Michael White‘s new pizzeria, Nicoletta, has recently opened in the East Village. Sitting on the corner of 10th Street and 2nd Avenue, this intimate pizzeria is often packed during prime time hours and does not accept reservations. Since the restaurant is too small for a proper hostess stand, guests are greeted outside during the summer months (I’m guessing a new system will be figured out once winter arrives) and will either be seated or told an absurd waiting time. Once inside, the brick wall interior and marble tables are very cozy yet give the restaurant a bit of an upscale feeling. Also, the high ceilings were a very nice touch as well. The only problem with the design of the restaurant is that there is only one restroom for the patrons to use and in a crowded restaurant that can be a serious issue. During my visit, which was at the early time of 5:30 PM, I tried to use the restroom about 3 times and wasn’t successful any of the times. I guess its best to go before you get here I suppose.
The menu is split up into small appetizers such as Fried Calamari and Confit Chicken Thigh, smaller appetizers such as Salami and Olivs and pizzas. While at first glance the pizzas may seem on the expensive side (the cheapest pie is $18), the pies are actually quite large and need to be shared by at least two people. Of course classics such as the Marghertia are available but there are some more interesting options available such as the Patataona with crushed yukon gold potatoes, bacon, caramelized onions and creme fraiche. After looking at the quite large array of pizzas, I decided on the Tartufata pie that came with mozzarella, crema di tartufo prosciutto and roasted mushrooms. What was unique about Nicoletta was the tables had a slot built into the table for the pie holder to go. When the pizza came out, I was a bit disappointed with the presentation in the sense that the crust looked puffy and the massive amount of toppings almost made the pie resemble a deep-dish pizza. However, once I took a bite that was not the case. The toppings managed to stay on the pizza and the crust at the bottom was crunchy and could support the amount of food that was on it. The pizza was flavorful and the texture between the toppings and crust was a nice contrast.
While the menu may look expensive at first, know that everything at Nicoletta’s is meant to be shared. If you can deal with the long wait times, or accept dining at 5 or 6 PM, then I would surely give Nicoletta’s a try as, while it may not be as good as Co., it is one of the better pizzerias in New York.