New York Openings: Vicolo, Williamsburg Pizza, Brooklyn Central

There may be nothing new under the wood-burning oven, but Brooklyn’s latest pizza arrivals are carving out some space of their own. Thursday night, Bay Ridge welcomed Vicolo, with the only individually-sized Neapolitan pies available in the whole neighborhood. The pizzaiolo is Luigi Olivella, who has something of a cult following thanks to his stints with L’Asso and OliO Pizza e Più. His wood-fired brick oven was specially made in Naples and it’s put to good use here, turning out a mix of rosse and bianche options. Pizza is only the beginning, as a chef from Puglia oversees a full array of antipasti, primi, and secondi possibilities. The focus is Southern Italian classics, with tomatoes, salumi, and cheeses among the ingredients brought in fresh from the Old Country. The dining room works for date nights, an elegant "alley" with white tablecloths, earth-toned accents, and timbered beams overhead. 

On a more casual note, Williamsburg Pizza is a recent addition to the south side mix. A retro striped awning in front calls back to parlors of yore, with brick, tile, and chalkboard on the homey interior. There’s a smattering of tables for hunkering down over large-size pies with your choice of Brooklyn, Margherita, or Grandma crusts. The focus is on high-quality ingredients, although the “Fresh!” sign in front may have already alerted you to that. Toppings are modern enough to range from classic fresh-mozzarella Caprese to a vegan pie with spinach and caramelized onions. The San Marzano tomato sauce is made in-house, as are the cheeses, when they don’t come direct from Italy.
 
Between those two poles of Kings County stands Brooklyn Central. Park Slope’s latest pizza destination brings killer Neapolitan pies from pizzaolos who did time at The Spotted Pig and I Trulli. The menu divides into Old World classics and New World creativity, tied together by Brooklyn sourcing. Mozzarella and charcuterie are made in-house, and fresh ingredients fill out both the pizza toppings and seasonal salads. Park Slope’s favorite meal, brunch, launches Saturday. A couple of ringers are joining the regular pizza rotation. Ham and eggs meet gruyere and truffle for A.M. gourmets. If you’re shading more sweet than savory, check out the Banana Stonecake, a pancake-inspired combo of bananas, pecans, and syrup. Ladies and gentlemen, start your strollers.
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