Michael White officially opened the doors to Nicoletta, his much anticipated Midwestern-Neopolitan Pizzeria, last Friday. The menu includes a variety of small bites and antipasti as well as 10 pizzas like the Fior Di Zucca (zucchini blossoms, bufala mozzarella D.O.C.grated yellow squash, pomodorini, basil pesto) and the Porchetta (sliced Osteria Morini porchetta, crushed tomatoes,wild arugula, rosemary salted pork cracklings). Most early reviewers seem to be wildly impressed with the pizza while others are turned off by all the hype surrounding the opening. See what some of the first diners have to say about Nicoletta:
The Pretty Good News: One Eater commenter had a good first experience: "Had the Calabrese and Carbonara pizzas; really excellent, and the thin crust is crunchy but a tad dry (the dough has less moisture, according to my server). The pollo al aceto is spicy and delicious. Also had the fior de latte gelato: just decadent. Have it with the pistachio brittle." [Eater Comments]
The Glowing News: Responses from the Twitter world have been positive, even Martha Stewart tweeted about her dinner: "He has done it again! michael white just opened Nicoletta at 2nd ave and10thst pizza galore!" [Twitter]
The Worth-the-Hype News: Josh Ozersky also sent Nicoletta some Twitter love: "Just had the new, improved Nicoletta pizza. It's so goddamned good. I need something to dislike. But I can't lie!" He then grouped the restaurant with fellow new comer Mission Chinese: "In other news, Mission Chineses and Nicoletta Pizza are worth the hype. "
The Crust News: Slice sheds some light on Nicoletta's crust style: "Keep in mind that White and team are still tweaking the pizza there, but what we sampled on Thursday night was somewhere between Midwest cracker-crust and the thicker, chewier NYC style. It's a low-hydration dough (57%) with a high degree of crispness, some of that due to the 10% durum wheat used in the crust and partially because it spends close to 10 minutes in the oven (Marsal & Sons, running just around 600°F)." The Pizza blog also explores White's cheese and sauce choices."White gets his whole-milk mozzarella from Wisconsin. His sauce is thicker than usual on NYC-style (or Neapolitan) pizza and has a Midwestern flavor to it since it's seasoned with dried basil and oregano." [Slice]
The Not-Worth-the-Hype News: A Gothamist commenter suggests another option: "Hmm... you know where you can get midwestern pizza? The midwest! And they won't charge you as much. Why oh why oh why oh did you ever leave Ohio?" [Gothamist]
The Best-Pizza-in-Town News: An early Zagat review makes a bold statement about the new Pizzeria: "The pizzas come in ten different variations plus a make-your-own option. We sampled the calabrese which had thick-cut pepperoni, sausage and onions and the Tartufata - prosciutto, marinated mushrooms and a truffle cream sauce. Yum. Combining traditional Italian ingredients and flavors with a thicker, more buttery Midwestern-style crust is kinda genius. The results were some of the most delicious pies we've ever tasted in this town...no joke." [Zagat]
The Bad Decor but Good Food News: An early diner makes a comment on EV Grieve: "Young staff, very friendly and helpful. The internal branding with everything marked with "Nicoletta" or an "N" is a bit much. Especially when there is zero decor. Pizzas are $17 - 22. The crust is different - crisp top and bottom with a center like excellent focaccia. In fact one pizza is good for two people especially if you get an appetizer. The toppings are rich and varied. It is F-ing delicious." [EV Grieve]