Emily and Matt Hyland have chosen a name for their new grilled pizza restaurant coming to the East Village this fall: Violet, after the state flower of Rhode Island.
The husband-wife team behind Emmy Squared and Emily will debut their newest restaurant in early November at 511 E. Fifth St., between Avenues A and B, the former GG’s space. The focus here will be grilled pizzas inspired by a Providence-based restaurant called Al Forno, a spokesperson tells Eater.
A gas and charcoal hybrid grill will push out pies at the new spot. Beyond pizza, the menu will feature recipes with Italian and Portuguese influences; dishes like spaghetti chitarra with clams and bonito butter, grilled head-on shrimp, and polenta johnnycakes topped with roasted mushrooms and bitter greens are expected.
Al Forno is known for being the birthplace of grilled pizza, which is cooked as quickly as possible over high heat, a strategy that results in a crust that’s chewy on the inside. Pizzas are actually served as an appetizer at the Italian restaurant, but diners flock there for just that, including Emily and Matt back when they attended school together in Rhode Island.
The duo has previous experience with bringing less ubiquitous pies to NYC’s pizza scene and turning them into mega-hits: They successfully built a following for Detroit-style pies via Emmy Squared, which opened its third location in the East Village this year. Before that, they also opened Emily in the West Village.
Today, New Yorkers can find a grilled margherita at Fresco by Scotto and a grilled white clam pizza at the Clam, but they’ll soon have a whole restaurant dedicated to it. Stay tuned.