Yesterday, after a long day of work, I took the wrong train home and found myself at Waverly Place in the West Village, completely disoriented. I was so hungry that I could not think to straighten myself out. A $10 cab ride later, I was at my door in Alphabet City. Since there was nothing in the fridge, G and I decided to go out to dinner rather than hit the grocery store. I headed out in the direction of one of the many restaurants I had read about, thinking that on a Wednesday night, it wouldn’t be too full. I was wrong–there was a short line out the door. When we went to ask how long the wait was, G eyed the portions and shook his head. We turned our backs on the hostess as she came toward us and set out in search of something a little more…substantial.
La pizza, he said. Why don’t we go to that pizza place over on Carmine and Bleeker? We’d looked for this place before, but with G’s great sense of direction, we’d spent an hour and a half wandering all around it, never finding it, even though he’d eaten there before with friends. And it was in Tribeca. I wasn’t quite ready to tell him that I’d just been over there, that I’d splurged on a cab to get back to the east side. So I agreed. Plus, once he said the magic words, my brain was hooked on the thought of an (almost) authentic Italian pizza.
This time, we knew exactly where to go–we headed straight for the yellow awning with the big “28” written on it, catty-corner to the new GROM gelateria. After walking across town, we sat ourselves down amongst all of the other Italians in the restaurant. Around us, I only heard one table of English speakers–a good sign! The menu listed a few antipasti, but its main emphasis was pizza, which you can order in 14″, 18″, or 29″ derivations. We debated splitting a 29″ pizza, but I was craving pizza bianca, while G went for the S. Daniele (prosciutto, arugula, and parmigiano). We opted to split two 14″ pizzas–the pricing came out about the same anyway.
The wine selection was also pretty wide–all Italian wines, but a good variety, from Barbera d’Asti to Nero d’Avola. After ordering himself a Moretti beer and me a glass of Falanghina, we turned to the pizza. He ordered the S. Daniele, while I debated the Tartufo (mushroom sautée with truffle oil) and the Bianca con Soppressata (spicy salami). Without hesitation, our waiter recommended the Tartufo, so I followed suit. Ten minutes later, pizzas were on the table, hot out of the brick oven…too bad my wine arrived hot too.
G and I split our pizzas half and half, but one bite of the Tartufo and I was smitten. I had a piece of the S. Daniele, but ended up giving the rest back to him. Instead, I savored the mushroom, ricotta, and truffle dance that played out in my mouth–sound cheesy? It was. Melted cheese-y.
We cleaned our plates like good members of the Clean Plate Club that I have belonged to since I was a child at my mother’s table, but our empty plates sat for too long on the table. I began to pick at the little scraps until I could finally wave down a waiter by ordering a tiramisu–we had to compare to Giano’s, of course. It came a moment later, already prepared and cold from sitting in a refrigerator. The waiter (not ours) sat it down on the table, and we inhaled it the moment he turned his back. Embarrassingly fast. In fact, the busboy cleared it before our original waiter knew we had even ordered it, so the check came sans tiramisu.