In case you didn’t get the memo, it’s pizza week as declared by Eater, so we thought we’d get in the spirit ourselves with a terrific, new food find.
There aren’t too many new trails left to blaze in New York when it comes to pizza. We have legendary, old-school pizzaiolos turning out exemplary, Neapolitan-style rounds and perfect, pillowy Sicilian squares, like Patsy’s, Lombardi’s, Di Fara, Totonno’s, Grimaldi’s and L&B, as well as spunky young guns making quirky, cutting edge pies (think Keste, Roberta’s, Pete Zaaz, Speedy Romeo, Franny’s & Motorino), grungy, corner parlors offering sloppy and satisfying $2 slices, and everything in between. So what’s a newcomer to our incomparable, expansive pizza scene do to stand out?
How about offering a wood-fired dessert that’s every bit as crave worthy as their creative pies? That’s the plan at recently opened Clinton Hill hotspot Emily, where owner Matthew Hyland (who honed his chef skills working at Public and The Breslin, and his pie-making chops at Cobble Hill favorite Sottocasa), is intent on making the most of his 900-degree oven. And yes, there’s a roster of 13 truly excellent pizzas divided into Reds and Whites, like the “Camp Randall,” topped with tomato sauce, sausage, mushrooms, peppers and cheese curds (named after the University of Wisconsin’s football stadium), and the “Emily” with mozzarella, taleggio, pistachios, truffle sottocenere and honey (named, as is the restaurant, after Hyland’s business partner and wife). Aww!
But it wouldn’t be entirely nutty of you to elect to save your appetite by starting with a salad instead (we recommend the intriguing mélange of Crispy Pig Ears and Winter Greens with Mustard Vinaigrette). Because Hyland also transforms his yeasty, sweet-smelling dough into a bubbling, flame-kissed Calzone, filled not with ricotta, mozzarella or sauce, but with a molten center of marshmallow crème and dark chocolate. We know it sounds like a bad idea, but it’s just the opposite. Dusted with graham cracker crumbs, it’s essentially a seriously oversized campfire s’more; and every bit as messy. Thankfully, the gleefully sticky pastry is delivered on a cutting board, which catches the spare sworls of steaming, melted sugar and cocoa that ooze forth the second it’s sliced. It’s enough to satisfy even the most over-indulgent dessert-lover, but don’t feel too guilt-ridden if you can’t bring yourself to share.
Because eventually, you’ll be able to work those calories off during weekly, in-house yoga workshops led by Emily herself. Even in pizza-saturated Brooklyn, that’s simply too kooky a combination to resist.