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Pizza Historian and Pie Slingers Dish Out Their Personal Slice of Culinary History

(Image via Evan Weiner/ Pizza)

An image from Scott Wiener’s “Brooklyn Pizza: the Search for Authenticity” (Photo: Cassidy Dawn Graves)

These days, small-time food operations– specialty mayonnaise stores, gourmet dog treat bakeries–  especially those on-the-pulse in trendy neighborhoods, seem to come and go quickly as say, nipple photos disappear from Instagram. Restaurants concepts grow tired, indie ventures can’t afford their rent, local faves raise their prices after media feeding frenzies blow up their latest dessert… the list goes on. Sometimes it can seem like there’s no hope for the lil shops selling classics anymore. But, there is hope for pizza. There is always hope for pizza.

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Speedy Romeo’s Twisted Love for Processed Cheese Arrives On the LES

(Photo: Nicole Disser)

(Photo: Nicole Disser)

You’re not gonna win any awards for ordering the St. Louie pie at Speedy Romeo, that’s for sure. It’s a demented pizza mutation whose greatest crime is the addition of Provel, a processed “cheese” product that’s beige in color, plastic in taste, and rubbery in consistency. If you can actually finish off the Brooklyn-born pizzeria’s sort-of refined take on the national dish of St. Louis, Missouri, then by all means, give yourself a pat on the back– you’re officially a monster. For the rest of us, the real pizza at the new Lower East Side outpost of Speedy Romeo is good reason to avoid that cheese-product science project.

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Sottocasa Serving Up The Real Deal Neapolitan Pizza Near McCarren Park

(Photo by Kavitha Surana)

(Photo by Kavitha Surana)

It’s not like we need more pizza in North Brooklyn, we’ll admit that. We’ve got a healthy mix (well, at least we like to tell ourselves that pizza is healthy), what with an incredible slice crew that counts Best Pizza, Motorino, and Roberta’s amongst its ranks. But the Greenpoint / North Williamsburg area is a different story– go much farther north than McCarren Park, and you’ll find yourself in something of a Neapolitan pizza desert.

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New York Pizza Project Searches For a Slice of Authenticity

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If there are two constants we face as New Yorkers, one is change and the other, our hunger for pizza. It was only a matter of time then before someone combined the two — in this case, five friends who over the past four years documented a changing New York through the time-weathered eyes of 120 of the “most authentic slice joints.” The result of there efforts: The New York Pizza Project book, which launched last week. In the excitement of the long-awaited release, we caught up with project member Ian Manheimer to find out more about the project, his thoughts on the precarious concept that is authenticity, and what makes the perfect pizzeria.

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Joe’s Pizza Now Doling Out Lou Reed-Worthy Slices in Williamsburg

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

While we’re talking about tourists flocking to Bedford Avenue, we should probably note that the Williamsburg outpost of Joe’s Pizza has opened at 216 Bedford Avenue, on the corner of North 5th Street. The 40-year-old slice joint’s third location, which opened last week, boasts the same Baker’s Pride ovens and similar decor to the ones on East 14th Street and on Carmine Street, complete with photos of fans like Jonah Hill, Rosario Dawson, and Bill Murray. (May we add that we once saw Lou Reed emerging from the Greenwich Village original.)

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Two New Outdoor Oases For Drinking, Dining, and DJs

The Living Room's rooftop by day (photo: Greg Tannen)

The Living Room’s rooftop by day (photo: Greg Tannen)

This week’s weather-induced PTSD served to remind us that a moment not spent in the sun is really a moment wasted. Fortunately, as the azure skies return — and not a moment too soon — there are not one, but two brand spanking new outdoor spaces for you to soak up that vitamin D, while sipping on a g and t.

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Bushwick’s Boobie Bar Transforms Italian Spot Into Party Zone With Cold Pizza

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Verde is dead, long live Pizza Party (Photo: Nicole Disser)

The people behind Boobie Trap, most likely Brooklyn’s first and only boob-themed bar, are taking over their Bushwick block. Back in January, the owners of Verde Coal Oven Pizza (what used to be something of a neighborhood institution many moons ago before it slid slowly into apathy) put the casual Italian restaurant up for sale. Kristen North and Paul King bought the place, gut-renovated it, and turned it into Pizza Party, which they described to me as “Boobie Trap’s little brother.”

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SRO, a ‘Pizza Speakeasy,’ Brings Fried Pies (and Tight Quarters) Back to Bowery

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

Last month Giulio Adriani converted the Bowery location of Forcella into a Spanish joint, Espoleta Tapas & Wine Bar — but rest assured the pizzaiolo hasn’t left pie-making behind him. Tonight, in the tiny space next to the restaurant that used to hold takeout joint Slice of Naples, he’s opening “New York City’s only pizza speakeasy.”
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A 134-Year-Old Italian Gelateria Is Coming to Williamsburg to Serve Salmon Sorbet

Francesco Cataldo and his gelato making machine. (Photo: Daniel Maurer)

Francesco Cataldo and his gelato making machine. (Photo: Daniel Maurer)

Salmon gelato, anyone?

Antica Gelateria Gentile will be serving up just that – plus Italian coffee and savory Puglian specialties like focaccia-style pizza – when it opens in Williamsburg in the next few weeks.
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