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New Restaurant - Henry btw Carroll and 1st

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I noticed that a new place opened shop late last week on Henry Street between Carroll and 1st Place. Popped my head in on Friday night to check it out. At the moment, all they are doing are brick oven pizza's (plain only) and calzones as they are in "soft launch" stage. Decided to grab a pie to go.

The setup is very open. A large wooden table separates the dining area from the kitchen. This table is serving as their assembly area for the pies and calzones. It felt old world, in a good way.

It was explained to me that each pie has three different cheeses, pizza and fresh mozzarella as a base finished with a healthy dusting of grana once it’s pulled from the oven. More on this later.

Part of the decoration on the table was a unopened large glass jar of quality anchovies. While they said no toppings, I begged that they crack that jar open and lay some of those tasty babies on. After a moment of hesitation, the pizza chef agreed and we decided that the best way would be to add them once the pie was pulled so as to avoid burning. They took my cell # and promised to call in 30 minutes.

Call they did, right on time. I was pleasantly surprised given the place was 3/4 full and we all know how restaurants fair early in their lives in service. As I walked home with the pie, the aroma was great, boding well for our meal. Cracked the box once home and saw a thin crusted pie that looked great. Flavor was excellent, sauce tasty and the cheese combination excellent. There was a nice meatiness imparted by that "pizza cheese", brightened by the fresh mozzarella. The grana added a nice sharp and salty bite. The anchovies were excellent.

My only complain was the center of the pie was a touch underdone (read soggy), but I imagine they will work out this kink.

Cost for the pie was a bit above market ($20 with the anchovies), but the pizza was very tasty and is something I will have again.

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  1. Sounds like they're trying to do a DiFara knock-off. Hey, if they can pull it off, more power to 'em - it would have to be better than DeMarco's.

    1 Reply
    1. re: lambretta76

      My thoughts exactly. Forgot to mention there was a drizzle of EVOO added at the end, so it seems like your reaction is accurate.

    2. Not that you're incorrect of course... I have no problem going to Savoia regularly and DiFara's almost as regularly. However, I do bemoan the closing of Cristardi's a # of years ago and this place may, hopefully, replace it.

      1. I ate there tonight and the answer is definitively yes.

        first of all, it's really a pizzeria, not an italian restaurant, and the pizza is excellent. the crust is the perfect combo of chew and char, the ingredients first rate, and if occasionally a pie is jsut slightly soggy in the middle, well, that's in the neopolitan tradition as half of the many pizzas i have had at famous places in naples were soggy in the middle as well.

        There is no comparing this to savoia. Savoia is more in the roman style, (tho imho not as good as true roman pizza) and this is definitely more neopolitan/new york.

        and yes, difara's is an influence. I asked. It's different from dom's, but still very good, a lot closer to my house, and without the long lines ( or at least not yet)

        the pizza is better than leonardo's was, but i sure do miss that garden!

        1. true, there are lots of average pizza places around, but few are memorable. I have been looking forward to a nice brick oven pie since Leonardo's closed last year.

          1. this is not "some new" place, but the numbers shop run by Carmela's (nephew). aka Formerly the only soda fountain left in Bklyn with real egg creams. the guys are LOCAL. (like, around the corner). Yep, we DO need this. Nino's pizzas are much soggier now. And at least its not some horrible nouveau cooking school interloper funded by daddy like Crave, or another stupid bistro like the french ones that bought all the laundromats on Henry (with their "spin" turntables and their stupid wine lists), or that digusting Naidres with the hipsters slurping chai lattes and writing their "novels" all day or the dead lettuce bagel pit across from Mazzolos or the crevette snob place spawned by boullabaise that kicked out the Moroccan takeout from Columbia St (she's gone up to Lincoln in PkSlope, cheaper rent now) -- be grateful there's something left of brooklyn after all the slacker media publicists get through ruining the neighborhood. Or maybe they will all move back to Minneapolis or Ohio or Virginia or Jersey or whereever they slunk in from and we can have brookyn back. And our pies.

            7 Replies
            1. re: rotterdamerung

              or maybe not.

              1. re: rotterdamerung

                back the f*up..."Moroccan takeout from Columbia St (she's gone up to Lincoln in PkSlope, cheaper rent now) " WHERE?

                1. re: rotterdamerung

                  ROTFLMAO
                  don't hold back rotterdamerung!

                  1. re: rotterdamerung

                    Okay, digression here, but this has been niggling with me ever since October. "Hipster" is not a general term that can be applied to all young people. There are almost no hipsters in this neighborhood. And NO self-respecting hipster would be caught dead at Naidre's, with its lame playlist, crunchy-granola vibe, and legions of strollers. This is a term that's tossed around a lot on CH, and often innappropriately. I will happily buy you a Single Ride on the G train to Bedford so you can see the genuine article in all its absurdity - anything in the cause of linguistic accuracy!

                    1. re: sadie

                      Sadie-

                      Agreed. I think when people say "hipster" they frequently mean to say "yuppie".

                      Hipsters are slightly disheveled, wear trucker caps, ironic t-shirts, messy hair, oversized sunglasses and $400 jeans.

                      Yuppies are simply people who realized they could get more for their money in Brownstone Brooklyn than in Manhattan/people who didn't grow up in the neighborhood. ;)

                      Peter

                      1. re: Peter

                        Hipster is a term used by people to describe a group of people they secretly or not think are "cooler" than them.

                        Yuppie is a term used by people to describe a group of people they secretly or not think are "lamer" then them.

                        No hipster thinks he/she is a hipster, and I would imagine no yuppie thinks he/she is a yuppie.

                        1. re: Peter

                          Well if we are trying to correctly define the term here for our purposes in NYC. If you take the G train to Williamsburg you will find what they now call Baby'burg. It seems this inclusive hipster gang are not a bunch of baby haters. And yes we do have a share of them in CH and in CG and no not at Naidre's. To their great reflief when they moved into this hood they didnt drop dead. Also no self respecting NYer has worn a trucker hat in 2 years. We moved here from NJ and we aren't going anywhere - seems too many people from Brooklyn kept moving into our hoods there and took up too much room. Now back to the food which is what this is about - Lucali's is for anyone with good taste regardless of what you look like - taste buds come with us all.

                    2. What is this place called?

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: nonincriminating

                        Not sure. I forgot to ask and didn't see any sign out front or inside.

                      2. We went tonight and got a pie to go. I am going to love this place. They are still clearly feeling their way around, but it was halfway full and this is only on word of mouth.

                        It's a very open room - almost feels like you're in someone's kitchen instead of a restaurant. The vibe is great and the owner(?)/chef is really nice.

                        He burnt our first pie but brought us edible slices to the table where we were waiting, and was very interested in how we thought it tasted.

                        So, the pie: Great, with the potential to be superb. The pie we took home had excellent flavor, wonderful sauce, a little char and a drizzle of olive oil and fresh basil.

                        Better than Leonardo's? By a mile. Better than Difara's and Grimaldi's - remains to be seen but a true contender.

                        We will definitely be back. I almost felt guilty getting it to go when the place and the staff are so inviting. They said this is still a test run and they are having a grand opening with full menu on November 1st. I forgot to ask the name of the place, so unless anyone else knows, it shall remain nameless for now.

                        1. Notice they're just serving soda and other alt. bevs now. Anyone know if it's ok to BYO?

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: let them eat cake

                            we BYO'd the other night, no problem.

                          2. I think we have a winner here! IMO, the pizza is not like DiFara's. It's brick oven and the crust is somewhat thicker. There no real sag in the middle. You can eat it without a knife and fork. And this cheese is more pizza cheese-like (i.e. chewy) than DF. And, at least for now, the toppings are all ordinary (that is, no broccoli rabe or baby eggplant), but they are fresh. They sliced the peppers and onions for our pizza just before they put it in the oven. In all, the pizza reminded me more of Totonno's than DF, but it was certainly very good.

                            The atmosphere was great. The service nice. While they are in a soft opening period, the sign says that Nov. 1 is the formal start of business, the chef/owner said that they were not planning to add much to the menu except for some appetizers and, I would guess, desserts. And, of course they expect to have beer and wine. In the meanwhile, there is a grocery story a few doors down with a passable beer selection (we got the Sierra Nevada Brown Ale) for BYOB.

                            As to the name, there isn't one yet (that too, will be coming Nov. 1) He told us what it would probably be, but I forgot...it began with an L.

                            By the way, the chef said it has been very crowded. There wew a number of availble tables when we were there, but that was the night of the final Mets game.

                            And while it's still a drive for us, it's a whole lot closer and much less effort than DF. Thanks CTownFeedR and the other posters for alerting us to this place. We'll certainly be back.

                            1. Hey Rotterdamerung. Did you leave anyone you hate off that list? So much bile spilled. Thanks. I've lost my appetite.

                              1. Went last night and the place was filled with locals -- an older, less yuppie crowd than what you see at Bocca Lupo. Service was friendly. The pizza was tasty and well cooked, but the ingredients aren't as top-notch as DF or Grimaldi's, particularly the cheese.

                                That said, it's still the best pizza in the nabe, so we'll be back. Def a welcome addition to the neighborhood.

                                1. went tonight and it was fantastic. the dough was airy and chewy with the right amount of char. had a great family vibe. everyone in there seemed to know each other. service has a few quirks to iron out, but it didn't really seem to matter on a relaxing sunday evening. apparently the space used to be a soda fountain called louie's (as pointed out in an earlier post), and the owners' daughter's name is callie, so i think they said the name of the restaurant will be loucallie.

                                  1. We were there too!! We got there at 6. Where were you sitting?

                                    1. The attention should be on the pizza of course, and I can't wait to try it myself. As to rotterdamerung's comments, why are his so wrong while it was okay for mshapiro to question if Chowhounds need another pizza/italian restaurant in Carroll Gardens. As a local girl, grandmother raised four kids in a one bedroom on Union Street, the answer is yes. The neighborhood has lost it's character and become homogenized due to the demands of the new influx.

                                      Brooklyn has just become a layover for those who've been priced out of the city. They never had an interest in embracing its charms; they couldn't wait to order their nonfat, decaf, no foam lattes. I personally like Naidre's food but forget about getting a seat if you're a hungry paying customer because like he said, the next "Million Litttle Pieces" is in the works.

                                      1. Any name on the place yet? What are it's hours/days of operation? Do they do take-out/by the slice?

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: harlanturk

                                          No name that I know of yet. There really are no signs posted with menu or hours of operation. No slices but they do take out. All will be revealed, I'm sure, at the grand opening on 11/1. I honestly hope they don't deliver because I'm not sure they're large enough to handle it, at least at the cost of quality. In any event, it's a couple blocks from where I live and I know it will move up into our (ever growing) list of frequented places.

                                        2. The waitress told us the name of the place is "Loucallie's" although she didn't give us the spelling. Lou is the name of the previous place (soda fountain)that was in that location---and I forget where Callie came from.

                                          1. We went last night and it was TERRIFIC - pizza great, as described, and a wonderful warm atmosphere: Caruso on the box, low lights, that great woodsmoke smell. He's still working out the kinks, true, but all the elements are there. Because it was quiet (Mark, the owner. says it's the first quiet night he's had!) we chatted to him a lot - he's a doll - and got to sample several different cheeses and pizzas. Mark is indeed a big DiFara fan, but he's a true son of Carroll Gardens, and says he got a lot of guidance -and equipment! - from the owner of Leonardo's, who's given everything the seal of approval. As for the recipes, they're all his grandmother's. Sausages are from Esposito's, natch, coffee's from d'Amico.

                                            This place should succeed. He's got the passion and the pizza - the rest is up to us. Mark, I know you are reading this, and I wish you good luck! In fact, I'm already feeling nostalgic for last night's serene atmosphere...

                                            1. More details from New York magazine ... http://nymag.com/daily/food/2006/10/b...

                                              1. When we were there on saturday the Leonardo's family were having dinner, enjoying their pies. Besides the excellent pizza (anchovies), i also had the calzone -- incredible, just molten ricotta in a charred crust -- a good option for dessert until they get the full menu.

                                                1. sliceny.com, the arbiter of all things crusty, has also weighed in on Loucallie's:

                                                  http://www.sliceny.com/archives/2006/...

                                                  1. I went there last night and had a pie with garlic -it was fabulous. The crust was both soft and crunchy, it had some nice charred spots, and just the right amount of cheese and sauce. The only thing I could suggest is that they roast the garlic more before putting it on the pie because some of it was a little bitter.
                                                    The atmosphere is also wonderful, as others have commented.
                                                    I hope this place stays around for a long time!

                                                    1. They were packed tonight, however the pizza we ate was worth the 90min wait. A 6-pack of Becks from the deli next door passed the time, and the 1/2 peperoni pie was fabulous... hoping to go back early next week when there's less of a crowd.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: EJC

                                                        90 MINUTES!? This makes me sad, in part because I live around the corner and was fortunate enough to taste the stuff on Friday night. It is indeed wonderful pizza. We went around 9 PM and were able to sit down right away, but they only had 5 doughs left. I recommend getting a margarita on your first trip. We had one of those and a pepperoni + onion. The chef came over at the end and wondered if the onion was okay, and asked if it made the dough soggy (no). He said he'd like to do antipasti and maybe sunday dinners. I say stick with the pizza and turn those tables quickly!

                                                      2. Don't let the "90 minutes" scare you. We were there on Sunday night, a little after 7pm. The two of us sat down right away, and the service was prompt and friendly. The pizza took about 25 minutes to arrive once we ordered. This is a good family-run place that is making excellent pizza. We'll be back soon.

                                                        1. The name of the place is Lukali's:

                                                          http://www.brooklynrecord.com/archive...

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: Patkay

                                                            Actually it's with a C -- Lucali's. Been twice now and loving it. Will post more thoughts shortly.

                                                          2. anyone know their phone number?

                                                            1. 718-858-4086

                                                              1. But, if they don't answer the phone, don't assume that they are closed. This is a family-run place, and they sometimes let that slip when they are very busy.

                                                                1. Anyone have the right number? That number above is NOT correct.

                                                                  1. Phone: 718-858-4086

                                                                    http://www.sliceny.com/archives/2006/...

                                                                    1. Like I said, that's wrong. Called it a few times to be sure, much to the person's annoyance!

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: CobblerNYC

                                                                        I just dialed that # and it is correct. Maybe you dialed wrong.

                                                                      2. I dialed it about a week ago and got a takeout pizza.

                                                                        1. Indeed, you're right, sorry about that. Very strange because I called twice earlier today. Maybe it was the cleaning staff or something. Anyway, my bad.

                                                                          1. I went last night with a friend to assess how long a pizza to go would take. The rain must have kept away some potential pizza eaters; we went right before 8, and the wait for a pizza was only 10 minutes! They could not have been nicer and my only regret is that they weren't yet serving wine so we could have had a glass of red while we waited. The pizza (pepperoni and mushroom) was delicious - $23. next time I'll try something more pungent like anchovy and garlic!

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: eeee

                                                                              We called in advance and then picked it up 1/2 hours later. It was great!

                                                                            2. We got a pie to go last night around 7:30 as well. No wait. We got a pie with only garlic and I'll tell ya, that's all it needs. Superb.

                                                                              1. I ate there last night, and it seems that they're aware of the long wait for a pie. I was told by my waitress that they're training a second guy to run the oven (this, I was told, explained why my pie had slightly more charring than it should have). The pizza was excellent, as already detailed above. I just need to state once again, though, that the dough is perfect. Just crispy enough, but retaining some chewiness. I can't wait to go back.

                                                                                My only complaint is that it seemed to me that they were giving preference to take out orders. Although I obviously don't know when people called their orders in, it seemed like many more pies were going out the door than were going to the tables. Hopefully having two people working the ovens will let them iron out these kinks.

                                                                                1. Just a quick update: ate there for the third time last night and yes, delicious and crowded! Mark apologized for the new corkage fee, $5, which he said is angering some early fans. It seems that the volume of byo wine bottles was so high that the restaurant's costs had gone way up! So, we can hardly hold it against them...

                                                                                  Also, he said they were going to stop doing takeout and just concentrate on diners, as the demand is simply too high.

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. re: sadie

                                                                                    Oh, and p.s.: apparently they'll be in the Times this Wed. Wow,we sure didn't have it to ourselves for long!

                                                                                  2. I've eaten there twice and the pizza was great the first. The second visit proved amazing bordering on revelatory. I don;t need to trek to Midwood, Coney Island or Manhattan anymore. The shaprness of the grated cheese combined with the crispest crust ever on this type of pizza makes me glad to live just across the street.

                                                                                    Mark, this is the gal who's Nana lived on Union Street and went to Sacred Hearts. Good for you if you are stopping takeout. You're pizza is worth waiting for. From a gal who also works in the restuarant biz, I say focus on one thing and perfect it. Then branch out. Forget about any requests for salads. I can make that myself!

                                                                                    As for the corkage fee, I was surprised to see it since it seemed a step backwards but do understand it from a bottom line point of view. I didn;t mind paying it but will add if you're going to charge a corkage then the waitresses should open the bottle. Don't worry about refilling the glasses; just make me feel like I got more than empty glass for my money.

                                                                                    Good luck and it's good to see a great product from a local guy!!!

                                                                                    p.s. thanks for posting the hours of operation.

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: time2eat

                                                                                      I agree about the pizza getting better and better. I've been three times, and each time the flavors have been more delicious and the crust more perfect. The service is really warm and friendly too. Love that this place is just a few blocks from my apartment -- I just hope the Times review doesn't crowd us out!

                                                                                    2. I'm not sure I understand the corkage fee. It'd make sense if they actually sold wine... but he doesn't.

                                                                                      Is he charging it just to make a little extra money on the tables that linger over wine and keep him from selling another pizza? I suppose that would make sense.

                                                                                      1. He's probably charging it to cover things like wine glasses and paying people to wash those wine glasses. Also, to dispose of all the bottles people leave there. It's not uncommon for BYO places to charge a small corkage fee, though it doesn't seem to be the norm.

                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: lambretta76

                                                                                          Tanoreen also.

                                                                                          You're absolutely correct about what the charge covers.

                                                                                          1. re: lambretta76

                                                                                            You're absolutely right; it's primarily the disposal cost - although he's also had to hire a dishwasher. When he gets a liquor license, it'll be moot!

                                                                                          2. Had a great experience there tonight. Nice, homey atmosphere (circa an Italian/American restaurant of the late 1940s). Pizza was wonderful--very fresh, clean, and un-heavy (it's the first time my wife and I ever finished a whole pie between us). Pizza-maker and owner Mark is a very nice guy, who built the place himself--had a long talk with him afterwards about his approach: no olive oil (which I think is a mistake, but he says it makes the pies soggy) and no parmesan cheese (instead uses Padano [sp?] which has a great bite to it). Place has been such a success hasn't had time to print menus (what would they say--the place serves only pizza and calzones). If you order to go, they'll call you when the pie goes in the oven, and you can then rush over 3 minutes later to get it at its best. Still, I should note--this place does not provide the out-of-this world pizza experience of DiFara's. But it's certainly a far more pleasant dining environment.

                                                                                            1. We were as well tonight! Only had to wait 10 minutes for a table; felt very lucky that we live a few blocks away. I wouldn't deal with a weekend. My sophisticated palate says...YUMMY! And there is now a hand-written sign in the window with hours and phone. PS: They also had calzone...will have to go back for that.

                                                                                              1. the pizza: dough chewey, but high cooking temp. gave it a good crisp "cracker" feel. Thin.
                                                                                                the cheese: excellent!!!!
                                                                                                the sauce: very good home made sauce. tasty.
                                                                                                toppings: garlic: intense (read:raw)mushrooms: fresh

                                                                                                atmosphere: dark, rustic, nice w/ old italian music playing. a plus.

                                                                                                people: friendly, neighborhood, regular joes, jane, and kids.

                                                                                                BYOB

                                                                                                Love It!

                                                                                                1. To echo sadie's post from Nov 20, Mark the owner also apologized to us about the corkage fee and noted his intent to concentrate on people dining in rather than those who order take out. As inexpensive (and delicious!) as his pizza is, I completely understand the corkage fee and am also happy to open my own wine. I hope most diners feel the same.

                                                                                                  Also, in a city known for take-out dining, I *really appreciate* the owner's willingness to give preference to those of us eating in. Too often we go to restaurants where the staff is so distracted filling take-out orders they ignore eat-in diners.

                                                                                                  1. What did you-all think of the Times review?

                                                                                                    1. I'm fine with it. I mostly liked the idea of him accentuating the story behind the place and think he did a fair job describing the ingredients. It shows the quality of both product and pure love that goes into each pizza. That said, there's still something that nags at me about the review and I can't put my finger on it.

                                                                                                      Congratulations Mark. I'm very excited for you but sad for us if it means the lines will be long. Luckily, my husband and I like eating right when the place opens since we have a three-year old!

                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                      1. re: time2eat

                                                                                                        What might have nagged you was that the review _barely_ talked about the food.

                                                                                                        Granted, there are only 2 menu items to discuss, but the piece really felt as if it should have been a quarter-page article elsewhere in the section. Then a review could have focussed more on the food. If there wasn't enough to say about the 2 menu items, then talk more about how he chose his ingredients, how he wants his product to evolve, how he learned how to make pizza, more about what he'd like to add to the menu...

                                                                                                        (Don't get me wrong, I loved the article, it just wasn't a restaurant review.)

                                                                                                      2. Peter, perhaps you are right. The focus was more feature than review and that may have been in the back of mind. Agree, too, that it was a good piece.

                                                                                                        Jennifer

                                                                                                        1. I think you have put your finger on what left me feeling a bit unsatisfied. Then too, I'm probably spoiled by the level and detail of discourse amongst pizza-loving hounds! While I liked the NYT piece, I think the one in New York was especially good...

                                                                                                          http://nymag.com/daily/food/2006/10/b...

                                                                                                          1. am i the only person who felt a little "eh" after a $25+ pie? I *love* a fresh mushroom and olive pie, but when we ordered it here the olives were clearly from a can. in this neighborhood, it's inexcusable to not use the most delicious olives that are overflowing from every italian grocery.

                                                                                                            the crust was great. the atmosphere charming. i was just left bummed paying $2 per topping for olives that came out of a can. especially in this area. and especially if you "have no menu" and "only make pies and calzones" with a handful of ingrediants...

                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                            1. re: lattistar

                                                                                                              I'm there with you lattistar, i didn't get it. Love the pizza, but why the second rate ingredients?

                                                                                                              If i were friends with the owner, i'd bring him some samples from Sahadi's or Caputo's and let him taste the difference. And honestly i don't think a can of waxy tasteless olives could cost less than a container of the real thing from Sahadi's (but i could be wrong).

                                                                                                            2. why sahadi's? I love their olives, but I think an italian joint should get olives from an italian deli, and there are at least three venerable delis on court that could provide beautiful olives.

                                                                                                              also, why is anybody still talking about grimaldi's? patsy has moved on, and I (though i did not know he left) noticed the quality decline immediately (6 years ago), and it has gotten worse and worse as the years have stretched on. I consider myself lucky to have gone there just before he sold, damn it was good.
                                                                                                              the point is, can we get grimaldi's off the table as the measuring stick of all things pizza?

                                                                                                              1. I agree with the last few posters. I was not wowed. The space is kinda charming, but the staff obviously has no experience. Our pizzas came out fast, and I liked the crust, but it all seemed too insubstantial. Not very generous with the toppings, ($2 for a couple of slices of white onion or mushrooms???), and not enough cheese, for my taste. I have eaten pizza all over Italy, and although it tasted pretty good and was more authentic, I just did not feel that it was such a huge hit. They really need to have a green salad ( how hard is it to open up a bag of mesclun or wash some romaine?) to flesh out the offerings a bit, and should have a table top list of the toppings available. I was actually still hungry when I left, not really having any veggies or greens to round out my meal....

                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                1. re: nyccoffeegirl

                                                                                                                  I really like Lucali's a lot but understand your issues. You're really looking for a place that's different from what the owner has in mind here. I recommend Savoia for you. Great salads, bread, pizzas and a limited menu of other well prepared food.

                                                                                                                2. I respectfully disagree. I just ate here last night and had another great pizza. I suppose it's all a matter of personal taste.

                                                                                                                  I encourage everyone to make up their own mind and try it out. For those scared off by the posts talking about long waits, it's calmed down a bit due to the cold weather -- last night (Thursday) there was no wait at 6:30 (though it was full up by 7:30 so don't dawdle!)

                                                                                                                  Peter

                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                  1. re: Peter

                                                                                                                    We had a great experience at Lucali's a couple of weeks ago. I'm already looking forward to our next visit and have recommended it to a few friends. Mark is a gem!

                                                                                                                    I wrote about it here:
                                                                                                                    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/362479

                                                                                                                  2. nyccoffeegirl, your points (as well as those above) are well-taken, but I think when eating at Lucali it's helpful to remember exactly what it is and especially what its origins are: Mark opened it as a true (and long) labor of love: of pizza but also of the neighborhood, and has essentially built the room, menu, and everything else from scratch (and local materials, from the oven and beyond). His staff is local too: family and friends (apologies if I've got my facts wrong). And, despite the consistent crowds, it's probably a safe bet to assume that his resources are still a little thin, considering that this is basically a one-person gig.

                                                                                                                    For some, the downside of this is a limited menu, extra $s for toppings, and service that may not be up to certain standards. The upside -- at least for me -- is pizza that, for the size and quality, is well worth the price, and an ambience that drips with care and warmth for the customers and the product (I feel that the staff exudes this, actually). Lucali is NOT the place to go if you want pizza plus extras (apps., salad) -- at least for now. I wouldn't be surprised if, as they continue to grow, there will be additional offerings in the future. I hope not too many, though: I'd hate to see Lucali be much more than what it is now: a wonderful room with wonderful pizza. When I want something beyond this, I go elsewhere -- fortunately, the nabe has lots of choices.

                                                                                                                    1. I agree with most of your points in your thoughtful and thorough reply, cqchow. However, I think that all restaurant owners ( and by extension, all business owners) should think about the the end user- in this case, the diner. It would be no contradiction to his concept, and no work at all to offer a salad, and he would make tons of extra money also! I just think that it would make for a more pleasant and well rounded experience to have a salad, a list of toppings and a note in the window stating the policy change about the corkage fee for those who had already gotten used to none. For me, a couple of slices of good pizza is not dinner- I need some veggies!!!

                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: nyccoffeegirl

                                                                                                                        I disagree with the statement of "no work at all".

                                                                                                                        I've never run a restaurant but he'd have to buy produce, store it somewhere, buy dressing, make the salad, dress it, serve it up, clear the dishes, wash the dishes, wash the prep dishes, wash the prep area, train staff in how to make it... that all adds up to a LOT of work.

                                                                                                                        More to the point, you're asking him to outright *double* the number of items he offers on his menu (ok, up it 50% because he theoretically offers calzones, not that I've ever seen one).

                                                                                                                        I'm sure Mark will eventually add a few items to the menu (I see an antipasti of roasted peppers and mozzarella in his future) but considering it took him over 2 years to build out the space, I expect we've got a year or two wait on our hands before he adds anything to the menu.

                                                                                                                        -Peter

                                                                                                                        1. re: Peter

                                                                                                                          Well, since you mentioned it.... the calzones are great as well. Last week, 6 of us went thru 2 of them with our 3 pizzas (burp!). I'd be hard pressed to choose which was better. I'll keep investigating, just for you.

                                                                                                                          1. re: Steve R

                                                                                                                            i have to agree - lucali's calzones might be the best i've had. at the very least, they're certainly different from (and far superior to) the typical greasy, flavorless mess filled with gloppy, subpar processed cheese that you can get at most neighborhood pizzerias.

                                                                                                                            at lucali, the calzones are simple - a long rectangular crust filled with fresh, high-quality ricotta cooked in the same oven as the pizzas. the end result is a nicely charred calzone oozing with ricotta when you cut into it. delicious.

                                                                                                                      2. ok, i have been at that intersection henry b/n 1st and carroll and i can NOT find this damn place. im dieing to go too!

                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: ben61820

                                                                                                                          Across the street from Crave, several doors in from the corner of 1st. Easy to miss. Low lighting, candles.

                                                                                                                          1. re: Steve R

                                                                                                                            thanks

                                                                                                                        2. When I want a good pie, I have no need of a salad. I for one hope he keeps the menu as it is. Why waste time on salad and "apps (??)"? Do one thing and do it well. In a short time, he has made Lucali's my favorite pizza in NYC, and one of my favorite places to dine in NYC. Judging from the lines and raves he has been getting, my sentiments are not mine alone.

                                                                                                                          1. Last night was probably the best pizza we've had in our 5-6 trips to Lucali's. The crust had the right amount of charring, no sog, perfect. There was no wait for a table at 7p - which surprised us on a Saturday night.

                                                                                                                            1. i know that this question will seem somewhat silly to the hardcore pizzalovers but i wonder if Lucalli's has a whole wheat crust pie? despite what many say, it is indeed possible to make a delicious whole grain dough for pie.

                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                              1. re: ben61820

                                                                                                                                No whole wheat. Their menu offerings are just traditional-style pizzas with the usual list of toppings, and occasionally calzones. Nothing more, nothing less.