or spit-roasted chicken pie with arugula pesto).
Chef Edward Sylvia (the mastermind behind the midtown sandwich mecca Cer Té and their pizza spin-off Pizza by Cer Té), roasts cauliflower—yes, cauliflower—with merguez spices and the Tunisian hot red pepper paste harissa and tops pizza with it. Genius, we know.
Adam clued us into the stuffed artichoke slice from Nonna's LES back in January, but the regular triangular and grandma slices merited a return visit to see how they stacked up.
San Marzano Brick Oven Pizzeria may look like just another Lower East Side pizza joint—another in the long list of good-not-great Neapolitan pizzerias in the city—and you'd be right, except for one thing: they're a Neapolitan pizzeria serving... buffalo chicken pizza? Huh?
If you've been hankering for a hit of Roberta's pizza but don't want to travel to Bushwick, this is just a reminder that the joint's pizza stand will be among those participating in the fall season of Mad. Sq. Eats. It starts today and runs through October 21.
Every city needs at least one older-than-old restaurant with a certain kind of cultivated rakishness — hard, straight-back wood booths that don't encourage lingering; graffiti-carved walls that conjure visions of 1950s hooliganism; grumpy signage.
I'll tell you what gives: $1.75 A SLICE, that's what! That's kind of all you need to know. A buck seventy-five for a slice of the best pizza in the city. When most slices are running $2.50, $2.75. And it's for a coal-oven slice! But if you need more than that, read on after the jump.