Park Slope’s pizza game just got a serious new addition with Public Display of Affection, a wood-fired pizza spot from a Roberta’s and Speedy Romeo alum that opened just days before the state-mandated shutdown on dining-in due to the novel coronavirus. The new restaurant, located at 669 Union Street, near Fourth Avenue, has been open for delivery and takeout since mid-March, and owner and chef Robert Guimond tells Eater that he’s buoyed by the demand so far.
“When I developed the business plan for this restaurant, I thought that takeout and delivery would be a huge part of the business,” he says. “We’re only 24 seats, compared to the 70 seats over at Speedy Romeo, so thankfully I already had this menu planned out. That’s part of the reason we’re able to make this work.”
Guimond is keeping the menu short at PDA — as the restaurant is also known — with five, thin crust, wood-fired pies, including a vegetable one with with broccoli, onion, mushroom, and Brussels sprouts, and a pepperoni option with heaps of mozzarella, roni cups, and plenty of red chile flakes. They’re the two most popular items at the restaurant so far, says Emi Guimond, Robert’s business partner at PDA and sister.
While pizza is the undeniable centerpiece of the new venture, appetizers are also a big part of the menu. Items include lamb and beef meatballs, fried potatoes in white sauce, and an arugula salad that’s buried under mountains of parmesan. A jammy chile wings dish is also a crowd favorite, Emi tells Eater.
Most days, Robert works alone out of the restaurant’s kitchen, bringing in two chefs to help him process orders on Friday and Saturday nights when the restaurant receives the most number of delivery requests. While the delivery-only menu is shorter than he would have liked, Robert says he plans to incorporate a few more dishes and some rotating specials “just as soon as things open back up.”
Robert started his career as a line cook at the lauded Jean-Georges restaurant before pivoting to pizza. Over the next seven years, he worked in the kitchens of popular neighborhood pizza spots like Roberta’s and Speedy Romeo, eventually becoming chef de cuisine of the latter. Emi previously worked as operations manager at Speedy Romeo’s Clinton Hill outpost, and PDA marks the first solo outing for the brother-sister duo.
Park Slope is home to plenty of pizzerias including family-run Italian restaurant La Villa Pizza and Giuseppina’s, a wood-fired spot owned by the brother of Mark Iacono, who runs Lucali. The Guimonds are hoping that PDA can make the neighborhood into a pizza destination in the way Roberta’s has done for Bushwick and Pizza Moto for Gowanus.
Public Display of Affection joins a growing list of restaurants that had been scheduled to open when the coronavirus pandemic hit — and did so anyway. In February, 29-year-old restaurateur Yudai Kanayama debuted Dr. Clark, a new tabletop lamb barbecue spot in Chinatown. Later in March, noted chef Adam Leonti decided to follow through with plans to open Sofia’s Panificio e Vino in Little Italy, only as a pasta and pizza delivery spot.
Public Display of Affection is located at 669 Union Street, at Fourth Avenue. The wood-fired pizzeria is available for delivery daily from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. through Caviar.