Few issues illustrate the madcap, upside-down nature of the dining world over the last decade or so than the apotheosis of the lowly, Neapolitan-sort pizzaiolo. Look the not most likely profession of Anthony Mangieri, a baker from the Jersey Shore, whose minute, bunkered, wood-oven institution, Una Pizza Napoletana, helped usher within the edifying Neapolitan-pie craze when it opened on the a long way fringes of the East Village reduction in 2004. Mangieri’s intense, hollow-eyed pursuit of the completely pure, completely crafted Margherita pie (he traveled to Naples to divine the secrets of the old masters; no longer like local prick retailers, he shunned sugary sauces and bleached flour; he made every single pie himself) turned the stuff of local narrative no longer only among the many metropolis’s opinionated, ever-increasing rabble of pizza students nevertheless among the many an increasing form of craft-unsleeping, Unhurried Food–centric food world at tremendous.
Appropriate to his rebellion, folks-hero divulge, Mangieri by no technique expanded his ticket or cashed in on this success, and after five years within the East Village, he with out warning shuttered the operation and moved out to that mecca of Unhurried Food obsessives, San Francisco, the effect aside he opened another chaste, lavishly praised wood-oven operation. Nonetheless homegrown New York obsessiveness trumps the pretty tame West Cruise form, it appears that, and now Mangieri is reduction, this time in a principal better divulge down on Orchard Avenue. His expansive new digs just a white-marble bar up entrance and a dining divulge appointed with modish-making an are trying dark penny tiles and a dinky undersize wood-topped café tables. The chef’s signature white-tile oven sits within the aid of the room, absolute top this time it’s enclosed within the aid of a prolonged glass window, take care of a museum diorama, the effect aside diners can stare the master, dressed in his flour-dusted cap, at work.
Contra and the very perfect natural-wine bar Wildair. In addition to to serving to conjure up this posh new divulge, the pair agree with helped obtain a modest different of frosty, generally fizzy, reliably funky natural wines from Italy, which it's most likely you'll well possibly journey with the chef’s predictably ascetic providing of extravagantly priced $25 pies (there are absolute top five on the menu, no longer alongside side a pair of day-to-day blue-plate specials), alongside with a smattering of the more or less highly stylized appetizers and antipasti that you just won’t get at your realistic neighborhood prick joint.
Whereas our celebration of pizza loons waited for a taste of pie, we watched the gaunt (and, yes, impressively tattooed) Mangieri labor grimly within the aid of the glass, shaping and knocking down the balls of freshly pulled dough, pouring them with crushed San Marzano tomatoes and olive oil, alongside side the quite a lot of sacred substances on top (basil, sea salt, buffala mozzarella from Naples), and utilizing a prolonged steel stoop to scamper the pizzas evenly around the fireplace as they cooked. We sampled pretty serving to of frosty raw scallops with lemon juice and white raisins (very steady); an exceptionally mushy carne cruda decrease from a little bit of filet mignon, sprinkled with a combination of crushed pistachios and inexperienced Sicilian olives (additionally very steady); and a aloof antipasti medley of objects — wild broccoli rabe, pickled mushrooms, an anchovy, 1/2 a boiled farm egg — fastidiously arranged around a mushy lump of ricotta (very perfect).
Our margherita pie used to be piping sizzling when it looked and had the more or less charred puffiness to it that actually reminded me of one thing you’d peek rising from the oven of a principal-class Indian restaurant. There’s an aggressively organic, just-baked breadiness to Mangieri’s pizza that threatens to weigh down his doggedly traditionalist different of toppings (sadly, there’s absolute top one meat-themed pie here, served Saturdays absolute top), nevertheless our margherita had that traditional combination of bright acidity and sweet, tacky smoothness that you just get within the finest iterations of this old Neapolitan traditional. The identical used to be trusty of the well garlicky, gooey, white-cheese “Bianca,” even even though the prick of tomato-absolute top marinara I sampled had no special magic to it, and neither did a lumpish, undersalted, no longer-pretty-ripe-cherry-tomato-and-arugula creation (Ilaria on the menu), which used to be bombed with wads of smoked mozzarella.
New York’s pizza tradition has expanded and matured since Mangieri burst onto the scene, actually, and there’s no longer principal about this most modern reboot that feels revelatory or groundbreaking, especially at these costs (the marinara pie at Kesté within the West Village costs $9). Nonetheless take care of song fans who’ll pay to gape renditions of the songs they’ve heard over and over, you’ll get there’s a obvious charge to catching the efficiency of a quirky, uncompromising master of the genre practising his craft evening after evening. As with the appetizers, the efficiency is enhanced by the home desserts, in explicit the malty, salty, just-churned ice creams (search info from for the vanilla) and a successfully off, excessive-attitude model of tiramisu, which has the thickness of a buttery sponge cake and is flavored with slivers of caramelized sugar and a ticket of the bitter liqueur Cynar, which, when you happen to didn’t know, is distilled largely from artichokes.
Una Pizza Napoletana
A hundred seventy five Orchard St., nr. Stanton St.; 646-692-3475; unapizza.com
Delivery: Dinner, Monday to Saturday.
Costs: Appetizers and sides, $9 to $20; pizzas, $25.
Ideal Meal: Carne cruda, vegetable “antipasti,” margherita pizza, ice cream and/or tiramisu.
Impress: I by no technique made it on Saturday evenings for the salami-and-egg Apollonia pie, nevertheless the Friday-absolute top Concetta, made with three forms of tomatoes, is charge a a bunch of consult with.
Scratchpad: One star for the newfangled appetizers and desserts and another for the steady of the pies.
*This article appears within the July 23, 2018, field of New York Magazine. Subscribe Now!