Sunday, January 30, 2011
Floppy, crispy, foldable- these are essential elements of a real N.Y. style pizza. Oh, and you have to be able to get that pizza by the slice, and the slice should be able to make a modest lunch. NY Pie serves up big, wide, and high quality slices of pie and the style is remarkably authentic N.Y. street pizza. It all adds up to make NY Pie one of the best new pizzerias in Nashville. It looks like Greg Meyer and his talented staff will be keeping busy in 2011- the word is out and the joint has been hopping.
Do yourself a favor and start with a simple slice of cheese. You’ll find a crackling brick over crust on the bottom, tangy tomato sauce kissing the top and just the right amount of quality cheese. Quite frankly, of the four slice styles we tried the cheese was actually the best. And that’s okay, because the others were damn fine. The Greek is built on a bed of fresh spinach leaves and modest amounts of feta and olives. Modest may sound like a criticism in the Pizza Hut and Dominoes topping -frenzied world. Modest at NY Pie simple means that you get the right amount of toppings for the slice. Those toppings are carefully chosen. The pepperoni has some tongue-tickling spice to it and the sausage is herbed-up and savory. They have 11 pizza styles and give you the ability to make your own from 27 topping choices. You can get a slice or small, medium and large pizza. You’ll find the 18 inch large a serious slab of pie, easily able to feed a family (perhaps an abstemious family).
In true New York pizzeria style, you’ll also find a few subs, calzones and Stromboli. The calzone comes out of the brick oven as a lovely browned hill of crust filled with bubbling ricotta and mozzarella. That cheese is high quality and it’s the perfect partner for the crispy, doughy half-moon crust. You get the choice of one topping to go into that calzone and while the Meat Eater wanted to jump back into those meat selections, the chosen artichoke proved toothsome enough.
Even the humble pizzeria salad gets treated with respect at NY Pie. The Caesar is a more than generous bed of fresh greens, adorned with real, aged parmesan slivers and decent croutons. The salad dressing is house made, and while hearty and flavorful, probably should have been tossed with the salad for the proper effect.
You can watch Meyer and the other pizza makers spinning the dough in the open kitchen. There is a counter right next to the prep area, and it’s been a popular spot with the kids. The inside dining area is a little cramped, given the popularity, and seems to fill-up quickly, especially on weekends. The good news in warmer months will be the patio area next door.
Veggie Eater: There are two basic pizza types you find around Nashville, Italian-style (think City House) and American-style. Given my New Jersey birthplace, I am biased in believing that New York/New Jersey pizza is best (as opposed to the abomination known as Chicago-style pizza). This has been a source of conflict both in my marriage and in friendships (sorry, I enjoy Chicago-style and New York-style - M.E.). It has taken seven years, since our move to Nashville, to find a pizza joint that harkens back to my New Jersey roots and I am thrilled to say NY Pie has finally filled the void. As Meat Eater noted above, the crust is the perfect combination of crisp and floppy. The cheeses are better than the stuff served in on most pizzas. If I had to take a guess, whole milk mozzarella and ricotta are used, which leads to a creamier, much less rubbery and stringy, product. The tables are all supplied with the necessary accessories: garlic powder, oregano, parmesan, and red pepper flakes, but there is little reason to use them, as the food is able to stand on its own. The topping items are standard- this is not frou-frou food. My biggest gripes: green olives are not a topping item on the menu and the Caesar salad really needs to be served tossed to be fully enjoyed. 70’s rock (love a restaurant where I can hear Neil Young singing “Old Man”) serenades in the background and the space is peppered with nostalgic photos of New York.
Meat Eater: Owners Greg and Jessica could not have picked a better location. Publix and Costco are just down the street and Target and World Market just across the parking lot. This makes NY Pie a prime weekend lunch spot before or after shopping. The prices seem reasonable for such good food. Slices currently run from $2.50-$3.50 depending on the toppings. An 18 inch large pizza averages $19. We paid $22 on one visit and I paid $9.50 on another visit.