The Dish: Pulino’s Salsiccia Pizza

What: Salsiccia Pizza with sausage, tomato, mozzarella, broccoli rabe, chiles & pecorino. Where: Pulino’s, Keith McNally’s rowdy-yet-highbrow pizzeria on The Bowery. Ideal meal: Pre-game for a night out. Because: Typically McNally-esque, Pulino’s pulls off the same charming, eclectic brasserie/bistro vibe here that New Yorkers have previously fallen for at Pastis, Balthazar, Schiller’s, and Minetta. The pizza is tasty, and chef Nate Appleman loves meat items, therefore, anything with sausage is decidedly splendid and cooked with lots of love. Tastes like: Thin crust pizza hits home with this concoction. Sausage, mozzarella, and broccoli rabe is an enticing combo of sweet, salty and slightly bitter. Top with egg for a good time. Bottom line: $17 for a pie, possibly shareable for 3, depending on how ravenous your group might be. Nine slices to go around.

Gastro Gamechangers: Keith McNally’s Pulino Plans Go Public, Now Hiring

Keith McNally’s the celebrity and buzz-magnetized brain behind New York’s SoHo standby Balthazar, the center of gravity in the Meatpacking District, Pastis, the Lower East Side’s de facto cafeteria of the young and moneyed (Schiller’s), and The Hardest Table in Town of the moment, Minetta Tavern. Every opening of his is an event, and even when a restaurant of his doesn’t blow away the critics, it still packs ’em in nightly (see: Morandi). Problem is, they tend to be just out of the price range of New York’s young and hungry. Until now, or soon, as Pulino — McNally’s pizza place — is coming, and it’s coming downtown, to Bowery below Houston. Today, Pulino chef Nate Appleman twittered that he was hiring. Even better, NBC Local tossed Pulino’s plans on their website. What’s it (maybe) look like?

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Per Matt Duckor at NBC:

One of the most prominent features highlighted in the plans is the massive, semi-circle bar adjacent to the kitchen, which should prove useful for neighborhood drop-ins. Other discoveries include: 1) The bathrooms are located in the cellar like they are at McNally’s nearby spot, Schiller’s, though they don’t appear to be unisex. 2) While the restaurant seems to sport a closed kitchen, the plan depicts a completely open pizza station, so crowds can potentially witness live, Appleman dough-tossing magic.

And Appleman dough-tossing magic we’ll await. Nate Appleman’s formerly of A16 in San Fransisco, who he left two months after winning his 2009 James Beard Award for Rising Star Chef. He’s only the second chef to open a McNally joint since Jodi Williams at Morandi who isn’t Lee Hanson and Riad Nasr, McNally’s kitchen lieutenants at all his other properties, (and we all know how Jodie’s tenure turned out: ugly). Needless to say, the anticipation’s been high, and this just upped it.