Roberta’s (Bushwick): Mangia Monday

margherita

  • Why it’s worth it: The rough warehouse exterior of Roberta’s offers no clues as to the delights inside. Buzzing with swarms of hipsters and foodies, Roberta’s is trek-worthy and offers the best pizza in town.
  • Vibe/layout: Housed in a former garage, this ‘straunt manages to take an industrial-rustic space and turn it into an inviting hipster-vibing hotspot, featuring a large outdoor patio/garden dining area and a backyard studio (for Heritage Radio Network broadcasting). The exposed rafters, wood-paneled walls and rough wooden community tables, dressed with mismatched chairs and paper napkins, set the casual and fun tone of our favorite Bushwick eatery.
  • Ideal meal: The soft, puffy crust and house-made fresh mozzarella on the famous original (tomato, mozzarella, caciocavallo, oregano, chili, $14) put this Neapolitan-inspired pizza in the record books.
  • ‘Straunt tip: Roberta’s does not accept reservations, and when your pizza is this good, there will be a wait, so grab a drink at The Narrows bar to pass the time!
  • Address: Bushwick, 261 Moore St (between White & Bogart)
  • Price: $5-$29 (pizzas are $10-$18)

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Marta (Gramercy/Flatiron): Mangia Monday

Marta

  • Why it’s worth it: Marta, Danny Meyer’s new trendy rustic Roman pizzeria inside the Martha Washington Hotel, serves Italian appetizers in a way that can’t even be imagined. Marta is a hot spot for grabbing drinks with friends or a celebratory dinner with friends or family.
  • Vibe/layout: This two-leveled ‘straunt has a mezzanine with a bird’s-eye views of the main dining room below, which is anchored by an energetic open kitchen featuring two wood-burning ovens and an open-fire grill and surrounded by a big marble bar. Marta exudes warmth and communal energy,  and boasts soaring ceiling and wooden tables.
  • Ideal meal: Polpettine di tagliatelle (fried pasta “meatballs,” tomato, pecorino – think fried mac and cheese balls) ($9) & Suppli alla terrazza (green risotto, mozzarella – think risotto mozzarella sticks) ($6) to start; Capricciosa pizza (mozzarella, artichokes, prosciutto, olives, egg) ($15)
  • F.Y.I.: Danny Meyer, the restaurateur behind Union Square Cafe, Maialino, Shake Shack, etc, has teamed up with his Maialino chef, Nick Anderer to enter into the pizza game.
  • Address: Gramercy/Flatiron, 29 East 29th St (between Park & Madison)
  • Prices: $6-$29

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Co (Chelsea): Mangia Monday

This is a “knead-to-know” spot in Chelsea. If you want to carb-out, Co. (pronounced Company, a word with Latin roots which refer to the phrase “with bread”) celebrates the communal dining experience with bread as the centerpiece of the meal.

Co final picture

  • Why it’s worth it: While at other pizza places, the ingredients are the focus, elevating the pie to the next level, here, the focus is the bread. It’s perfectly crisp and flavorful, and while the ingredients themselves aren’t unique, the combinations on some of the specialty pizzas are certainly different and special to Co.
  • Vibe/ Layout: The ‘straunt’s one room, organized around a long communal table, has a simple, clean prettiness thanks to pale white oak paneling and a lack of clutter. The front of the ‘straunt is paneled with big glass windows facing two directions, while the back of the room teases a peek of the kitchen.
  • Ideal meal: Meatballs ($13) and ham & cheese pie ($17) (pecorino, Gruyère, mozzarella, prosciutto, caraway)
    • The ham & cheese pie is covered in a thick layer of rich, salty dairy goodness (pecorino, buffalo mozzarella and Gruyère), layered with silky-thin slices of prosciutto and zipped with a sprinkle of caraway seeds.
  • People behind Co: Co. is under the direction of Jim Lahey, the owner of the Sullivan Street Bakery, where many ‘straunts buy loaves, rolls and focaccia. Jim Lahey trained as a sculptor before discovering his true doughy calling while living in Tuscany.
  • F.Y.I.: A small type line on the menu reads: “Our pies are not always round.” Let’s just say, JimLahey has been character, and there is no question that the dough has character.
    • Co. does not take reservations for parties less than 6. I’ve found if you arrive between 6 and 6:45, you shouldn’t have a problem getting a table.
  • Address: Chelsea, 230 Ninth Avenue (24th St and 9th Ave)
  • Prices: $4-$19

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