New York, N.Y. 10012
On the corner of Houston and Bowery in New York City’s SoHo district sits Pulino’s Bar and Pizzeria. Pulino’s opened March 5 and is a sister restaurant of NYC staples owned by Keith McNally, including Odeon, Pastis, Balthazar, Morandi and Minetta Tavern. Since the opening, Pulino’s has served and entertained Meryl Streep, Anna Wintour, John Legend and many other celebrities looking to try a taste of Pulino’s gourmet 12 inch pies.
As I sat down for lunch with my brother and father last week, the biggest challenge was determining which pizza to settle upon. Luckily, for our benefit, my brother has worked as a food runner at Pulino’s since it opened and could recommend particular specialties. Our order: Salame Piccante pizza with housemade pepperoni , tomato, mozzarella and oregano. In addition, we ordered the Quattro Formaggi consisting of mozzarella, grana, fontina, gorgonzola and roasted red onion. Both pizzas were extraordinary. The crust was reminiscent of a dessert phyllo dough, very flaky while crispy at the same time. It had a woody flavor, from the giant wood stove that makes an impact, viewable from the entrance. The industrial ambience is as impressive as the food offerings, with a distressed metal bar, backlit booze bottles lining the walls, a magazine rack in the corner and low lighting fixtures that hang from a high vaulted ceiling.
But back to the pizza. In addition to a tantalizing crust, the sauce was robust and full of flavor created by a complementary merging of multiple spices and herbs. The pepperoni was especially delicious. My brother informed me newly killed animals are butchered in the basement of Pulino’s, explaining the freshness of the meat. Another stand out ingredient were the carmelized onions on the Quattro Formaggi, distracting from the blend of cheeses. Our pizza decisions proved to be well-informed and I’m looking forward to going back and enjoying seconds. Other pizza offerings at Pulino’s include:
Bianca – extra virgin olive oil and sea salt
Bianca Tradizionale – mozzarella, pecorino, black pepper and pork strutto
Margherita – tomato, mozzarela, grana and basil
Acciughe – anchovies, tomato, mozzarella, capers, garlic and bazil
Porchetta – porchetta, tomato, fennel, garlic, mozzarella and pecorino
Funghi – mushrooms, tomato, mozzarella, pancetta, and grana
Salsiccia – sausage, tomato, mozzarella, broccoli rabe, chiles and pecorino
Popettine – beef meatballs, tomato mozzarella, grana, pickled chiles and basil
Gamberi – rock shrimp, speck, tomato, fennel, garlic and oregano
Tough decisions, but I don’t expect any would disappoint. And as my brother said himself as we were topping off lunch with a homemade gelato, “It’s addicting. That’s the key thing about this pizza. Once you eat it you’ll think about it again.” Admittedly, I have craved it since.