June 22, 2024


Food & Travel Enthusiast

Restaurant Evaluate: Lucia Pizza of Avenue X

Stroll into any pizzeria in New York Town, with a couple of effectively-recognized exceptions, and you can purchase with your eyes closed: A skinny-crust cheese slice is inevitable, a Sicilian or grandma slice is very likely, an all-cheese white pie is possible. There will definitely be pepperoni, and mainly because quite a few house owners acquire from the same suppliers, the pepperoni you get in the Bronx this 7 days will not be significantly various from the pepperoni you had in Queens very last week.

Most pizzerias are like deal with bands. Some rock more difficult than others, but they enjoy the identical expectations. Just about every so usually, although, one of people bands commences to generate its have tunes.

That was the tale of Di Fara Pizza in Midwood, which appeared to be a road-corner slice joint but was so punctilious about substances and proportions that it kicked off a slice-joint renaissance all over New York Town. Now it looks to be the story of Lucia Pizza of Avenue X, a 4-month-old shop in Sheepshead Bay.

You could simply mistake Lucia for an everyday Brooklyn slice joint that is been all-around eternally, if not for the refreshing paint on the two signs higher than the door — a single demonstrates the crossed flags of Italy and the United States the other invites customers to “Come by & decide on up your pie!”

About 20 seats are scattered close to a simple dining space. Opposite the doorway is the kitchen, with common Bakers Satisfaction fuel ovens in stainless steel and cardboard pizza boxes stacked to the ceiling. Crafted into the counter at knee degree is a self-provider beverage refrigerator whose inventory implies that anyone at Lucia is fond of cherry soda.

But you know that Lucia has strayed from the slice-shop template when you stage up to the counter and are handed the “spring menu.” It is roughly two times as extended as the skeletal “winter welcoming menu” that was in effect when the put initially opened. In fact, the extended record is continue to somewhat aspirational. When I tried ordering the cudduruni, a Sicilian flatbread, I was advised, “We’re not completely ready to serve that a person nonetheless.”

Aside from this little bit of vaporware, the menu’s pleasures are genuine. A single white pie, the salsiccia, is distribute with easy white islands of whipped ricotta surrounded by pork sausage that is been roasted into crisp brown pebbles — not the typical grey marbles that roll off the crust when you select it up. Scattered above this are fresh new parsley and sweet red onions shaved skinny enough to wilt in the oven. Bits of oil-remedied Calabrian chiles are spooned around the floor, way too, even though you may perhaps not observe them until eventually their warmth would make your eyes go broad.

A variation on the concept of pork and peppers occurs in the caramelle piccanti pie. This is constructed on the normal bed of tomato sauce and shredded mozzarella. Their temperature is elevated by pickled cherry peppers and a couple squeezes of Mike’s Scorching Honey, a bottle of which is held on the counter for clients to utilize at their possess discretion. The pork is in the type of modest pepperoni slices that have come to be concave, like call lenses, throughout baking.

Pizza cognoscenti will figure out these as “roni cups,” a hallmark of neoclassical slice stores these types of as Paulie Gee’s, Mama’s Way too and other pizzerias in west Brooklyn and Manhattan. Even though the cups’ standing has been spreading, it is however a slight surprise to obtain them pooled with spicy orange oil a couple of blocks from the Belt Parkway.

Sheepshead Bay is not exactly a stronghold of clam pizza, both, but Lucia could make it a person. On Fridays, Lucia bakes a clam pie that is distinctive from the New Haven model. In Connecticut, the clams are laid down right on the dough, but Lucia rests them on a mattress of melted mozzarella. New Haven personalized also requires uncooked garlic in Sheepshead Bay the garlic is poached in olive oil until finally golden, then simmered rapidly with chopped clean cherrystones, white wine and butter. This sauce is fundamentally what will get tossed with linguine at a hundred Italian eating places all-around town. It helps make a carefully comforting pizza, even if it is no match for the naked power of the pies at Zuppardi’s Apizza.

Lucia is a new pizzeria, nevertheless finding its way. I hope ultimately a thing can be finished about the crust. It has been engineered for crispness, and it is satisfying to bite. It is considerably less fulfilling to chew the flavor is flat and bland, without having the depth that the most effective pizzerias induce in their dough.

I envision the dough is remaining tinkered with, supplied all the other symptoms that Lucia is not information filling its kitchen area with merchandise acquired in closeout income at Acme Pizza Offer. The tomato sauce preferences fresh new and bright, not bitter or sugary. Clean white mushrooms are cooked and cooked until they taste darkish and meaty. That whipped ricotta genuinely is fantastic. Then there are the torn basil leaves tossed on the pies when they leave the oven, along with great threads of grated pecorino. These are the touches that carry up even the simplest objects at Lucia, like the traditional New York slice and the margherita, with its contemporary mozzarella arranged over the sauce in concentric rings.

The writer of all these pies is Salvatore Carlino, Lucia’s operator. He grew up in this neighborhood of squat brick rowhouses and large again alleys. For more than 40 many years, his mom and dad ran Papa Leone, an Italian cafe attached to a pizzeria on the most important drag in close by Manhattan Seashore, exactly where he used to assistance out. The Papa Leone at Lucia is a vodka-sauce pie made from his father’s recipe.

Under the title P.leone, Mr. Carlino has yet another vocation as a musician, producer and D.J. (He has claimed that his songs seems “like a Brooklyn bound Q teach, packed and with loads of delays. A little bit inconvenient but entertaining.”) He was working in Berlin until eventually the pandemic compelled him to shift back again home to Brooklyn.

With no clubs to engage in, he crammed his several hours baking pizza in an outside oven. The caramelle piccanti was born in his backyard. A person day a vacant cafe area appeared on Avenue X. He leased it and started a new task: the previous family tune, remixed.

What the Stars Signify Mainly because of the pandemic, places to eat are not remaining provided star ratings.