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\[email protected]: Apologies. That “#” was just my stupid quick-and-dirty way of making a “comment” so that I could get comment notifications by email on this.


It’s a fascinating discussion and I wanted to keep up with it. Was typing out some lengthy thoughts but then had to drop what I was doing to attend to “Baby Slice.” So I erased my comment and put in the octothorp.

\n", "id": "172863", "author": "Adam Kuban"}, {"date": "2012-08-31 21:48:56", "content": "

I’m interested in the pizza debates, but am wondering why no one seems bothered by the “off” calamari. The Bloomberg review Kenji links also claims the calamari had a “low tide stink” and the reviewer told his companions to stop eating it. I would think that serving rotten seafood throughout August (the two reviews are weeks apart) would render the kitchen void of any credibility. Does anyone else find that a deal breaker–totally aside from the quality of the dish that’s the main focus of the restaurant? Rubbery calamari is forgivable, but rotten calamari is not.

\n", "post_id": "168208", "id": "159024", "author": "Teachertalk"}, {"date": "2012-08-31 22:28:37", "content": "

@Teachertalk: Personally I don’t care about the calamari there or any of the other stuff that isn’t pizza. The main draw there is the pizza. And the thing everyone wants to know is whether all the bad reviews are merited.

\n", "post_id": "168208", "id": "193020", "author": "Adam Kuban"}, {"content": "

Wait. Where did the calamari come from.

\n", "post_id": "168208", "date": "2012-08-31 22:33:02", "id": "186569", "author": "Adam Kuban"}, {"date": "2012-08-31 22:46:16", "content": "

@adam. Both Kenji’s review and another review he linked cited the calamari as bad. Not bad as in not tasty, but bad as in it will make you sick! A kitchen that does that frequently enough to be mentioned in two reviews is not a kitchen I’d want to eat from.

\n", "post_id": "168208", "id": "147056", "author": "Teachertalk"}, {"content": "



Quality ingredients, skill, tradition, consideration, etc. are all likely to result in great food, but I don’t think that any of these things can have authority over individual taste and the influence that culture and upbringing has on it.


I guess it’s sort of like when happened with me and Cook’s Illustrated/ATK. I used to be so into the ideal that they presented until I realized I didn’t really like their version of the ideal. I preferred what to them would be dense meatloaf, over-sauced pasta, over-cooked boiled eggs, etc.


And food isn’t quite like art or music. I don’t think there is any harm to having people like pizza that has a thicker crust, whereas one could argue that the popularization of negative qualities in art (nihilism, cynicism, violence, etc.) is harmful to society.

\n", "post_id": "168208", "date": "2012-08-31 23:14:15", "id": "201531", "author": "Humbucker"}, {"content": "

Here’s what I don’t understand — if the toppings are of a high quality (and apparently of quantity), why the fuck would you use commodity canned tomatoes? Can’t be saving much relative to cost of the other ingredients, and clearly it shows in the sauce.

\n", "date": "2012-09-01 00:07:54", "post_id": "168208", "id": "155101", "author": "deltron2"}, {"date": "2012-09-01 01:32:10", "content": "

Biggest load of crap White ever put out. The biggest and probably the only load of crap Slice ever put out.

\n", "post_id": "168208", "id": "160552", "author": "epizzazz"}, {"content": "

Ok, I get what Mike’s trying to do – Nicoletta’s to Pizza Hut/Domino’s/Little Ceasar’s, and the like, what Shake Shack or Red Robin is to the big burger chains, or to me, an east coast version of California Pizza Kitchen.

\n", "date": "2012-09-01 02:31:52", "post_id": "168208", "id": "195834", "author": "Chuckswagon"}, {"date": "2012-09-01 06:54:10", "content": "

#Osomatic, @Humbucker Food, art, music — preferences will always be subjective. And certainly true that there is no harm in preferring a thicker crust or (as I do) mass-produced dry mozzarella over fresh bufalo. Also accurate that “there are people who would genuinely prefer a Ding-Dong to a freshly made eclair.” And we cannot, nor should we try, to persuade them to forsake the Ding-Dong. But that isn’t the point I’m making; I’m saying that even though more people like Shania Twain than Robbie Folks, Robbie’s music is superior. I’m making that value statement, it’s not simply “my opinion,” it’s a fact that can be argued and justified. It’s wonderful that in society as a whole, we’ve made clear strides towards more tolerance and less judgment. But we don’t need to forsake all judgment, because it serves us well if properly informed.

\n", "post_id": "168208", "id": "146443", "author": "mfrapp"}, {"content": "

What an interesting, thought-provoking discussion, one I think people could only find on a site like Slice. Kenji and I talked about Nicoletta for weeks, and went there separately and together. When Michael White came over to our table we, as Kenji pointed out, were just finishing our meal, and I am quite certain we had been recognized up to that point. He sat down and asked us for our honest opinion, as pizza lovers whose opinions he respected. What ensued was fascinating, informative, and revealing in a way that few conversations with chefs rarely if ever are. Our piece was a result of a lot of time spent eating Nicoletta pizza, talking about it in the office for a long time, and, yes, talking to Michael White about what exactly he set out to do with his pizzeria. In the end, I hope we managed to place Nicoletta within the context of where it lies in the broader pizza culture. Thanks, Slicers, for keeping your comments on in incredibly high plane. I think it’s fair to say you’d only find this kind of discussion on Slice in general and Serious Eats in general.

\n", "date": "2012-09-01 08:44:16", "post_id": "168208", "id": "201401", "author": "Ed Levine"}, {"date": "2012-09-01 09:00:19", "content": "

Thanks to Kenji, and the folks at Slice for taking so many photos of this place, and I am putting this at the top of my NY wish list for my next trip. Well maybe not exactly at the top, but at least after I get my fill of Patsy\u2019s Louie & Earnie\u2019s, and Joe\u2019s.


Even if I know I\u2019m in for a dense crust, I realize that there are some interesting regional styles that are going to have unique flavor. Vito and Nick\u2019s in Chicago thin style showed me the light on midwestern pie. I would have far more excitement over going there again that to visit some VPN approved spot.


As for the Wisconsin cheese, it\u2019s great to see other comments extolling its virtues. All of my favorites mentioned above are using dry aged, and I bet it\u2019s coming from Wisconsin.
\nIf anyone has any intel on this, I would be glad to know. I know for sure that Modern in New Haven uses Grande, and am not aware of a better dry aged mozz on the market.

\n", "post_id": "168208", "id": "189436", "author": "JEL"}, {"content": "

I give a big thumbs up to “underbelly” rather than “up-skirt” (shudder). ~Thank you~

\n", "post_id": "168208", "date": "2012-09-01 09:12:24", "id": "181008", "author": "coconutstreamside"}, {"content": "

If Mike really does want to make Midwestern-style non-deep dish that’s a cut above the average chain no matter how many stores he opens, he should try to lure somebody from Lou Malnati’s over to the Big Apple – at close to 40 stores, they could show him how to do it, and they make a decent thin crust, too. And if I were Mike, I’d choose a different area for Nicoletta – the finer points of Chicago/Milwaukee/Midwestern-style thin crust pizza would just fly right over the heads of MOST New Yorkers; “Hey, I can’t fold this slice!” “What’s the deal with all the toppings, and how can a crust this thin handle all that?” “What’s with the cheese? It’s not orange and greasy!” “The sausage on this ain’t what I’m used to. It’s pretty good, though….”
\nAll kidding aside, those used to Bar Pie-style thin crust will probably like it – we Midwesterners just took the Bar Pie out of the bar and in the better joints, added better cheese and sausage (and some places even cut it in slices rather than party cuts!).

\n", "date": "2012-09-01 09:41:30", "post_id": "168208", "id": "198567", "author": "Chuckswagon"}, {"date": "2012-09-01 10:01:58", "post_id": "168208", "content": "

It just seems…weak? sad?…that a chef with a great reputation should want to do anything that s/he can’t proclaim is the best. Mah momma always told me to do the best I can, or don’t do it at all. So if he has no ambition to do anything special with this place, then don’t waste the public’s time or risk your reputation.


If we agree that a Midwestern pie can theoretically be on part with a Neopolitan or “cheffy” pizza, if only it is executed well, there was still very little indication in the first review that it was executed well at all. The only aspect Kenji seemed to appreciate in the first review was the unusual concept. But I don’t go to restaurants just for an idea or for someone’s good intentions.


As far as the ethos and style of this second article, this second review feels like backtracking. Kenji, we respect your writing and opinion, so don’t backtrack. Own it. As far as the information contained in the article, it comes close to making us think philosophically about pizza styles, which is great. But why couldn’t Serious Eats do that in a separate post?

\n", "id": "162937", "author": "ShawnaM"}, {"date": "2012-09-01 10:25:41", "content": "



I think what’s happening is that we’re disagreeing on what “better” means. For you, you seem to define it as “what more people like, or what one particular person likes more.” I’m using the definition as an absolute value judgment. So even if someone prefers ding dongs to real food, that doesn’t make ding dongs better, it just makes for a person who likes bad food. That’s not necessarily a bad thing.


I prefer American cheese on my burger even though I know that pretty much every other cheese is “better” on that absolute scale. It’s alright to like bad food.


@[email protected]


In regards to your point about art, I think we’re also using the term “bad” to mean two different things. Violence/nihilism/depression etc might be considered bad, but there is plenty of great music that depicts it. You going to tell me that Radiohead makes bad music because it’s depressing or cynical? No way! Similarly, there is plenty happy bright-eyed music out there that is not “good.” Just look at the pop charts.




I think you hit the nail on the head there. And I think the thing that is really bothering people is not Nicoletta itself, it’s that it’s a Michael White restaurant. If a couple of businessmen from the midwest came over to NY and opened this joint, it would first of all not even get a second look by reviewers or pizza-heads, and it would secondly not be judged for the quality of its pizza.


That’s really the odd part and why writing a review was difficult. It’s pretty much a place you can’t review because it’s so different from the normal type of stuff we write about. It’d be like going into a Dominos and ripping it apart when really, great food is not the point at a Dominos—reproducible food is the point, and when we review a Dominos (or other takeout/chain) pizza, we use a separate set of reviewing standards that take into account its intended audience and their goal. You’d never see a positive thing written about them on the site if we didn’t do that.


I guess what I’m saying is that Nicoletta is not a restaurant that a Serious Eater would necessarily care about, it’s just the chef that people care about. When I think of pizza in New York, it’s not even remotely on my radar because I don’t consider it a pizza joint, I consider it a restaurant concept.


The only other similar pizza joint I can think of is We The Pizza in D.C., Spike Mendelsohn’s restaurant. They made the mistake of trying to make NY-style pizza, a style of pizza that is NOT easily reproducible, and as a result, their pizzas were downright terrible, not just confusing, like White’s were.




I think he does have ambition with this place, but it’s business ambition, not food ambition. His goal is “make the best damned chain pizzeria I can,” and while it hasn’t played out yet, we’ll see if he accomplished that. It might not be as “noble” a goal as making the best pie ever, but I don’t fault him for not wanting to become a pieman chained to his restaurant and reputation.




I’m not sure what I’m backtracking on. This is the first and only time I’ve written about Nicoletta, I believe.

\n", "post_id": "168208", "id": "151607", "author": "J. Kenji L\u00f3pez-Alt"}, {"content": "

\u201cWeak\u201d and \u201csad\u201d are really harsh words to describe an accomplished chef\u2019s vision to bring something nostalgic to the marketplace. It may be a mistaken inference on my part, but Mr. White\u2019s goal seems to be about bringing nostalgic pizzas of his youth to a new arena, as much as it is about building an empire.


I can personally make perfect 60 second Neapolitan pies all day long that people fawn over. If there is a restaurant in my future, I might actually want to recreate some long lost flavors of my youth, that many may not understand. For me it is very much about sharing the object of my desires with others, not about meeting lofty critical expectations. My take is that Mr. White feels the same way.


There is something appealing in all of these photos, and even though the pizzas weren\u2019t embraced by the reviews, I now feel driven to try it. Even if I wind up sharing the tepid feelings of the SE team, I applaud Mr. White\u2019s concept.

\n", "post_id": "168208", "date": "2012-09-01 11:05:52", "id": "172175", "author": "JEL"}, {"date": "2012-09-01 12:42:08", "post_id": "168208", "content": "

$30 / person pizza designed to compete with Dominoes is not really a good starting point. The fact that you couched strong disappoint in the crust, sauce, and overall taste in such apologetic words is a bit weird too.


I can’t help but feel that perhaps you let personal contact with a celebrity chef taint your review.


(And calling it an “explanation” does not make it “not a review”… you gave your opinion on the food, and even broke that food down to components. It’s a review.)

\n", "id": "147096", "author": "VancouverEats"}, {"content": "

As a fellow midwesterner originally (MI), I am actually curious as to Adam’s opinion on this place (I know it’s not his job anymore). I often crave midwestern pizza, to me it is just as good as all the other styles, it really just depends on my mood. I think all of the pictures make it look really good. From a lot of the comments it feels like if it’s not from NY it can’t have a place instead of just recognizing that it is a different version of a thing based on the tastes & history of a different place. I liked the comment about the peanut butter because it reminded me of when I tried Kenji’s recipe for NY style pizza & although I liked the dough, I did not like the sauce at all because I prefer a different style sauce, but that is just my preference.

\n", "post_id": "168208", "date": "2012-09-01 12:46:13", "id": "175282", "author": "kdroste"}, {"content": "

Also, since we are talking about regional pizza here, what ever happened to the United States of Pizza?

\n", "date": "2012-09-01 12:52:09", "post_id": "168208", "id": "146776", "author": "kdroste"}, {"date": "2012-09-01 13:17:04", "post_id": "168208", "content": "

@Kenji: I’m going to have to disagree with your American cheese comment. Very often a burger with American cheese is *better* than one with cave-aged Cabot clothbound cheddar, notwithstanding the fact that the Cabot by itself is better than the American.

\n", "id": "192492", "author": "Walrus McDoodle"}, {"date": "2012-09-01 15:42:17", "post_id": "168208", "content": "

@kdroste: The reports of my demise have been greatly exaggerated. I’m still active on Slice. Have been on hiatus the last month or so to attend to the arrival of “Baby Slice.”

\n", "id": "159445", "author": "Adam Kuban"}, {"content": "



Wait, do those quotation marks mean it’s not really a baby, not really a slice, or both?!

\n", "post_id": "168208", "date": "2012-09-01 15:57:16", "id": "187823", "author": "J. Kenji L\u00f3pez-Alt"}, {"date": "2012-09-01 16:01:23", "content": "

It’s the nickname folks around these parts stuck her with. It’s not very well established, so I thought the quotes were the way to style it.

\n", "post_id": "168208", "id": "161959", "author": "Adam Kuban"}, {"content": "

Sorry, but you can’t take a concept like ‘better’ and claim it’s objective in all cases. Pizza is one of those things with so much variation that ‘better’ pizza will mean different things to different people.


I like New England Greek style pizza much better than Neapolitan pizza. One of the ‘better is objective’ proponents would probably disagree, the groupthink being that Neapolitan is ‘better.’ I would ask them to quantify exactly what makes the pizza better. If better is objective, it should obviously be fully quantifiable down to the micrometer and microgram. It ain’t. Even if it was, who sets the criteria? Is it simply a matter of what the majority prefers? Let’s hope not, because the sad fact is that the majority is often retarded. Something like >40% of people in this country actually believe the earth was created by a mystical being in the past 10000 years. I’m not kidding.


Better (in this context) is almost fully subjective. Some people think undercooked pizza is better. Some like it burnt to a crisp. Some folks think a pizza without sauce is better, and some think sopressata is way too fancy, with pepperoni being the obviously better choice. It’s up to each and every one of us to define our own parameters for good and bad, better and worse.


If you want to make more reasonable claims like ‘Paulie Gee’s pizza is a better example of Neapolitan pizza than Nicoletta’s pizza,’ that’s just fine. It’s obviously true, because Neapolitan pizza is pretty clearly defined and we can make objective comparisons to the standard. Declaring Paulie Gee’s better overall moves you firmly into the realm of subjective opinion.


Me, I think the Nicoletta pizza looks really good, and I’d try it in a heartbeat.

\n", "date": "2012-09-01 16:56:53", "post_id": "168208", "id": "167007", "author": "ratbuddy"}, {"date": "2012-09-01 17:15:35", "content": "

I think a well made pizza is a well made pizza…one can say they love chains but theres no effin’ way you can say its well-made unless you stretch the meaning so far that it loses any significance…Its made by people who will be there a short time(usually) and thus minimal understanding or care, with ingredients that are going to be the most cost-effective(read: probably gmo and infected with toxins, over salted too!) if someone luvs it, good for them! if Michael White luvs the midwestern pizza he grew up with and wants to replicate it in every state of the union, good for him…as he’s admitted, objectively its not going to be among the best pies around…And i def dont think thats confining comparisons to only Neapolitan or “Nea” influenced pies, either. On the other hand, i will say that sauseeeege looks damn good!
\[email protected]…dont think you can really reduce standards of quality to “subjectivity.” thats a pizza relativism that will not stand…some people prefer “undercooked?” does not invalidate the argument for standards. in pizza, art, music, clothes..whatever, there can be and are standards…anyone with a broad range of experience with the object of consideration and half..well, 3/4 of a brain can understand and apply standards of quality.

\n", "post_id": "168208", "id": "186286", "author": "L.A. Pizza Maven"}, {"date": "2012-09-01 17:18:17", "post_id": "168208", "content": "

Looking at that photo, though, i cant believe thats not a really good pie! the crust and sauce must really be inappropriate to anyone born outside of the midwest. maybe he’ll open a branch in LA soon and compete with 800 degreesfor title of best cheap pizza!

\n", "id": "192746", "author": "L.A. Pizza Maven"}, {"content": "

L.A., are you saying everyone should have the same standards? I don’t. I think we each have the mental capacity to form our own set of standards. My ‘better’ is not the same as yours, and that’s just fine.

\n", "date": "2012-09-01 17:37:39", "post_id": "168208", "id": "155020", "author": "ratbuddy"}, {"date": "2012-09-01 17:50:42", "content": "

@ratbuddy…def not saying “everyone should have the same standards.” you, i think, are equating “standards” and “tastes.” i dont think its possible for everyone to have the same “tastes” and standards…nor desirable…if everyone shared my taste in pizza, id never get a table…unless they all want delivery…Now i do def think there are objective standards in judging pizza or whatever….everyone may have their own standards but if you ask a wino, an experienced one, that is, what his fave wine is, maybe its a “$2 buck Chuck. Now maybe winos’ standards have changed…but is that really as valid a “standard” as as someone who has sampled all kinds of wines?

\n", "post_id": "168208", "id": "161520", "author": "L.A. Pizza Maven"}, {"content": "

i am finally getting to new york Monday and my first stop will be nicoletta’s . this looks like a pizza right up my ally.midwest pizza has a richer dough than new york style, crispy to hold abundant amounts of toppings.i do not understand most ny slices.they lack toppings and have no flavor other than by adding dried oregano, cheap granulated garlic and old dried up grated, how do you compete with that.
\n there are exceptions such as di fara who adds fresh basil, evoo,and good grated cheese to his same day flavorless dough to get a good tasting pizza.
\n if Michael white would have branded his pizza as a pizza he discovered in the mountains of Italy it would have probably been accepted differently.but god forbid a Midwest style pizza being accepted in new york city . i may change my opinion upon tasting the product,but the photos show some really good looking pies. if anyone wants to meet me there my e mail is,[email protected], my treat!!

\n", "post_id": "168208", "date": "2012-09-01 18:04:59", "id": "150770", "author": "thezaman"}, {"date": "2012-09-01 18:29:33", "post_id": "168208", "content": "

My mistake – I mixed up a review I read of the place and thought it was *by* Serious Eats.

\n", "id": "200221", "author": "ShawnaM"}, {"content": "

@JEL – I could definitely appreciate a well-made Midwestern style pie. No argument here. All I meant was that what White has said in interviews seems deprecatory. Perhaps I’m only picking up on defensiveness that’s caused by White assuming in advance that he’ll get criticized for not trying a NY style pizza. But the quotes I saw did not reflect confidence in his product.

\n", "date": "2012-09-01 18:32:44", "post_id": "168208", "id": "148613", "author": "ShawnaM"}, {"date": "2012-09-01 18:38:36", "content": "

This isn’t Michael White’s first foray into pizza. Al Molo opened last year in Hong Kong and features pizza on the menu.

\n", "post_id": "168208", "id": "185034", "author": "conaglio"}, {"content": "

Fascinating discussion, including the new notion that “there are no standards but your own.” I guess that is the normal outgrowth of the “everybody gets a a trophy” mindset. We refuse to judge (all in the good intentions of being open, fair, and level) but in doing so we ignore what we have learned and the learnings of those more expert than us. @La Maven, good job attempting to draw the difference between standards and tastes. By the way, I too prefer American cheese in a lot of places when I could choose a snootier comestible. I even put American cheese in the mix on my carbonara pizza.

\n", "post_id": "168208", "date": "2012-09-01 20:12:13", "id": "168356", "author": "mfrapp"}, {"content": "

i agree MW is shell shocked by his reception,pizza is not easy. the dough is always changing.i don’t care how many pizza joints you have they all have little quirks that make the production pizza geeks pickup on the little nuances .the buying public not so much.he will figure it out and as with his other wonderful restaurants nicoletta will shine.

\n", "post_id": "168208", "date": "2012-09-01 20:14:43", "id": "154892", "author": "thezaman"}, {"date": "2012-09-01 20:25:43", "post_id": "168208", "content": "

@mfrapp…there ya go…American cheese somehow has its devoted following…to judgement, not necessarily the Last One.

\n", "id": "156583", "author": "L.A. Pizza Maven"}, {"date": "2012-09-01 21:08:33", "post_id": "168208", "content": "

I ate there. I liked it. I’d eat there again. It’s different. It’s a belly bomb. Don’t eat the whole damn pizza in one sitting (I like cold pizza, don’t you?). Get some veg/salad sides for balance. There are always points to be added in my book for people who are using all or some organic and/or local and/or well-sourced ingredients, and of course a few more points when they know what to do with them and they taste good. The end. About funky Calamari? Not good and I hope whoever ate it, pointed it out to the staff and amends were made. Nobody wants to poison their patrons and lose business. Everybody at least seems to agree that the soft-serve is yummy.

\n", "id": "188718", "author": "organicgal"}, {"date": "2012-09-01 21:15:28", "post_id": "168208", "content": "



Point taken, and after reading so many hair splitting ideological stances, it was time for another look at Mr. White\u2019s statements. I didn\u2019t pick up on the fact that he may not have been extolling the virtues of his own product, and perhaps was barely placing himself marginally above the lowest common denominator for a winning formula.


When I re-read the article, Mr. White said, \u201cI’m just trying to introduce the pizza of my youth, the pizza I LOVE\u201d. He also made statements to the effect of \u201cit is carbon copy\u201d, EXCEPT for the fact that we was using a biga and a 3 day ferment. He actually had different ideas about sauce, but strictly adhered to the regional style. I didn\u2019t see any self-deprecating statement made about the quality of the product.

\n", "id": "152083", "author": "JEL"}, {"content": "

I like Midwestern-style pizza. I don’t like crappy pizza of any kind, but those pictures up there look pretty awesome. It is a gut bomb, and many chains make it downright nasty, but it can be really good in the right hands.

\n", "date": "2012-09-01 21:33:57", "post_id": "168208", "id": "145165", "author": "omnomnom"}, {"content": "

Mfrapp, you might be missing the point. Everyone being entitled to their own opinion on what constitutes ‘better’ (pizza, burgers, art, music, you name it) is nothing like ‘everyone gets a trophy.’ They are all matters of taste and simply cannot be quantified.


Ask yourself this: is there any possible difference of opinion as to what constitutes ‘better’ pizza? Is it possible that both parties are right and entitled to their own opinion? I say yes.

\n", "date": "2012-09-01 21:47:12", "post_id": "168208", "id": "164454", "author": "ratbuddy"}, {"date": "2012-09-01 22:02:46", "post_id": "168208", "content": "

Ratbuddy – First, let me say we have a significant disagreement. Second, let me say I very much appreciate the civil tone by which we can examine it. Mille grazie! There ARE possible differences. I can argue that Trenton pie is best, and somebody can argue that Neapolitan is superior, and no one can likely gather sufficient evidence to close to case. But let’s consider the billions of people who love Pizza Hut. Can you or or state, with some authority, that Patsy’s is “better?” Oh yes we can, and we can cite why. And even if 10-to-1 others think we are wrong, our judgment is sound. Why should we refuse to use what we know in order to make informed judgments? And indeed, those that prefer Pizza Hut are free to do and God bless them, but if they assert it is better, they do so from ignorance.

\n", "id": "180685", "author": "mfrapp"}, {"date": "2012-09-02 08:42:06", "post_id": "168208", "content": "

@Adam and other SE’ers. I just figured out why I was the only one who picked up on the bad calamari. It’s in the slideshow but not in the actual “review” by Kenji. I guess you guys scroll down rather than watch slideshows!
\n I like this thread because it examines the nature of subjectivity and objectivity when we judge one thing better than another. Philosophers have been arguing about this for millennia. My 2 cents is that it’s impossible to win an argument about what’s better or more beautiful or more “true” than something else, but there’s often general agreement in practice. Is a Mercedes better than a Honda Accord? Many would argue that it depends on how you define “better.” But nearly all people would choose the former over the latter if a game show host gave them the choice, at no cost to the taker. Likewise, I like cheffy pizza better than pizza that’s made to a formula, as most of us do, but I might not win an argument that one is “better” than the other.

\n", "id": "183636", "author": "Teachertalk"}, {"content": "

This is nonsense. A great chef made a crappy restaurant and for whatever reason, SE feels compelled to white knight it repeatedly both in reviews “explanations” and comments sections. Its crappy expensive pizza. Oh but Michael White is aware of this so its totally ok? And chain=lowering standards, so also fine. Well, for now, its one restaurant. He meant to make crappy domino’s style pizza at a higher price point? Ok lets reverse this situation. Lets say Michael White opened a pasta place designed to emulate the pasta of the midwest (chain pasta). So, overcooked, oversauced, and not made from fresh ingredients. How precious! Nobody would be crowing about that. Only an ironic appreciation of low quality pizza by hipsters can keep this place in business.

\n", "post_id": "168208", "date": "2012-09-02 09:12:38", "id": "145331", "author": "scatteredsong"}, {"content": "

@ scatteredsong


Just out of curiosity, because the word \u201ccrappy\u201d is at play, I\u2019m wondering if your opinion is first hand, or because of the article. Without getting into a long statement about the limits of objectivity, I would like to point out, that the article didn\u2019t directly compare Nicoletta\u2019s pizzas to Domino\u2019s. It actually stated that this is pizza that a chain would aspire to make.


The majority of pizza lovers who have been exposed to the most lauded New England pizzas would likely agree with me that Domino\u2019s is simply garbage food. I tried it after the big product \u201cimprovement\u201d a couple of years ago. The cheese was like glue, and every element of the pizza was so bad that one bite was too much. I certainly don\u2019t accept that Michael White\u2019s intention was to make a \u201cdomino\u2019s style pizza\u201d.


My experience with Pasta in Chicago is very limited, but in the recesses of my mind, I can remember having decent pasta there. I\u2019m certainly not willing to indict all of Italian food culture.

\n", "post_id": "168208", "date": "2012-09-02 11:11:18", "id": "195551", "author": "JEL"}, {"content": "

Bottom line, if you have to look for reasons to like or appreciate a meal, chances are, the meal wasn’t up to par. Everyone loves a pizza after they take their first bite of a good pie. If you have to analyze or interview the owner to get more insight, it’s not good.

\n", "post_id": "168208", "date": "2012-09-02 13:45:37", "id": "177444", "author": "benlee"}, {"date": "2012-09-02 21:54:09", "post_id": "168208", "content": "

I’m not in NY, but I read Wells’ review and after that, it pains me to think of the SE follow-up as a second chance for the owner/chef. Not that he is not entitled to as many reviews as he gets. The SE staff is certainly appreciated, and I like to think the chance to get the other side of the story is what motivated them. But how does one define the circumstances when you don’t give an establishment with a bad “big boys” review a chance to explain what they intend in the bandwidth of what is a respected and popular site.

\n", "id": "179657", "author": "chanterelle"}, {"date": "2012-09-03 23:12:19", "content": "

Sounds like a rich man’s Bertucci’s. I suspect if this place didn’t have a famous chef’s name attached to it most here would be singing its praises for raising the bar of chain pizza.

\n", "post_id": "168208", "id": "192083", "author": "J.W. Hamner"}, {"date": "2012-09-04 15:52:50", "post_id": "168208", "content": "

@Kenji: I just don’t think you can be objective about taste. You call it “better,” I’ll call it “preferences,” and everybody leaves happy. But seriously, can we all agree to let the whole Chicago v. New York pizza thing go? I know, I know, everybody has an opinion and they really want to share it, but it’s so tiresome.

\n", "id": "193401", "author": "Osomatic"}, {"content": "

(ahem) suspecting that Chicagoans would be much more eager to “let it go” than New Yorkers. \ud83d\ude09

\n", "post_id": "168208", "date": "2012-09-04 20:30:47", "id": "157687", "author": "mfrapp"}, {"content": "

“But nearly all people would choose the former over the latter if a game show host gave them the choice, at no cost to the taker.”


Only if you lack the ability to think ahead. The Mercedes will likely get worse mileage than the Accord. Maintenance will be exponentially more expensive. The Accord will probably have better resale value. And so on, and so forth. Maybe an Accord and the equivalent Acura model would be a better analogy, because I’d take a Honda over a Mercedes any day of the week.

\n", "date": "2012-09-04 21:02:31", "post_id": "168208", "id": "158651", "author": "dorek"}, {"date": "2012-09-05 13:56:04", "content": "

@mfrapp: Yes, they’re generally a lot more agreeable in the Midwest, it’s true.

\n", "post_id": "168208", "id": "173634", "author": "Osomatic"}, {"content": "

i finally got to visit nicoletta this son Michael has worked for michael white for over two years. he was asked to move from osteria morini to nicoletta to help with opening.because of commitments it has taken me and mama za all summer to visit him.i was able to work a lunch service with him, made a few runs of dough,opened some skins,and observed a lot of hard working people, making every appetizer from scratch,as well as prepping the many local ingredients used in the different pizzas combinations served.i have to say the pizza was quite delicious .the dough reminded me of bonci pizzarium in rome with the little air pockets that are present thru the whole crust,light, crisp, and flavorful.they have many really interesting pizza combinations that used the best ingredients available. i do agree that the sauce needs some tweaking it was a little salty and the dried basil overpowering. with such good ingredients loose the standard dried herb sauce and take advantage of the great seasonings available to them.some sicilian oregano,fresh basil would finish the pies to perfection. we had a niece in town during our stay and invited her plus her girlfriends to nicoletta fo a dinner. the girls were from Perth Australia and have been in the city for a week.they commented that this was the best meal they have eaten since they got to new york.staying up town you get a lot of chain food that just doesn’t do it for most people.not knowing the food scene they stuck with the standard that America is know for, this woke them up. i just want to say that if mw turns this into a chain and can keep his quality up it will be in a class by itself. a final note i do have someone very important to me working at nicoletta,but we have always been very honest about food and both believe that not telling it as it is does a disservice,and limits the ability to improve.

\n", "post_id": "168208", "date": "2012-09-08 19:57:49", "id": "151749", "author": "thezaman"}, {"date": "2012-09-09 17:10:10", "post_id": "168208", "content": "



The comparison to Roman bakery pizza is an interesting comparison. There was so much going on with toppings at Pizzarium that I didn’t really analyze the crust there. I enjoyed the simple slices from Forno Roscioli, and Campo Fiori immensely, mostly because of the thicker crunchy/chewy crust. I am growing much more interested in trying Nicoletta.

\n", "id": "145119", "author": "JEL"}, {"content": "


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