• Daniel (2)
• Eleven Madison Park
• Eleven Madison Park (2)
• Eleven Madison Park (3)
• Gabriel Kreuther
• Le Bernardin
• Per Se
• Per Se (2) (extended tasting)
• Per Se (3) (vegetarian tasting)
• Per Se (4)
• Senses (Warsaw, Poland)
To me, the Clinton Hill pizzeria Emily is famous because my neighbor and her husband own it. My boyfriend and I started going there because they offered everyone in our building a free dessert, and there aren’t many places I wouldn’t go for a free s’mores calzone. We kept going to Emily because it turned out the pizza was really the epitome of what great NY wood-fired pizza can be, with an airy, crisp crust that wasn’t hard and overly chewy. And then all of NYC went there, too, not only for the funky pizza concoctions (like the Colony with pickled chilis and honey) but for the award-winning burger that the Internet couldn’t stop talking about. Now there’s Emmy Squared in Williamsburg, an offshoot offering Detroit-style pizza because it wasn’t enough for Matt Hyland to just be a master of NY pies.
These things must be triple-battered, for all of the crunchy stuff that falls off of them onto the plate as you pull them apart. Growing up in Ohio, we asked for “extra crispy stuff” or “more crunchies” at Long John Silver’s to get a little pile of fried batter on the side of our hush puppies. These are the adult version of that. Dip those little nuggets of cheese into your spicy “sammy” sauce or tomato sauce, and don’t forget the crispies.
When I was a kid in Ohio (and truthfully, up until about five years ago), Pizza Hut was my favorite pizza. The popular pizzas in Ohio–Donatos, Massey’s, every mom and pop shop in my little town–had the Midwestern cracker crust, but if my pizza wasn’t piled on an inch of bread, I wasn’t interested. Emmy Squared takes the idea of that pan pizza and makes it so your stomach won’t explode. It has that same crust that rises up along the side of the baking pan, but here, the cheese spills over the side and fries up crispy to give the crust a crunch and a buttery-ness that you can’t get with wood-fired pizza. And the dough at Emmy Squared isn’t a brick that expands in your stomach; it’s a light, airy thing just weighty enough to support the loads of toppings.
I ordered the Roni Supreme to harken back to those days when we used to use the crispy curled-edge pepperoni of Ohio pizzas as bowls for other toppings. It wasn’t for the faint of heart, with clumps of chile seeds to make your eyes water. My boyfriend’s mom got the Angel Pie, because mushrooms are a hot commodity back in her native Poland, where every member of the household is a fungus-picking expert in the forest. We all loved the texture of the ricotta and the sauce replacement of truffle cream. But our favorite was The Emmy, which we added sausage to like hedonists. But of course it was going to be our favorite, because it had all of the best things in life: banana peppers, red onions, and RANCH. Homemade ranch, with extra herbs in it to make it green. I didn’t even know there was a way to make regular ranch better. I couldn’t stop exclaiming about how this was my new favorite pizza. And it wasn’t just the Moscow Mules talking.
Remember GreenBox from an episode of “Shark Tank“? Emmy Squared uses them! How environmentally responsible and convenient!
I’m writing pizzeria reviews as Examiner.com’s Manhattan Pizza Examiner. I know it shows that I have the palate of a 5-year-old, but pizza’s easily my favourite food, so you can count on me for plenty of fangirling over crust and sauce in these articles.
I had to order the Forno Rosso, figuring they wouldn’t name it after the restaurant itself if they kind of didn’t want anyone ordering it, and also figuring that the best situation one could ever encounter in a pizzeria is a half-pizza/half-calzone on the menu. The Forno Rosso is part classic calzone (house-made tomato sauce, imported smoked mozzarella, ricotta, imported soppressata, EVOO), part Primavera pizza (house-made mozzarella, imported Gorgonzola, mushrooms, zucchini, broccoli rabe, EVOO). And I don’t mean that you get one thing on one side of the plate and one thing on the other side. They’re fused seamlessly, like beautiful meaty conjoined twins. The acidic tomatoes meet the bitter greens, the sweet sauce mingles with the sour Gorgonzola, and everything is made cohesive by the crispy-chewy crust. I loved the salty slivers of cheese that added a savory element and a different texture on the pizza side and then the creamy, oozing cheese on the calzone side. It was basically all of the things different people could want from a pizzeria in one dish, making it the perfect thing for people with different tastes to share. (Read the complete review here!)
I live a couple of blocks from Sottocasa but would have never noticed it, hidden away as it is underground between two staircases. I was looking for it, though, because one of my favorite Brooklyn pizza chefs, the owner of Emily, trained here for years and still talks about what great pizza it is. The owner of Sottocasa trained at NYC favorite Kestè, so it’s a Russian nesting doll of great pizzaiole around here.
I’ve considered delivery from Sottocasa before, but they have this policy of only delivering one pizza at a time to preserve the integrity of the crust for each customer. While I really appreciate the idea, when I get a hankering for pizza, it must be satiated immediately. I’m glad I waited to eat at the restaurant, though, because it’s an adorable candle-lit spot with a glass-enclosed backyard covered in breezy cloth and twinkling lights. Read the rest here!
Read my review of all of the pies, meatballs, watermelon salads, and burrata cheese here!
I’m facing a bit of a conundrum here when it comes to reviewing the pan pizza from Pronto Pizza on Court Street in Brooklyn’s Cobble Hill neighborhood, because Pronto is my go-to Brooklyn pizzeria for delivery, but this is not the pan pizza of my past. From the outside, Pronto Pizza seems a little too new and cutesy for me. The font on their signage is a little cartoonish, and the letters are set at jaunty angles like they could be welcoming you into one of those joint toy/haircut stores for kids you see around town. But I ordered their delivery one night in a fit of not caring about typography and haven’t looked back. Read the rest here!
The most important thing I learned thanks to an invitation to dine on the house at Fratelli Pizza and Wine Bar on the Upper East Side is that “fratelli” means “brother” in Italian. So the famed Fratelli brothers in “The Goonies” were really the Brother brothers. You’re welcome. Brothers Jon and Marc Bash opened Fratelli in 2007 after successfully running a cafe next door, and the family theme continues in more than just the name of the place.
Either everyone who comes to this pizzeria on 1st Avenue near 71st Street is actually related, or the neighborhood just spends so much time here that the brothers have gotten to know all of them. I got a warm welcome and a prime table by the windows up front and thought I was pretty special until I saw that everyone who came in after me got a hand shake, a hug, a kiss on the cheek, and the kind of familiar chatter you don’t get in less tightly-knit areas of the city. There were babies sleeping in strollers, girlfriends having wine after work, and a long tableful of teenage girls taking selfies and celebrating a birthday. At 6:30 p.m., when other restaurants in the city are just opening, Fratelli was practically buzzing. Read the rest here!
The basic feeling in Brooklyn is that there’s already a pizza saturation, that we’re going to keep trying to reinvent the wheel to the point that it becomes square again, that the last thing we need is another adorable little hipster pizza joint with funny toppings. . . but no one’s saying that about Emily in Clinton Hill. Made famous by its crowd-sourced pizza oven funded via a Kickstarter campaign led by Emily herself for longtime pizza chef/owner/husband Matt Hyland, Emily is an adorable little hipster pizza joint on a quiet street next to an equally adorable bar (Hanson Dry) that’s really enjoying the nightly crowd of people needing someplace to spend the half-hour wait to get in for a pie. It’s candlelit and packed tight with tables for two, and the service is the sort that lets you know the staff has a real interest in this place succeeding, partly because Emily is providing a lot of it. Read the rest here!
The wait for NYC’s first real deep-dish pizza at Emmett’s in SoHo is as long as the crust is tall. If you arrive right at 5:30 p.m. when it opens, the friendly bartender will casually mention you to a server, who will casually push together some of the eight or ten tables for two to accommodate your group. But if you arrive any time after that, the bar is buzzing, there’s nowhere to wait, your name goes on a list that grows by the minute, and there’s not a chance you’re sitting down any time within the hour. It’s partly because this place is tiny (you’d never find a restaurant this small in the part of the country where its pizza comes from), partly because the bready pies take 45 minutes to bake, and partly because the early word on Emmett’s is that NYC has never seen anything like it. Read the rest here.
I remember reading a magazine article a few years ago in which pizza snobs argued about the best pizza in NYC: was it Lombardi’s, Grimaldi’s, Di Fara? I was confused. It was obviously Artichoke. Read the rest here.
There are two reasons you’d try Juliana’s Pizza in Brooklyn’s DUMBO neighborhood:
1) You respect Patsy Grimaldi, who’s been making pizza in NYC for over seventy years.
2) You’ve heard about the two-hour lines at Grimaldi’s and already waited that long for a cronut earlier today. Read the rest here.