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Mar 10, 2000 11:24 AM

village pizza

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Having been annoyed by John's pizza inconsistency over the last two years I'm searching for a new great village pizza choice. We don't get to go often because we are a rare breed of super-health conscious, weight lifting, chowhounds so when we overindulge it's only the best. Has anyone been to the Borgo Antico's pizza cafe offspring on like west 12th or 11th around university? It looks cute but suspiciously empty at all hours. Any other new and notables in the area aside from the usual suspects?


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  1. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE read my report re: Picasso Pizzeria (Bleecker nr. 7th Ave) on this very board but written months ago. You will not regret it!!

    P.S. I have a had some nice fancy lunches at Borgo Antico--good upscale italian, don't know how the pizza is.

    14 Replies
    1. re: Jessica S.

      For whole pies, I've found Arturo's to be more consistent than John's.

      Also, California Pizza Kitchen has a location on University Place near 13th. As a hardcore pizza aficionado friend of mine says, "it's not really pizza, but it is good." Although you can always get a reheated slice of, say, shitake and sundried tomato with black olives, or broccoli and goat cheese with roasted garlic, they have a cool woodburning oven and will make pies to order with anything or nothing on them.

      1. re: MU

        Yes, Picasso pizza is pretty darn good (however it's not your basic American pie -- it's more along the lines of authentic Italian) but $75 for 2 people (drinks, tax and tip included) is outrageously expensive. It's also not as good as it was before it closed for "remodelling" last summer.

        I, too, feel that Arturos really is your best John's- substitute bet.

        1. re: Marion

          Now it's war... puh-leeze, Arturo's is way worse and way less reliable than Johns! The charred too-thick crust is disgusting. If you're gonna take the time for a pie to be made to order you might as well spring for Picasso, which has never been $75 for 2 but more like $25-30 for one including 2 italian beers per person, a reasonable sum for any dinner in that nabe.

          1. re: Jessica S.

            See the link below for my Picasso (post-remodelling) report.
            For the record, I love Lombardi's too, but CPK is getting way off track.


            1. re: Jessica S.

              for the record, the place on univeristy is not california pizza kitchen; it is california pizza oven, a totally different place. joe's wins the village and city pizza contest hands down, though arturos has really improved lately. i cannot believe i'm reading about a pizza place that costs 75 bucks (or even 30 bucks) to eat in. this entire website has lost its way.

              1. re: MATT

                I'm glad to hear that Arturo's is on an upswing... though us hounds may sound cantankerous, we just want GOOD FOOD that is what it purports to be!

                Now, in defense of Picasso Pizzeria, as another writer stated it's more of a restaurant, but very cozy--not stuffy, but a little nicer than Joe's. You order whole pies to order per person and a pie plus 2 beers (they take about 30 minutes if you are with a group) plus tax and tip will be minimum $25. It's just a reality in the village. And hey, it't not for everyone. But if you read my Picasso post these are not ordinary pies either.

                I kinda thought the difference betw. a hound and foodie was about hype and style (not going to the 'hottest' , 'trendiest' places but going for GOOD food) and while I think value is important I will put it aside slightly for something above the norm. This isn't even worth arguing over, it was just a VERY good pizza I had one day, much better than John's or Arturo's and that is all. (Besides you won't get out of those joints for under $20--walk-out price incl. beer believe me.)

                1. re: Jessica S.

                  Bravo Matt,

                  Pizza is one of the best grab and go street foods in this city- and the very best place to accomplish this is joes at carmine and bleeker. Just order fast and don't try to ponder the menu- all you want is two slices and a large coke. And be sure it is the one one the corner not the one a couple doors to the north. Ben's isn't bad either and peace to the late rosario's that got squashed by that Ray's eyesore next to Katz'.

                2. re: MATT

                  Joe's? Where is that, did you mean to say John's?
                  where exactly is Picasso anyways? It's not the cafe by Kim's on far west bleecker is it?

                  Just wondering,

                  1. re: frank

                    Meant to say John's, sorry.
                    Picasso is on Bleecker, n. side of the st., east of 7th ave.

                    1. re: frank

                      there is johns on bleecker and joes on carmine just off bleecker, right down the street. johns is fine, more of a restaurant, resting on laurels a bit. joes is nothing but an oven and two standup tables, but the slices are the best.

            2. re: MU

              More consistently awful, you mean, unless you have a freak affinity for soggy crust and canned-tasting sauce. Even Mona Lisa and Pizza Box are better. And CPK is just beneath contempt, unless you have the excuse of being in Columbus, Ohio. This is the spot where one of the Perlows probably pipes in to tell us about a restaurant in Parsippany. But really: John's is about as good as it gets in the Village. Although Lombardi's delivers.

              1. re: Al Pastor
                Rachel Perlow

                "This is the spot where one of the Perlows probably pipes in to tell us about a restaurant in Parsippany."

                Sorry, don't know about any pizza places in Parsippany. Frankly (Al Pasteur - pseudonym with no email address to send this to), that remark was uncalled for. Your posts are a prime example of what people are complaining about when they say this site is starting to get nasty. I may get off topic, but at least I'm not insulting.

                1. re: Rachel Perlow

                  "a prime example of what people are complaining about when they say this site is starting to get nasty. I may get off topic, but at least I'm not insulting"

                  Sorry about Al's remark (actually, while he CAN be pretty poisonous, I think in this case he was just teasing you), but I don't think it's fair to globalize like that. We've got a community of tens of thousands here; if a couple of people sometimes are overly snide, that doesn't really reflect on the site as a whole.

                  I'm in kind of a bind here...if I get into deleting stuff because of negative tone, there's a slippery slope to being super-invasive. So I tend to leave most stuff up that doesn't flagrantly flout our rules, figuring that every community has its cranks (and its gadflies), and hoping that people will not get overly hung up by the tone of a few isolated cases. We've got a looong way to go before this site could be considered "nasty". If anything, I'm kinda surprised it's as polite as it IS, considering the passion we all feel for the subject matter!


                2. re: Al Pastor

                  Oops. Per Matt's post below, I stand corrected on the name, although anyone familiar with the location, on University Place, would know what I was talking about. It's CP_O_ on University, not CPK. And it's good.

            3. I went to a pizza cafe on "12th or 11th around niversity" a couple of months ago; I couldn't swear it was called Borgo Antico but the location sounds about right. It was -- as evidenced by my lack of recall as to the name and address -- not particularly memorable. I do recall thinking the setting and ambience were nicer than the pizza, FWIW. Also that my wife, who ordered something other than pizza, liked it less than I did.