Last week, on the Elba blogs, someone recommended Lucali's pizza in Cobble Hill.
The recommendation stuck in my head and Sunday I went into the city to pick up my wife and see the Abstract Expressionist show at the Jewish Museum [highly recommended as a rare though uneasy treat].
I decided to get a hold of Chip Stern who exchanged phone numbers with me. So I got into the city called Chip and lo and behold our schedules and itineraries are impossible to reconcile on this trip. But I ask him about Lucali's and he tells me he hasn't tried it yet but warns me it might be a sit down restaurant rather than a pizza place.
So Chip and I resolve all the Knick's problems in a long phone call and resolve to try sharing a slice and a beer some other time.
Needless to say, later that evening, a former Magi alumnus and I trek back out to Cobble hill where we shared an apartment and many adventures in the early eighties. The old neighborhood is doing great but it takes me a while to find Lucali's on Henry St because there's like zero signage. There's just a waiting line to get in the door.
So I get there first and I'm on the waiting bench with Lucali relatives who are visiting from out of state and the kids are decked out in Mets uniforms and an uncle arrives in a Yankees shirt and I'm feeling like I'm back in NY.
From the street though, Chip's description is ringing true - it looks like a restaurant rather than a traditional pizza joint. the location is a bit odd in that its stuck in the middle of a block instead of a more traditional street corner and, as I said, no signs at all identifying the place.
Once inside, Peter and I find out that its a bring your own alcoholic beverage venue that serves only pizza and calzones AND Peter loves the place all the while wondering how I could know it existed. Lucali's is an inside NY secret favorite. So I tell him I read about it on the Knicks blog and he's impressed.
The Lucali's pizza is very similar to New Haven's Pepe's pizza - generally speaking a wood-fired, thin flat bread shell topped with a delicious sauce and fresh whatever-you-like. In a word, DELICIOUS.
But what makes the place a treat is that the restaurant is set up as a performance space for the making of the pie. The chef prepares it on an old table lit by candles and the effect is ambient, cozy, and warm - a great place to eat.
Don't tell anybody or I'll never get in again.
As for the chef, he's wearing a T-Shirt that says, Italian Stallion. I'm guessing he's a Knicks fan.
I rate it five of five pies.
Ye Newe Glory-torium
Here, dear readers, is the final resting place of all weary Knicks fans. Yes, here is where one comes when James Dolan extends yet another contract, when the Knicks trade for yet another ambulatory star, or when said fan simply hits 'rock' bottom. In short, "the ship be" eternally "sinking" here. Welcome aboard, rearrange the deck chairs as you please.