Pizza! How novel. How curious and bizarre. Well, maybe none of that is true but what is the dang honest truth on this superhighway from Naples to New York? Here is some good pizza – Napoli style! I know there are others out there (and I am not comparing to DiFara’s so don’t even start) that are also good but given the shall we say…indulgence of the pizza pizza pizza trend, it’s nice to be able to say with confidence – eat here. You will like it.
It’s homey in an americana industrial forties kind of way but the crusts they turn out are Italy at its finest. Chewy, dense, melts on the tongue! Like eating at your nonna’s house if you were born in 1948 and lived in the midwest with your paisans.
There are about six choices of pizza, we tried five of them. The winner was the proscuitto & funghi but only by a margin. I will say that the margherita and the bufala were made better by a sprinkle of peperoncino (they also have a spicy oil to drizzle) but that’s a personal taste thing. And that bufala was great.
They also offer plates of spicy salami, a nicely charred octopus salad in some divine vinaigrette, sparkling greens, market based dishes for any given day, pillows of gnocchi and… and…and. Brunch includes a ciabatta french toast that’s been marinated in a sweet custard and a whole vanilla bean – so worth getting out of bed for on a Sunday plus cappucinos that make you fluent in Italian. Lunchtime always offers an array of lovely paninis. It could become a why bother ever leaving spot.
It’s comfortable inside, the smaller bar room has cozy booths and the main dining room is quite spacious. Or choose the lush, ample, quirky garden and dine al fresco.
Just move from space to space as the mood suits. It all feels like your local hang in the Italian countryside.
We had the chocolate budino adorned with teeny tiny shortbread hearts. So good. Had to fight the 7yr old for that. And a fabulous rhubarb berry creme anglaise concoction that I had to pummel the five adults for. The desserts are homemade by one of the piazzaioli’s wives. Now I just want an invite to their Christmas dinner.
Drink the house wine served in a large carafe, enjoy the music which ranges from Maggie’s Farm to Nino Rota (!), a very congenial atmosphere, and as it happens…seriously good pizza.
* Cash only.
435 Halsey Street between Marcus Garvey Blvd & Lewis Avenue
Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn