There’s no doubt that Danny Meyer has the magic touch.
Seemingly every concept he explores turns not only to gold, but also platinum, from fine dining enterprises (his flagship Union Square Café), to museum-based destinations (The Modern, Untitled) to fast food burgers (Shake Shack). He’s even managed to carve a niche for himself when it comes to NY’s signature, broadly available foodstuff, pizza, by masterminding Marta in the Redbury’s NoMad hotel, a haven of Roman, thin-crusted pies gorgeously executed by longtime chef, Nick Anderer.
And in the most recent example of his admirable ability to effectively scale his businesses, he just debuted Martina in the East Village, which aims to take the city’s ultimate common-man food (which was gourmetized and sanitized by spots like his own Marta), and bring it back down to size. Instead of table service, customers order from a counter a la Shake Shack, and await their food by way of a buzzer, with menu items topping out at $12 each (unless you’re referring to the contents of a champagne cooler, stocked with half bottles of Laherte Freres, and Krug Grande Cuvee).
Italian snacks include Tomato Arancini, Chicken Polpettine and White Beans with black pepper and sage (available ready-to-eat while you wait), while a section urges patrons to eat their verdure; namely, a “Martina Mista” of mixed greens, artichokes, pickled peppers and olives, and Zucchine in Scapece; squash tossed with vinegar, chiles and mint.
Then there are the Neapolitan pizzas, formed into individually-sized (4-slice, 10-inch), irregularly-shaped, thin-crusted pies, with toppings such as four-cheese, pork sausage, salami picante and mushrooms, as well as an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink Capricciosa, finished with a sunny side up egg, and baby pink curls of ham.
And while the entire process takes scarcely two minutes (the kitchen expects to work its way to pushing out 90 pies an hour), perennially on-the-go New Yorkers may well elect to avail themselves of takeout, thanks to custom boxes that vent the perfect amount of steam; keeping the pizza hot, without getting soggy.
Even when it comes to omnipresent pizza, Danny Meyer and team always have something new to offer to the hospitality scene.
198 E 11th St.