Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Shopping For The Perfect Pie

Maybe it wasn't perfect, but it came damn close. And I considered us lucky to get a table for three within minutes of entering Rubirosa, considering the crowd. It turns out that our table, hidden in a nook in the front of the restaurant, was oblivious to servers everywhere. Service: D plus.

But really, it was about the food. Rubirosa is the Manhattan branch of a long-standing Staten Island establishment, so it makes sense to go traditional. We ordered two bruschetta, one with mushrooms and pignoli and one with duck and caramelized onions. The bread was grilled and held up to the layer of topping. Even more traditional--and equally satisfying--was a plate of baked littleneck clams, salty and garlicky and complimented by fresh lemon wedges.

The pizza? Oh, the pizza. We ordered a small classic pie with mushrooms and olives (large enough to feed three people; buyer beware) and a small sausage and broccoli rabe pie, along with a side of grilled asparagus to keep things green. The classic pie hit all the right notes--a good ratio of sauce to cheese; ample yet not overwhelming toppings; a crispy crust that was neither too doughy nor too cracker-like. Unlike the pizzas of Lucali's and Keste, both personal favorites (and born of the Neopolitan style), Rubirosa is crispy throughout, reminding me a little of a great pie I once ate at Pulino's.

The sausage and broccoli pie didn't exactly disappoint, but it did come sans sauce, which is never my direction of choice. Bad service be damned; I'd return for another pie any day of the week.

235 Mulberry Street
New York, NY 10012

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