Tag Archives: pizza



Prolific restauranteur Stephen Starr has created many restaurants that loom large in our collective New York memory, but most are not memorable for the food. If you ever had a girlfriend who wanted a “Sex and the City” type experience when visiting New York, all you had to do was book a table at the latest Stephen Starr place. They were all consistently glitzy, sleek and populated with pretty young things. But now Starr has made an interesting match with chef Justin Smillie, who’s just as serious about food as Starr is about setting the scene.  (more…)

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Chefs Club by Food & Wine

Open Kitchen view 2, Chefs Club

There’s something to be said for good bones. Restaurant decor can go a long way in transforming an odd space into a good one – see Claudette, for example – but when you start with something as architecturally impressive as the interior of the Puck Building, you have more leeway in what you can hang on the walls – and put on the menu. It’s an unusual concept to open a restaurant that’s not the vision of any one particular chef or restauranteur but a magazine. Fortunately Chefs Club by Food & Wine Magazine gets a certain gravitas from the surroundings, whereas otherwise it might seem utterly newfangled. (more…)

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Pizza Vinoteca

House Pizza and Nduja Meatball Pizza, Pizza Vinoteca

As restaurant names go, Pizza Vinoteca isn’t the most memorable. It’s the Italian equivalent of naming a restaurant “Restaurant.” But as restaurants go, it’s one worth remembering, because it’s an oasis of pizza- and wine-induced calm in the hectic Union Square area.  (more…)

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Le Specialita, Milan

Plates, Le Specialita

If you’re in Milan for Milan fashion week, one of the highlights of the trip is always the food. Le Specialità, where the specialty is pizza, was recommended to me by two separate Milanese who live in the Venezia area. (more…)

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Don Antonio

Don Antonio was the first Italian restaurant I visited in New York after returning from Italy, so I wasn’t expecting much. But it has gotten a lot of buzz from pizza aficionados, and the owners are Italians Roberto Caporuscio of Kesté Pizza & Vino and Antonio Starita of Naples’ renowned Pizza Starita. It’s also located just north of Times Square – perfect for an after-theater dinner in a neighborhood that’s otherwise a culinary wasteland.  (more…)

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SAME Restaurant, Milan

One good thing about being a stranger in a strange land: discoveries can be made by happy accident. On my first night in Milan, I’d planned to go to Dongiò or Pasta Madre near Porta Romana, but both were full at 9pm. Instead I wandered, somewhat lost, and ended up on nearby Via Crema, a relatively quiet street lined with cafes with outdoor seating. One that seemed particularly popular with the locals was SAME, a pizza place with a huge wood burning oven visible through the open doors.  (more…)

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Two Boots Pizza Party

Two Boots 25th Anniversary

Last Thursday night, Two Boots Pizza celebrated 25 years in New York with a huge pizza party and free Summer Stage concert on the East River promenade. Their pizza, a mash-up of New Orleans flavors and Italian thin crust (thus the “two boots”) has always been a favorite of mine. It may be hard to imagine now, but as recently as the early ’90s in New York no one distinguished between Neapolitan or Roman pizza or talked about “cracker-like crust.” There was just pizza. You had Ray’s, John’s, Patsy’s, Lombardi’s and your neighborhood slice joint, and they all served the same sort of pizza with varying degrees of quality and cheapness.  (more…)

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Colicchio & Sons Tap Room

Despite the number of restaurants that have opened in the Meatpacking District in recent years, it’s still hard to find a good place to go before or after an event in West Chelsea or Chelsea Piers. So many of the new places feel big boxy or inordinately expensive, and the old places can get a little old hat.  (more…)

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The Lot on Tap


Interior, the Lot on Tap

It may seem like just yesterday that the August sun was beating down on us, but guess what? Oktoberfest officially begins on September 22nd. Instead of hiking out to Queens this year, Manhattanites only need to go as far as the Lot on Tap, the Colicchio-orchestrated spot under the High Line. It has the feel of the real thing in Germany – but it’s also quintessentially New York.  (more…)

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Best Outdoor Dining 2011

As much as we complain about the heat, it’s so nice to be able to dine al fresco when summer finally comes to New York. But what we’re looking for isn’t any old table plunked on a sidewalk next to a major truck route, but a nice setting, fun scene and preferably some good food. Here is an opinionated guide to the best outdoor dining in town.  (more…)

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Rome: Dining & Drinking Guide

One of the best things you can find in Rome is a bargain. After seven days on the wallet-bruising Amalfi Coast, the main thing we were craving was cheap, cheap, cheap. Fortunately, Rome has a variety of inexpensive but excellent traditional restaurants, some of them trattorias several generations old, others a new endeavor from young chefs setting up shop in up-and-coming neighborhoods. Most importantly, you don’t sacrifice anything in quality for the price.  (more…)

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Amalfi Coast: Dining & Drinking Guide

Long before farm-to-table dining was all the rage in the U.S., this verdant peninsula on the western coast of Italy was home to some of the finest, freshest cuisine anywhere. The fruits and vegetables grown right on the Amalfi Coast – terraced gardens of olives, lettuces, tomatoes and lemon trees, all whizzing by as you take the Circumvesuviana train down south – make a startling difference on the plate. Over the course of seven days this May, we sampled some of the best the Amalfi Coast has to offer. (more…)

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Interior, Rubirosa

Formerly the street of forgotten red sauce joints and San Gennaro tourists, Mulberry Street in Little Italy was recently declared “the city’s hottest new restaurant row” by the New York Post. This surprising renaissance began after local diners had pretty much abandoned it, then Torrisi Italian Specialties sprang up out of the ashes. The lines outside there continue to grow (even at lunch), and underground drinking den the Mulberry Project adds even more caché to the street. Rubirosa fills in the last piece of the puzzle, the Italian pizza spot. (more…)

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Zero Otto Nove, Arthur Avenue

Staff Meal, Zero Otto Nove

Whenever a media outlet anoints a place “the best new U.S. pizzeria,” as Bloomberg.com did with Zero Otto Nove in 2008, the debate begins. Pizza aficionados descend to check it out, analyzing the pies according to precise calibrations like sauce-to-crust ratio and “tip sag,” Slice’s measurement of crispness. Is this pizza really the best? Inevitably the pizza shop will be compared to the legendary Una Pizza Napoletana.

Now that Zero Otto Nove is opening a branch in Manhattan in about two months, the stakes are even higher. But the Arthur Avenue original is no pizza joint. It’s first and foremost a restaurant, brought to us by Roberto Paciullo of Roberto’s around the corner. The center of attention may be the huge wood burning oven in the center of the room, but don’t let that distract you from everything else going on here. (more…)

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It’s no secret that New Yorkers would kill for outdoor space in the summer. But cooped-up city dwellers have found another way to deal with a winter’s worth of claustrophobia: outdoor dining. Too bad the quest for an outdoor table can become as competitive as the hunt for an apartment with a backyard.

Saraghina, Garden

Fortunately there are still some lovely garden dining spots flying under the radar, one of the most impressive of which is Saraghina out in Bed Stuy, Brooklyn. Massimiliano Nanni of Manhattan’s Piadina opened this pizza place last June when he couldn’t find enough decent restaurants in his own neighborhood. (He lives around the corner.) (more…)

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