Archive for the ‘Pizza’ Category
Location: New York, NY
The Foodie: Recommends
Kids – In one of our previous installments from the foodie, we talked about visions of a glorious afterlife lush with lobster rolls. But if I go down below dear friends, I’m going for gluttony.
…and if there’s one place that may have just put me over the edge from a severe epicure to an outright glutton, it was probably Eataly. I’ll now proceed to tell you why this devilish enterprise created by celebrity chefs with last names like Batali and Bastianich pushed me into the fiery depths (of a brick oven).
- WARNING: Ingenious Store Layout Meant to Trap Foodies. Enter at your own risk and prepare for the prospect of never leaving. Be assaulted by a diverse range of fresh fruits and veggies, some of which you may have never seen before (can you say witch finger grapes?). Hit a huge circular room where you’ll be encircled by bread, antipasti and wine. Just try to resist at this point. Explore a little further and you’ll see Il Pesce restaurant serving amazing fruit of the sea, a selection of rare Italian and imported bottled beers for purchase, a butcher shop, pizza and pasta eateries, and a breath-taking selection of dried pastas, jarred goods, and, yes, more wines.
- DANGER: Rooftop Biergarterrini Called Birreria Will Be Your Last Glimpse of Heaven. If you ever leave the first floor, make it to level 15 to sample the excellent beer and wine selection and hearty fare on the rooftop restaurant Birreria. Prepare to eat Italian-style sausages you may not have heard of before in German fashion complete with fresh bread and ‘kraute. Sip on amazing local beers like Captain Lawrence Liquid Gold. Holy shit that brew was good. But wait, there are also cask beers brewed in-house by a collab-o of brewers including meisters from Dogfish Head. Sample from an impressive selection of salumi, formaggi and more. Your head will be spinning.
- ATTENTION: They Have Every Meal Covered So Don’t Think You Can Weasel Out After Dinner. As if all that wasn’t enough people, there’s also a coffee bar and gelateria back down on floor uno that will keep you caffeinated enough to stick around and continue your gluttonous ways. You may be enticed to combine these two elements into the ultimate Italian treat: Affogato.
That concludes my final communication from my (donut) ring of hell…my “phone call” so to speak…with the rest of the gluttons down here. I see Yelpers, Homer Simpson, and Julia Child down here people. Don’t think you’re safe too.
Enter Eataly if you’re the kind of person who thinks that limbo isn’t living dangerously enough.
Location: Cambridge, MA
The Foodie: Recommends
Finally, a place that Cambridge eat-a-holics can have all to themselves. That spot that requires a culinary code name or pass phrase softly murmured between sips of Saison.
Every foodie worth their high-end sea salt would of course be talking about Area 4 – a place for food nerds on the turf of science nerds.
As the former, I must admit I’ve frequented this spot since it hit my food-dar and enjoyed every moment of each experience.
Walk with me for a moment here….
Delightful mussels in fragrant broth…
Oddly phallic but delicious house-made meat on milk bun…
Pizza, pizza, pizza. Rock the Clam and Bacon and sample from puttanesca, fennel sausage, and mushroom/fontina-stacked pies with a light, fluffy crust.
All of that and more washed down with stellar beers like Jack D’Or, Harpoon 100 Barrel Series, and a bias towards other locally-brewed beauties.
Though I’ve only sampled the fare here on Friday nights with groups of friends, the adjoining café supposedly serves-up some bomb lattes – making Area Four theoretically possible to live in from opening to closing while satisfying every taste bud across all your daily meals.
The best part is – nobody knows it yet. That’s right, you and your fellow food geeks or science jocks could be enjoying Area Four this Friday without long lines and love every minute of it.
So what are you waiting for – the password is…shhhh…
Location: Portland, ME
The Foodie: Strongly Recommends
Bold statement, I know. Read on to find out why I worked up the balls to make it.
Pizza. The lifeblood of American families, one of Italy’s best gifts to this part of the world, countless variations, etc etc. Let’s just say this planet would not be the same without it.
Personally – I love this stuff in all its forms, deriving the same pleasure from a gourmet slice as a greasy triangle from a Greek-owned sub shop. Just God’s gift to man is all.
I’ve come to appreciate spots like Upper Crust, Cambridge One, Pinocchio’s, and Leone’s in my local ‘hood, but never did I expect to find the best of the best hidden on a quiet side street in Portland, Maine.
At the repeated suggestion of a dear friend, we decided to hit Micucci on a recent visit. Here’s how ordering a slice at this place works:
- Enter, then navigate through shelves and freezers housing premium Italian goods
- Pass the wine section, bang a left up the stairs into an area with industrial-sized packaging of tomatoes, anchovies, pasta, and more.
- Hit another left into the back room and look for the “rack.” They place slices on paper plates just sitting there for the taking. You wonder: “Do I pay now or later?” or “Can I just take a slice without some angry woman coming at me with a rolling pin?” Forget your worries and grab as many pieces as you like to enjoy. Figure out the rest later.
- Reference the delectable image above to see what you’ll be in for.
I could devote another 1000+ words to the flavor packed into this morsel of goodness. I do not know exactly how they do it, but here’s my take on how this ended up being New England’s best piece of pizza after just one slice:
- The first element you notice is that the dough/bread is this amazingly bubbly, soft, chewy, heavenly creation somewhere between focaccia and an orgasm.
- Second, you feel this perfectly-balanced sauce that is on the sweeter side pop inside your mouth and burst with tomato-y flavor accented with oregano and spices.
- Third – the final element in the trifecta of greatness in pizza – the blend of cheese stretches through your palate and ties everything together with a loving touch.
Beyond that – the secrets of why this slice makes the top of the list are hidden in the salty mists blowing off the Atlantic into Portland and over the Maine-iacs who call this place home.
Believe you me – Micucci in itself is worth a 2 hr. drive up to Portland from Boston. Don’t think it will be worth it? Take another look at the pic above.