The pizza is already very good and may or may not be on the way to great. But I don't think it really matters if it gets there, because the place itself is already filled with positive energy and good feelings, as well as plenty of really good food made with carefully chosen ingredients.
We caught up with pizza boss Lauren Calhoun at Roberta's in Bushwick to find out how to make the Baby Sinclair, an earthy pie topped with aged cheddar, dinosaur kale, maitake mushrooms, and Calabrian chilis. See the step-by-step instructions in the slideshow.
Who knew that the Roberta's folks—justifiably renowned for their pizza, their way with pork, and the tasting menus that are so popular there are currently 400 people on its wait list—served a killer burger that would render me speechless?
A bakery grows in a shipping container in a Brooklyn yard. That yard is part of the Bushwick compound of Roberta's Pizza, whose business seems to grow and morph every day. At first, the bakery used the pizza oven during the few, early morning hours it wasn't churning out pies. Last year, the restaurant hired master oven artisan Dick Bessey to build a big wood-fired oven in one of the many shipping containers that clutter its yard. In November, the restaurant brought in Melissa Weller, who has a resume that includes stints as head baker at Per Se and Bouchon as well as work at Sullivan Street and Babbo. The loaves that she pulls out of the oven every morning rival any in the city.
I have a complicated relationship with Roberta's pizza, which when fresh out of the oven is one of my favorites in the city, but falls off that peak within about ten minutes of cooling. But when I make it out to Bushwick, my choice pie at the moment is the 'Whipper Snapper' ($17). The pizza builds a thick, creamy layer of mozzarella and rich, faintly goaty capra sarda atop which it's dotted with snap peas and pancetta, a drizzle of white balsamic over the top.
Editor's note: In "Apps Only," Ben Fishner will be eating his way through New York's appetizer, bar, and lounge menus as your guide to fine dining on a budget. He blogs at Ben Cooks Everything. Pork jowl from Roberta's....
This pizza is a pie after my own heart. Sausage and onion is my favorite topping combo. And lately I've discovered just how good a pizza with nothing but sauce and a generous fistful of Parmesan can be. Put all that together? WHAMMO. But this pizza from the recently released Roberta's Cookbook makes the jump to hyperspace.
Team Serious Eats goes far and wide when we eat out for work, but when we're "off duty," you're more likely to find us closer to home at bars. Where do we eat when it's just for fun? Here are our favorite tried-and-true local restaurants.
Jeremiah Stone of New York's Contra came to love French food late in life, but when he moved to the country to cook there in 2010, he fell hard. Now in New York he has to look harder for good baguettes and croissants, but he still has some go-to spots for his French fix.