The owner of popular late night pizzeria Artichoke is getting in on the Detroit-style pizza game.
Artichoke founder and co-owner Francis Garcia is opening two new concepts, including one in Chelsea focused on the current Detroit style trend. Lions and Tigers and Squares — the name is an ode to the city’s major sports teams — is set to open at 268 West 23rd St., near 8th Avenue, at the end of the month.
The square pizza will be served with a traditional caramelized cheese crust and toppings that include hand-cut pepperoni, crumbled sausage out of the casing, roasted onions and peppers, thick cut bacon, black cured olives, and button mushrooms. Signature pies will include a Detroit chili pie, a hamburger pie with a cheddar and beer cheese sauce, and a creamed parsnip, turnip, and butter pie. The pizza cheese will be a blend of Wisconsin brick, provolone and mozzarella.
Besides being inspired by the pizza style, LT&S will play Motown music as tribute to the Motor City and serve Detroit coneys, Detroit’s version of a frankfurter, with chili, cheese and chopped raw onion or with oven-roasted broccoli rabe and garlic. And like at Artichoke, different pizza varieties will be ready in pans for grab-and-go, and the restaurant will be open 24-hours a day. It opens on January 31st.
Over in Williamsburg, Garcia is planning to open The Big Ragu this month at 679 Grand St., between Manhattan and Graham avenues, serving Milan-style pies until 2 a.m. Here, the pies are baked at 800 degrees instead of the traditional 500 degrees — giving them “more of a soufflé consistency, crunchy on the outside and doughy on the inside,” Garcia says.
This version uses an abundance of sauce to keep it from burning in the high heat, and the signatures here will include one inspired by Marcella Hazan’s tomato, onion, and butter recipe, and another sweetened with herbs along with a classic tomato.
Artichoke has been around New York since 2008, best known for being a classic New York late night spot for creamy slices of pie. It’s since expanded to a dozen locations across the country, though always under the Artichoke name. Meanwhile, Detroit-style square slices have been trending like mad outside of Michigan. Emmy Squared in Brooklyn is so popular that it’s already opening a new location in the East Village, and restaurants in Kentucky, Texas, and Colorado also now boast versions of the square pies.