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The Early Word on Vermont Import American Flatbread

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Daniel Krieger

Last month, the first New York location of Vermont pizza darling American Flatbread opened in Tribeca. In addition to pies, the restaurant offers salads and desserts, plus a tap list that includes several VT brews that are not typically seen outside the Green Mountain state. The early response has been largely positive, with many Vermont natives and cognoscenti cheering the chain's new outpost while also pointing out room for improvement. Here's what they're saying:

The Good News: This Yelper finds everything he is looking for in an NYC flatbread: "First off, I'm pretty convinced about half the patrons were Vermont natives on this opening Friday night. A LOT of plaid in the room and more beards than I'm used to seeing in Tribeca. Love it. The pizza here is everything it's cracked up to be and as good as any other American Flatbread restaurant I've been to. And the prices (amazingly) are the same as their Vermont sites. We split the Squashed Bread (tomato butter, kale, squash, zucchini, mozzarella, scallions, lemon) and the Kalua (Pork shoulder, mango BBQ, red onion, pineapple, goat cheese, mozz). Both were savory and cooked to perfection, with chewy/bready crust which was blistered on the outside from the fire." [Yelp]

The Underwhelming News: In contrast, Robert Sietsma is ambivalent about that crust, as well as some other things: "The crust, though of irregular girth (the small one is about 10 inches), seemed almost like that of a regular neighborhood pie, only a little tougher. Then there's the char from the wood-burning oven. Not a bad crust, but not one that you'd rave about either. Three salads are offered. We chose the winter vegetable number, which had beets, shaved fennel, "roasted local squash," spiced pecans, and lettuce. The spiced pecans were a species of candy, the dressing on the sweet side, the beets relatively profuse, but the "roasted local squash" almost nonexistent. About 95% of the mass of the salad was lettuce of the infant variety. Not bad for $8.50, since it was shareable." [FitR]

The Not Enough Toppings News: Though generally satisfied, this next Yelper also takes issue with the toppings: "The salads are slightly larger than typical starter salads, so the size was appropriate to share or to eat alone. I would have been happy with more vegetables atop the bed of greens, but overall, the salad was delicious. The thin crust [of the pizza] was light and thin, on the softer side, with just a hint of char. The combination of toppings create a melt-in-your-mouth wonderful taste. I would have liked more toppings on the pizza, too, as they were skimpy." [Yelp]

The Booze News: Another Yelp reviewer also touts the crust and is excited about the beverage list: "The crust is fantastic as they bake it in a wood buring oven. My wife had the gluten free (which they can top with whatever ingredients you want) and found it to be very good as well. Finally, there is a full bar area, cocktail menu, and a host of microbrews on tap. I am yet to go there for a drink but the bar looks inviting. They even have Ilegal Mezcal (a personal favorite) as they focus on artisanal, small batch, premium spirits." [Yelp]

The Great News: A commenter on Tribeca Citizen reports: "I, along with a large group was invited to a tasting at the new TriBeCa location last Sunday (amid the construction). The pizzas were really good and the signature salad was tasty too. The owners/managers were great too." [Tribeca Citizen]

The Disappointing News: Yet another Yelp reviewer is thrilled about the drinks, but laments the lack of brunch and some odd meat: "AF being noteworthy for delicious bloody marys, I ordered one and it was FANTASTIC. However, I was a bit disappointed that the Eggs Benedict Flatbread served weekends in Burlington was not on the menu. So instead we ate the new Vermont sausage pizza and the pepperoni/peppers pizza. The sausage flatbread was awesome, the pepperoni was in the 3-star range - not enough cheese and the pepperoni itself was one of the weirdest driest pepperonis I've ever consumed. It felt more like tempeh bruschetta than a cheesy flatbread." [Yelp]

The Good for the Neighborhood News: An Eater commenter files this report: "I went for Friends and Family and was very surprised at how good it was. I think they will have the kind of pains that any out of town pizzeria has though (oddly cut pies, odd pepperoni, non-traditional flavors). The crust and the quality of ingredients are top notch though. Big win for TriBeCa." [Eater Comments]

The Tastes Like Home News: This fan of the original locations agrees that they've nailed it: "Last night I checked out the new location with a friend. I'll admit, I was slightly turned off at first by the enormous, chic interior (I rather prefer the cozy, ambient VT vibe); but that is my only complaint. The service was impeccable and the flatbreads taste like home. Bravo! One other thing: make that house salad dressing slightly tarter, and it's all gravy after that." [Yelp]

The Foursquare News: Caitlin C.: "A ridiculous selection of Vermont beer, delicious flatbread pizza + the Outkast discography in the background. Just sayin'..." Shayna K: "Huge space, very accommodating for big group dinners. Pizzas & pecan salads are great." Justin K: "Pecan salad + a large pie is a perfect split. Ask them to do half and half."

· All Coverage of American Flatbread [~ENY~]
— Anne Goldberg

American Flatbread Tribeca Hearth

205 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10013 (212) 776-1441

American Flatbread Tribeca Hearth

205 Hudson St., New York, NY

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