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.
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There is no shortage of great New York style pies and slices in the West Village just south of Washington Square Park. For Neapolitan pies, on the other hand, your options are a bit more limited. You can walk up to Olio e Piu, hope for a seat at Numero 28, or wait in line to get into Kesté. Most of the time, I'd say all three of these options are worth the fuss, but I've been in that area several times trying to convince friends to put up with the hassle it takes to get great pizza in New York, but either time or inclination precluded that option. At those times I wish I'd known about Pizza Mezzaluna, one street over on West Houston.
With so many students, inexpensive bars, late night hangouts, and neo-hippie park-goers doing what they do best, the Southwest corner of Washington Square Park is a haven for lovers of falafel and slices alike. Here are the slices to keep an eye out for.
So we're cheating a little bit this week, since the block between 6th and 7th Avenues on Bleecker is technically subdivided into 4 smaller blocks due to the off-grid street intersections. It's still somewhat of a pizza hot spot in the city though, with three New York joints (Joe's, Bleecker, and ZPizza), a Neapolitan pie joint (Kesté), a Roman pizza spot (Roma), and the New York-Neapolitan pie restaurant John's. But we're interested in one thing: who makes the best order-by-the-slice pizza?
To that end, I'd been wanting to try a couple different things here: a weekly special called The Vesuvio (buffalo mozzarella, stracciatella, prosciutto di Parma, cherry tomatoes, and basil) and the "Ripieno," a calzone stuffed with ricotta, fresh mozzarella, salame, and just a smidge of tomato sauce.
Ever since Kesté opened in the West Village, it's become the pizza destination of that corridor of Bleecker Street between Sixth and Seventh avenues. But long before Kesté, there was John's Pizzeria, one of the city's old-school coal-oven giants, around, as the awning will tell you, since 1929. And while it's rarely talked about anymore, it still puts out a darn good pie.