No disrespect to the Neapolitan pies that have dominated the scene for the last decade, but we’ve developed Margherita fatigue. Thankfully, the crew from the Red Hen—including chef Mike Friedman—gets us excited about pizza again. Friedman’s crusts, baked in a deck oven, aren’t thick so much as sturdy. They never flop or get bogged down by toppings, and their accessories—such as simple pepperoni with hot honey or a bright arrangement of mortadella with pistachio pesto—are carefully applied and well thought out. But there’s so much more than pizza to discover at the Shaw hangout: bitter-leaning cocktails, an iceberg salad that channels a dynamite Italian sub, and overseeing it all, a team of friendly servers. Unless you show up right at 5, though, you’ll find a swath of folks waiting to get in. Moderate.
Also great: Beet panzanella salad; fried calamari; garlic knots; eggplant Parm; black-walnut Manhattan.