From June 2006 Cheap Eats
With its black-and-white checkered floors and unadorned yellow walls, this paean to simple pleasures has an airy urbanity. But show up during family dinner hours and it feels more like a romper room. Children are everywhere--downing pizzas and apple juice, scribbling on the tables, knocking into waiting patrons--the place doesn't take reservations. But there's a reason the kids make a ruckus--and the kid-free endure it all.
Dressy pizzas from a wood-burning oven might be easy to come by these days, but great pizza isn’t. These Neapolitan-style pies are baked in accordance with the rigorous standards of the Italian government. The result is something close to pizza perfection. The margherita is a thing of beauty, with its rich mozzarella made from buffalo’s milk, freshly torn basil, and high-quality sea salt and olive oil. Order it plain or with one of the excellent Italian meats or sausages. The terrific, tomatoless Vongole alludes to the classic linguine with clams. Salty shards of grana padano set off sweetly briny cockles in their shells, accented by capers, parsley, and fiery peppers.
This isn’t just a pizza parlor—there are other pleasures on the menu. Deviled eggs with salsa verde, roasted olives, and risotto fritters are nice, and the house-made ice creams and sorbets are some of the best in the city—as are the marvelously eggy Sunday-morning doughnuts.