When people think of New York City, pizza surely comes to mind. After all, the Big Apple is famous for many varieties of the popular dish, whether it’s Neapolitan style, wood-fired or served in a classic giant slice. Veterans like Grimaldi’s Pizzeria in DUMBO and Lombardi’s Pizza in Nolita still maintain prestige, but over the years, other places such as Motorino and Roberta’s have just as much buzz as they do sausage aroma coming from their kitchens. While all these options prove tried and true, this year plenty of newbies have hit the scene. Here are three you must try.
Matt and Emily Hyland, the adorable couple behind this cozy pizzeria, opened up shop with the idea of bringing Brooklyn-style pies to Fort Greene. The intimate, dimly lit space is perfect for date night or a pizza binge with your closest friends — just don’t expect to get a large group in here unless you can snag the chef’s table in the back. Be warned: It gets hot in there. On the flip side, it makes Emily a great option in the cold winter months. As for the food, a clever menu separates thin-crust pies into colors: red, white, pink and green. The latter is a zesty creation topped with tomatillo sauce, mozzarella, cilantro and spicy ’nduja sausage. Other tasty selections include pies laced with everything from vodka sauce and Surryano ham to cheese curds, honey and pickled chilies. And for dessert, nosh on the s’mores calzone, which is everything your sweetest dreams might imagine.
The word on everyone lips lately is “Marta,” a sleek Flatiron pizza joint that restaurateur Danny Meyer opened up in the Martha Washington hotel in September. Run by Nick Anderer, who was a chef at another Meyer operation, Maialino, this rustic eatery features thin, crispy, Roman-style pies cooked in two wood-burning ovens. Pull up a chair at the community table and order the classic margherita di bufala, or go for one of the creative, seasonal options, such as the cavolini (Brussels sprouts, pickled chilies and cauliflower), or the trippa alla romana (tripe, chili flakes, pecorino and mint). Marta, which has a menu full of other Italian delights, serves food morning, noon and night in its dining area and at its private tables. The only catch: Make sure to get a reservation, because this hot spot fills up fast.
If dining with models and the hip Lower East Side crowd is your thing, check out this new Italian address. Here, chef Kevin Chun dishes out pizzas from the wood-burning oven and serves them as they do in Rome — uncut and with a sharp knife. The menu features daily specials plus eight permanent pies, including the cavolo nero, a combination of kale, guanciale (Italian cured meat), garlic, tomatoes and buffalo ricotta; and the tre pomodori, a tomato pie with smoked scamorza and Thai basil. Between the tight benches, low light and promise of cocktails like the East Meets West (vodka, dry vermouth, lemongrass simple syrup, absinthe vapor and basil) in the downstairs den, Louie and Chan give you a sultry experience without a lot of hype. Plus, the restaurant has a great selection of Italian wines and a killer drinks list, even if you just stay seated upstairs.