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Picasso Pizzeria (Bleecker St.)

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Jessica Oct 30, 1999 04:44 PM

I *finally* tried Picasso Pizza after much urging from Paolo, my Neopolitan friend. He had raved about how it was much better than John's Pizza (which I find very inconsistent anyway) and Arturo's (which we both think is resting on its laurels). It came very close to Sally's in New Haven, the freshest, thinnest crust, most wonderful pizza I have ever had.

All the pizzas at Picasso are pies to made serve one person, split into 6 small slices ranging from $10--12.

Paolo got his favorite Quattro Formaggio, a white pizza with mozzerella, fontina, gorgonzola and, I think, parmesan. I love white pizza but feared that with 4 cheeses it would be too mushy, gloppy and rich. Boy, was I wrong! It was just the right consistency, not to thick, and the flavors blended so well. My 1st reaction was, it would be good with a nice glass of red wine. Paolo offered that it's also very good with strips of prosciutto on top, something he often asks for there but just decided not to this time for a change.

I split 2 pizzas with Paolo's girlfriend: the eponymous (is that the right word?) Picasso Pizza which came with eggplant, zuchinni and herbs. Oddly the toppings are very spare so it was a difficult split because there was only about 3 small (2--3" diameter) pieces of eggplant and about 10 pieces of baby yellow and green zuchinni. Then it was topped with fresh rosemary. The veggies were possibly cooked before, were very tender and flavorful, so they functioned almost as a seasoning. The tomato sauce is just perfect, very fresh and succulent.

The other pizza we split was the Funghi with mushrooms and sausage and, I think, onions. The nice surprise here was the sausage was very spicey and had the texture of ground beef, like little dollops of sausage meat, not like slices. The spiceyness was instense then faded fast. Again, the toppings were spare. Maybe 1 pieces of sausage per each slice. But, no matter, it's quality not quantity, and I had to give a 1/2 a slice a way at the end.

One caveat, all the pizza is made to order and since we ordered 4 it took a long time: 30--40 minutes. Enough time for 2 Moretti beers, but next time I may order a salad.

BTW: they have a selection of salads (4?) and pastas (7?) and there are about 3 other types of pizza. And no anchovies, our 4th friend wanted the Funghi pie with anchovies but they don't have them and they are not on any pie there.

Also, it's small and had a garden. It is charming, though, and the staff very relaxed and friendly.

I'd love to hear if anyone else has tried it.