They say it’s the tap water than makes New York pizza so delicious (and bagels, but that’s for another blog post). I’m not sure if there’s any truth behind that tale, but I do miss the city’s crisp and clean tap water. It hasn’t been filtered and over-treated and doesn’t taste like chlorine cough LA cough.
200 5th Ave
Eataly is best described as a hodgepodge of Italian restaurants, markets and shops with a gelateria and caffe. The idea is incredible, but in execution, the place is overwhelming (and not in a good way), awkwardly and not intuitively laid out, overpriced, and filled with bored, apathetic and/or elitist employees.
With the same team as Mozza behind this establishment, I had high hopes for Eataly. Unfortunately, I was so distracted by the poor service, I couldn’t really give the rest of the place a chance. My friends and I were rudely informed that we were not allowed to bring seafood we ordered from the counter into the pizza place. The hostess arrogantly said “You’re new, aren’t you.” She might as well have just spit in our faces and showed us the door. Well excuuuuuse me. It’s not my fault this place is a friggin maze.
The snobbery continued when Kate tried to order a diet Coke. “We don’t serve anything unnatural,” our waiter pretentiously quipped. Hate to break it to you kiddo, but it’s the city. Diet Coke fuels these people.
The final blow happened when I forked over $5 for a tiny cup of gelato. I was curtly informed I wasn’t allowed to get more than one flavor in a small cup. Dude, I lived in Italy. I was getting 3+ flavors into a small cup. I call fake!
Verdict: I’m scraping the bottom of the barrel for any redeeming qualities here. The pizza was good? The pasta was ok. The whole experience was just so off-putting, I won’t ever be returning. 1/5 cupcakes.
Artichoke Pizza [Greenwich Village]
111 MacDougal St
I met friend and former LA resident Carolina for lunch at Artichoke in Greenwich Village. The restaurant itself isn’t conducive to catching up on life (it’s tiny), but we made it work!
We both ordered a giant slice of the restaurant’s namesake. It’s literally eating creamy spinach and artichoke dip on top of a thick, doughy pizza.
Verdict: Good, but rich. 3.5/5 cupcakes.
Lombardi’s Pizza [Nolita]
32 Spring Street
How in the world does this place has 4/5 stars on yelp?? My first giveaway that this was THE tourist spot should’ve been the excessive amounts of oversized backpacks, velcro sandals and cameras hanging from sunburned necks. Oh, and the sign on the table for Lombardi’s merchandise :/
I met a high school friend (another CA–>NY transplant) for dinner here and we split a house salad and a “small” pizza (it was actually quite gargantuan). You can add whatever toppings you’re craving, but they charge you for each one. I made the mistake of piling everything on: sweet Italian sausage, spinach/garlic and wild mushrooms. Everything was decently tasty in their own right, but when you strip all that away and look at the pizza itself, it’s nothing to write home about (or put up with their ridiculous wait times for).
Verdict: The dough was good, but nothing spectacular. Same goes for the cheese and marinara. Try a mom and pop establishment before eating here. Second only to Times Square in tourist-ness. 2.5/5 cupcakes.
Next up: Street food
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