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Funny how things work. Frank Pepe’s opened its first New York location in Yonkers last November. Last week, Eddie’s of New Hyde Park announced it would soon make its first inroads into Manhattan since they opened in 1941. Now both styles of pizza have met on Bowery and Houston in Pulino’s Bar and Pizzeria, Keith McNally and Nate Appleman’s much-awaited pizzeria. The kicker? As Eater has well-documented with its first looks at the decor, the place looks like it has been there on the corner forever.
Of course, Neapolitan-style was a New York staple long before Frank Pepe’s left the confines of New Haven. But Pulino’s combines the crust texture and taste of Pepe’s with an even thinner pie, one that’s just about 2½ times the thickness of what you’d expect from Eddie’s. Not to say it’s cracker-like, it’s not at all. But it is not a doughy pie. Do not think Kesté, Co., or Motorino. Nor are pizzas as charred as the ones pictured by Zagat. What we have here folks, as was the intention – is an idiosyncratic style of pizza. A standardized amoeba shape, a thin crust, and square cuts.
At breakfast, pies are divided into three categories: “Pizze,” “Pizze + Uova,” and “Pizza Dolce.” Pies are available in large and small sizes. Under ‘Pizze,’ the menu features three pies: the Bianca (extra virgin olive oil and sea salt), the Bianca Tradizionale (mozzarella, pecorino, black pepper, and pork strutto), and the Margherita. The Margherita featured a tart, sweet, unchunky sauce, dressed lightly with cheese— about a 1½:1 ratio, sauce to cheese. It avoids the problems plaguing many generic slices these days: undersaucing. It is a very good pie.
Even so, the category beneath it, “Pizze + Uova,” declares with understatement what may be the best pizza to arrive in New York in the last year. The Salsiccia consists of eggs, sausage, bacon, mozzarella, and white cheddar. It seems slightly thicker at first, but that may really only be because of the toppings. Bacon tastes like the best breakfast bacon, small nubs of sausage (as when you split the casings and sizzle break the stuff up in the pan), and very runny eggs. They keep the albumen runny, and even those not normally keen on their eggs this way should shut up and eat— it creates a sauce that combines for delicious flavor. The proportion of egg:pizza:perfect. Two eggs to the large pie. Enough to amply coat the whole thing. Of course, the selfish thing to do is to grab that center crustless piece, and make off like a bandit.
A nice added touch? The problems of getting the red chili flakes out of the shaker (just unscrew), and chili flavor distribution, have been fixed by the bottle of chili oil you can drizzle as liberally as you like.
As for Pizza Dolce, the Frutta was the server’s recommendation, but the Ottima, a pizza with ricotta, wild blueberry jam, and bacon, is the compelling sweet pie to order. The jam is delightfully thin— it would go great with venison— and it contrasts nicely with the salty bacon, whose grease bubbles are still fresh from the oven.
But sweet pizza wouldn’t be the reorder on subsequent visits. No, no. Dessert room here should be saved for more savory items. Too many good things to try. Good luck getting in.
Tony Liu found his calling at an early age. As a teenager in Honolulu, he took a job working as a dishwasher so that he could spend his days surfing. Gradually spending more time in the kitchen than on the beach, Liu’s interest turned serious, and he earned a culinary arts and patisserie degree from Kapiolani Community College. While in school, he worked in some of Hawaii’s top kitchens, including Roy Yamaguchi’s Roy’s, The Lodge at Koele, and 3660 On the Rise. Looking to strengthen his skills and broaden his experience, Liu moved to New York to attend the Culinary Institute of America.
Liu interned at Lespinasse under Gray Kunz before joining the opening team at Daniel, which earned four stars from The New York Times. It was there that Liu came to appreciate well-executed, classic French cooking. He went on to work in Floyd Cardoz’s kitchen at Tabla, where he learned the nuances of modern Indian cuisine. In 2001, Liu left New York for Spain’s three-Michelin-starred Restaurante Martin Berasategui. For six months, he immersed himself in Spanish cooking, from experimental techniques to traditional Iberian dishes. Upon returning to the US, Liu took up the position of Sous Chef at Babbo under Mario Batali.
Pulino’s Bar And Pizzeria
For three decades, Keith McNally’s restaurants have been where the young go to waste their youth, and the old to pretend they’ve reclaimed it. The Odeon, with which McNally débuted, in 1980, graces the cover of Jay McInerney’s “Bright Lights, Big City,” while Richard Price lists McNally in the acknowledgements of his 2008 novel, “Lush Life.” In many ways, his establishments are swappable—the food might vary (and taste pretty good), but, like dinner theatre, above all one arrives to watch. Pulino’s (No. 11) intends to distinguish itself from its McNally siblings not only by prioritizing pizza but also by romanticizing the all but bygone squalor of the Bowery. Tables are constructed from deconstructed police barricades, and the T-shirts worn by the staff read, in stencilled lettering, “Do Not Cross the Line.” Recently, a waiter shouted over the din, “Sure, it’s a little gimmicky, but what it really means is: Don’t cross the line with me.” He splashed wine into the diners’ empty glasses and didn’t laugh. When another line, the one for a table, curls out the door all night, every night, you quickly get the power dynamic.
The Bowery, it turns out, takes its name from the Dutch word bowerij, meaning “farm,” and McNally, who arguably is less trendsetter than trend stalker, is down with the fresh, the local, and the artisanal. (How could he not be, with Whole Foods glowering from across the street?) McNally’s chef, Nate Appleman, a young lion from San Francisco, moved the restaurant’s wine off-site so that a character called Billy the Butcher can freely carve up lambs and pigs and poultry in the cellar. The work produces lovely salumi, as well as sumptuous things like the roasted chicken leg, with claw intact, and the pork-and-beef meatballs, charred just so on the outside and perfectly moist on the inside. Several starters, like the melon salad, the beet salad, and the arugula-and-fennel salad, are merely acceptable preludes to Appleman’s pizzas. One of the best is the polpettine, where you get meatballs again, along with Grana and delicious pickled chiles. One of the worst is the tonno, a discomfiting concoction of tuna, anchovies, capers, and, instead of cheese, vigorous globs of tomato sauce. A surer bet is the bianca tradizionale, where a glaze of pork lard rarefies simple mozzarella. Dessert brings almond shaved ice, which looks like a bowl of fresh snow and trumps any powder that McInerney ever found at Odeon. (Open daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Entrées $13-$29.) ♦
A Trip to Dominique Ansel Bakery and Pulino's Bar and Pizza in NYC, New York!
Despite the rain today, we tried to make the most of the week end and decided to go to the City to get some good food! I enjoy walking in the city, even with this type of weather to either photograph the street or nature, especially flowers with rain drops on them.
The Paris-New York is inspired by the Paris-Brest, a French pastry, made of choux pastry and a praline flavored cream. In this one, the cream is made with peanut butter! It was very good, not too sweet and not heavy, with a nice balance between the peanut butter and the chocolate.
Then, we decided to walk uptown, under the rain, thinking that a bibimbap in Korea Town would be perfect for this weather. While walking, I started to have my mind thinking about all the places we could go to , maybe closer, such as ramen or Italian, but Jodi really wanted bibimbap, until I mentioned Pulino's Pizza! We were just passing by W Houston and she pushed me on my right to go towards that restaurant! Then, there was no possibility of changing her mind. and mine at the same time.
It was heaven! The cream was perfect and refreshing! Combined with the crispy bread, the tomatoes and the balsamic vinegar, it was an harmony of flavors dancing in my mouth!
We then decided to try the simpler pizza you can find: the margherita.
It is composed of tomato, mozzarella, grana cheese and basil leaves. The crust was divine, a bit burnt from the brick oven, but it was not an issue at all! The pizza sauce tasted fresh and they put a lot of cheese. To conclude: very, very good!
After this second visit at Pulino's, I think that it is a great restaurant. The only negatives today are the table placing (they squeeze their customers so much that it was difficult for the table next to us to get their food without us being on the way) and the waiter was rude!
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Pulino’s Salsiccia Pizza
If there’s one thing everyone has to say about Pulino’s Bar and Restaurant, it’s that the pizza is outstanding. This is considered to be something of a rarity in a city where everyone has something to say about every slice in the borough. Coupled with a chic interior that calls to mind a couple of its frequented trendy sister restaurants, you’re facing a packed house night after night.
Pulino’s salciccia pizza is our dream come true, packing sausage, onion, olives, chiles, mozzarella and pecorino. The super-crisp thin crust can be attributed to Soho sibling Balthazar’s best-kept secret: its “mother” dough. If that’s not worthy of Pizza of the Week, we’ll eat an entire pie by ourselves. (Maybe not the best sneak attack we’ve ever launched).
We’re especially excited about this pizza because Food Republic will be sponsoring their event, Pizza After Dark at Pulino’s, for the upcoming Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival. Executive Chef Tony Liu and former Top Chef contestant Spike Mendelsohn will be teaming up to bring you the best pizza at the best possible time: 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. Weren’t you just going to locate and hoover a slice then anyway? No need to put the party on pause, come join us!
Purchase tickets for Pizza After Dark at Pulino’s at the Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival, Saturday, Oct. 1 from 11 pm-1 am at Pulino’s Bar Pizzeria, 292 Bowery, New York City.
The Early Word on Two Day Old Pulino's Bar & Pizzeria
Two days ago a mom and pop pizzeria by the name of Pulino's opened on the corner of Houston and Bowery. The restaurant offers a modest selection of Neapolitan pies, square-cut, as well as savory items from a chef who made his bones in San Francisco. Yes, it's way early in the game, and yes, they've yet to roll out dinner service, but already every blogger in town, in addition to restaurant industry types, Jude Law, and other downtown glitterati have stopped in, and some have filed reports. Here are the early assessments from those that have happened upon the quiet newcomer. We wish the folks behind the place the best of luck.
The Good News: Three user reviews on Yelp so far, all positive. One happy camper recounts their experience: "Four Cheese ($15) pizza with Prosciutto (for an additional $5) - big enough to share with a friend if you're not starved and have a starter and dessert. The brick-oven crust was perfectly cooked and topped with the freshest of toppings (I hear they butcher the meat on site. truth or myth [truth], it sure tastes like it). The table next to us had ordered two pizzas to share for a group of three and they couldn't finish (pies are meant to be shared with many pork options - prosciutto, pancetta and porchetta - among the extra toppings choices you can add making them both filling and as flavorful as can rival the likes of Co., Keste, Lombardi's, Grimaldi's, John's or any other NYC pizzeria.." [Yelp]
The Bad News: A comment on Eater's Pulino's breakfast liveblog: "Food was a let down, especially the chestnut "pancake" was more like a large, deep-dish muffin with an extremely salty flavor. Not good. Obviously it's early days, but I wanted to be impressed and wasn't. The paper menus, formulaic design, Schiller's bathroom and mediocre food are all disappointing. Hopefully lunch and dinner will impress." [Eater]
The Damn Good News: Always Hungry goes into detail describing the type of pizza on offer here before extolling the goods: "The Margherita [from the main "Pizze" category] featured a tart, sweet, unchunky sauce, dressed lightly with cheese— about a 1½:1 ratio, sauce to cheese. It avoids the problems plaguing many generic slices these days: undersaucing. It is a very good pie. The category “Pizze + Uova” declares with understatement what may be the best pizza to arrive in New York in the last year. The Salsiccia consists of eggs, sausage, bacon, mozzarella, and white cheddar. It seems slightly thicker at first, but that may really only be because of the toppings. Bacon tastes like the best breakfast bacon, small nubs of sausage (as when you split the casings and sizzle break the stuff up in the pan), and very runny eggs. They keep the albumen runny, and even those not normally keen on their eggs this way should shut up and eat— it creates a sauce that combines for delicious flavor. The proportion of egg:pizza:perfect." As for the dolce, "the Ottima, a pizza with ricotta, wild blueberry jam, and bacon, is the compelling sweet pie to order. Dessert room here should be saved for more savory items. Too many good things to try. Good luck getting in."
The Solid, Cautious News: Though Adam Kuban think it's too soon to file a full-fledged review of the place, he does admit that "I liked what I had. Mr. Appleman's 'Bowery-style' pizza is a nice mixture of New Haven– and bar-style pizza. Once he and the crew get their sea legs, we'll be back." Back at his office, Ed Levine "said it passed the 'hour-old test.' 'I liked the ratio of sauce to cheese,' he said, 'and the crust didn't suffer from rigor mortis.'" [Slice/Serious Eats]
The Bad News: From the tipline: "We went for lunch on day two, and it was so busy it felt like dining at Grand Central. Also, I don't see why they cut the pizza in squares. Who wants to eat the middle square?" [Eater Tipline]
The Hot Babes, Meh Food News: From another Eater commenter: "The Good: Gorgeous babes everywhere. really hot ones Polo ad, Dolce-G. type babes. not B&T, brighton beach bimbos The Bad: the pizza looked really average thats fine, as long as people realize if its bad. 95% of people will be ordering the same 3 non-pizza items and the kitchen will melt down." [Eater]
The "Overhyped" News: Lunchstudio finds the pizza "too charred and the bang for buck not quite worth it. A little too much hype methinks." But some praise for one item: "holy yum the sunchoke and red cabbage salad we would go back for." [Lunch]
The "Familiar But Nonetheless Great" News: Guest of a Guest's Billy Gray enjoys. Here's why: "For a brand new restaurant, Pulino's ran like a well-oiled machine. for a reasonable $17 I went with the very generously portioned salsiccia (sausage, tomato, mozzarella, broccoli rabe, chiles & pecorino) instead. This could easily constitute a full lunch for a pair of more sensible diners. Dangers of the job and all, I devoured the whole cheesy, square slice thing. The pizzas are thin crust and just crispy enough without straying too far into Sicilian territory (not that there's anything wrong that). Crusts have that great wood-oven look and taste, bubbles and all. The room was as smart as the crowd that filled it. Pulino's might not break new ground when it comes to the classic Italian menu, classic McNally design or (re)established location. But McNally once again combines all three elements in a way that makes the welcoming Pulino's a welcome addition to the neighborhood. It somehow feels like it's been a local fixture for years despite just opening its doors." [Guest Of A Guest]
The "I Love Caps" News: A NYMag reader gives the restaurant a 7 and forgoes most grammatical conventions in making their case: "wow, this place has all the right notes to begin, GREAT BREAKFAST PIZZA A+++++. the bloody mary falls short, too sweet, too something and not very good. the grape fruit ROCKS. AND forget the Frittatatas. OVER PRICED DRY AND NOT GOOD. STICK WITH THE PIZZA! 1 person with tip $60.00 not on BOWERY and I live here. I think I will stick with Hancho en Dumdo. sorry guys, Server Rocked friendly staff. [NYMag]
The Twitterific News: Freemans' @WilliamTigertt likes the chaos and the 'za: "industry shite show, Jude Law, Schiller's remix decor, but damn solid pizza." @scottspizzatour approves: "Pulino's Pizzeria on Houston & Bowery has a great take on thin (but not cracker) crust pizza. Scary hype can't compete with good pie. And Conant right hand man @jtascarella thinks "Pulino's is delicious, happy to try again soon. Still really love Veloce though (I know it's totally different)." [Twitter]
Coffin Wood? Here's What The Best Pizza Chefs Use
So some pizza-bakers in Italy &mdash in Naples, of all places &mdash are maybe possibly allegedly stoking their legendary pizza ovens with wood from coffins dug up by grave-robbers. It's kind of impossible to figure why there would be a need for this. How much cheaper could it be than non-coffin wood? Is there a wood shortage? Does coffin wood burn unusually well?
As a service to the bakers of pizza Napoletana who, if this story is true, have lost their way in the world, we asked three men who know from pizza how they fuel their ovens and why.
Johanne Killeen and George Germon are credited with inventing grilled pizza at Al Forno, their lauded Providence restaurant. Hardwood charcoal provides intense heat, and intense heat generates "crispiness and chewiness at the same time," explains head chef David Reynoso. Rounds of dough are slapped on the grill, seared, flipped, toppings added, and seared again on the second side. Total time from beginning to perfection: four minutes.
Pulino's, the newest destination restaurant opened by Keith McNally (Balthazar, the Odeon, Pastis, Minetta Tavern, and others), has two ovens, according to head chef Nate Appleman, a past winner of the James Beard Rising Star Award. Appleman opened the restaurant using a combination of gas and wood (a mix of hardwoods like oak, maple, beech, birch, cherry, and ash). The only problem was, the place was so popular that "we needed every inch of the oven for the volume of pizza that we were doing." He then devoted one gas oven entirely to pizza and cooks everything else using the wood/gas combination. The result: crunchy, thin-crust pizzas that stand up well to his simple but powerful topping combinations. Among the best: the polpettini (beef meatball, tomato, mozzarella, grana, pickled chiles, and basil) the tonno (tuna, tomato, onions, capers, olives, garlic, anchovies, and basil) and the salsiccia (sausage, tomato, mozzarella, broccoli rabe, chiles, and pecorino).
Uno, the self-proclaimed originator of the deep-dish pizza in 1943 that spawned a chain, uses a three-deck gas oven at its original Chicago location. Three slabs of concrete, each about three feet by two feet and a couple inches thick, are stacked in a gas-powered oven that reaches 600 degrees. The flames heat the stones, so the heat is dispensed evenly, according to Kenny Richards, a rep for the company. "There are no hot spots," he says. "The flames never touch the pizza. The pizza sits in a deep-dish steel pan, the pan sits on the concrete brick." The pizzas start on the lowest, hottest brick so the dough, cheese, sauces, and any raw-meat toppings can cook. Then, if delicate vegetable toppings are added, the pizza is moved up to the second and third tiers, so the veggies don't burn. "It requires constant attention," says Richards. "How do they know when it's done? By sight, by smell. You can see the way the cheese is bubbling, the way the dough is getting crispy. We just know."
Pulino’s Bar and Pizzeria - Recipes
Nikki read this review in The New York Times on Pulino's Bar and Pizzeria in Nolita, the latest from Keith McNally of Odeon in TriBeCA, Cafe Luxembourg, uptown on the West Side, Lucky Strike on Grand Street and Nell's on 14th Street. Sunday, we again arrived early since this restaurant was covered recently in the paper and when that happens, everyone rushes to try out the new kid in town. At 10:30, the restaurant was almost full and very lively. We waited about five to ten minutes, but were enjoying the atmosphere. The Times noted the pizzas, which included breakfast version in addition to the lunch and dinner varieties. I cannot think of a restaurant in Norfolk that has a breakfast pizza, so I knew that is what I would choose, but it was hard as quite a few other breakfast dishes and pizzas sounded superb. Nikki noticed the raddicio, citrus and pancetta salad, so we began there. This is not a dinner salad, but more of an appetizer to share or combine with a small pizza. I do not eat pancetta, but it was easy to pick around and the salad was extremely refreshing. Radicchio, honey infused orange slices, sunchokes, pecorino and a light dressing, something of a vinegar base. This was an ultimate combination for a refreshing salad. I had not had sunchokes before and I have certainly been missing out on this delicious vegetable. Sunchokes look almost like a mushroom, but are chewy and chocked full of flavor. I am now on the hunt for this item and this is another dish Nikki plans to replicate, lucky for me.
For the entree course, I settled on the Spinaci breakfast pizza, topped with spinach, grana, mascarpone and egg. Nikki ordered the Salsiccia, which came topped with bacon, sausage, egg and white cheddar. The pizzas are on a thin crust and a small is very managable. If you are hungry, opt for a large. For a reference, the small and large are both larger than Fellini's small and large sizes and the breakfast pizzas are less in terms of cost. I also spotted the Frutta, another breakfast pizza topped with sugar, cinnamon, pears and pecorino. The waiter brough that after our entree pizzas and we each sample some and I packed the rest for the road. I like it a lot, but it is more of a dessert to share than a meal. To really make the most of the meal, I had to spy the dessert menu. A newer addition, the **hazelnut torte, caught my eye and I am glad it did. The 'torte' was the consistency of a very soft bread, generously topped with hazelnut pieces and paired with granita, cream and a light, carrot based sauce. The combination sounded so novel and the taste was astonishing. The torte part was not very sweet so that it did not overpowered the rest of the flavors. This was a light, moderately sweet dessert that would I believe most would enjoy.
Burgers are served only after midnight (supper) and if you do not crave a pizza, there are daily specials, such as duck, goat meatballs and lets not forget the roasted grapefruit with muscovado sugar & mint in the morning. Pasta, lamb, roasted mussels and a NY Strip all appear on the menu as do various types of proscuitto.
Pulino's is bustling with energy and table service is very good, but this is not the venue for a quiet meal. The noise level is excitingly loud and bounces off of the subway tile walls and rustic brick interior. You can enjoy the constant hum of conversation from others. The only complaint we had was that the bartender did not warn Nikki that you cannot purchase alcohol in NYC before noon. We do not remember this from our prior trips, but its possible, we did not eat before noon on those trips. Nikki ordered one of the three or four bloody Mary's offered and the description included vodka, but he never told her that before noon, they are all virgin. She paid the $11 sticker price, plus tip, at the bar and was about to order another round at the table, when the waiter asked her if she knew they were virgin until noon. We were both shocked, not at the alcohol law, which is also in effect in North Carolina (not surprising there, but in NYC, really?), but at the fact that the bartender did not inform her when she ordered the first drink. $11 for tomato juice and spices is a bit extreme. During the 'virgin hours', these drinks should be half of the price of the full on beverage, or even less. That is just taking advantage and we were thankful the waiter was nice enough to let us know before we had a $25 bill for more tomato juice. Shame on you, Pulino's Sunday brunch bartender but thank you **, our nice and helpful server.
Pulini's is very busy during Sunday brunch and word on the street is it is also busy during dinner, so call and see if they will take a reservation or be prepared to wait at the bar (watch out for the drinks on Sunday mornings!). The restaurant is open from 8:30am-2am and the menu breaks down by time, breakfast, brunch, mini lunch, lunch, late lunch, dinner and supper, so you can go any time and try some of the fare. Pulino's is located in Nolita at 282 Bowery @Houston , New York, New York 10012.
Pulino's is featured as one of New York City's top 10 Summer Hot spots. To view the slide show Click Here.
Is It Safe to Eat Medium-Rare Pork?
This spectacular Roasted Salt- and Spice-Packed Pork Loin got us thinking about the proper cooking temperature for pork. Long gone are the days when pork was routinely overcooked in order to avoid the food-borne illness trichinosis. For many years, nutritionists--and the USDA--have recommended cooking the meat until it reaches an internal temperature of about 160°F, or medium, which can result in slightly pink meat. But some restaurant chefs across the country are going one step further and cooking pork medium-rare, or to about 145°F.
So does that mean it's safe to go a little pinker when you roast pork? From a health standpoint, the answer is yes, since trichinae are killed at 137°F. However, Nate Appleman, chef-partner of Pulino's Bar and Pizzeria in New York, isn't a big fan of the medium-rare movement. "It's just a trend," he says. "The texture of the meat is simply better at medium. Pork can be chewy at lower temperatures." For the safest, most delicious meat, chef Appleman recommends always buying top-quality pork from a trusted purveyor, such as Heritage Foods USA. --Victoria von Biel
Recipes you want to make. Cooking advice that works. Restaurant recommendations you trust.
Pulino’s Bar and Pizzeria - Recipes
BENVENUTI DEI FRATELLI UCCELLO!
“Welcome from the Uccello’s brothers!”
Flo’s was founded on April 29th, 2011 by Daniele and Davide Uccello. It was a dream the two brothers had ever since they started working for their father at an early age. Daniele has always had a passion for cooking and Davide has always had a passion for service. It was a match from day one! Davide was 19 and Daniele was 24 when the two brothers started talking about it. There was little support from anyone besides their father and mother Salvatore and Franca Uccello others thought they were too young but the two Sicilian born brothers never gave up and after years of persistence it finally happened! Ever since then the two brothers and their management have been committed to providing excellent service and authentic Italian food at the right value. Lastly as you browse the menu you will be looking at recipes that have been brought to America from past generations. You will also be looking at recipes that have incorporated various local Michigan vendors.
Flo’s Collection is a full service food company that is family owned and operated locally by Dan and Davide Uccello
Since 2011 the brothers have built upon the success of their parents and put Flo’s firmly in the spotlight by winning