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Rosa's pizza - Empire State Bldg.

TAKEOUTISFORME Feb 13, 2009 05:22 AM

Has anyone eaten here, yet? Under OU supervision.
If so, I'd love to read a review!

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  1. f
    flo220 RE: TAKEOUTISFORME Feb 13, 2009 01:02 PM

    I had two slices of Sicilian Pizza there, which were very good- not the best I ever had but better than average. I work in the building. Most of my office is not kosher. Several people got lunch there before it turned Kosher and still do. They said the food still tastes the same.

    1. c
      ciamx RE: TAKEOUTISFORME Feb 19, 2009 02:27 PM

      Has anyone else been here..can offer a review?

      1. b
        bay1 RE: TAKEOUTISFORME Feb 19, 2009 05:32 PM

        Where in the building is it located? Do you need a visitor's pass? Thanks.

        2 Replies
        1. re: bay1
          flo220 RE: bay1 Feb 19, 2009 06:33 PM

          Its right in the lobby of the Empire State Building. No pass necessary

          1. re: flo220
            Shaldag RE: flo220 Feb 20, 2009 10:18 AM

            The entrance is on the 33rd St. side opposite Circa-NY.

            The food is good, but nothing to get too excited about, with your basic pizza and pasta offerings and a salad bar. The place is clean and the prices are about what you'd expect given the location. The word seems to have gotten out as they seem to be attracting a good lunch crowd but the line moves well and there is adequate seating.

        2. k
          Kosher Critic RE: TAKEOUTISFORME Feb 24, 2009 11:09 AM

          Rosa's is simply the best kosher pizza in NYC. I opted for plain slices, which would allow me to assess the pizza without the distraction of toppings. The dough is thin and crispy at the very bottom yet nicely chewy under the sauce. The sauce has a bright tomato flavor and the cheese was plentiful.

          I went during the lunch hour and it was busy yet I did not have to wait to place my order or to pay. Try that at any other midtown kosher restaurant that sells pizza! The owner came to my table and asked how everything was. The place is even clean. The varied customer base is encouraging but at the same time I fear that such a place may not see enough of a boost from turning kosher to make it work economically. They also offer hot dishes and salads and their menu indicates that they sell sushi. I think the sushi must be a requirement for getting hashgacho - it is otherwise totally unnecessary at a fine establishment that knows to make pizza and run a pizza shop.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Kosher Critic
            Kosher Critic RE: Kosher Critic Feb 26, 2009 07:03 AM

            Just by way of contrast, yesterday, I went to a different midtown dairy restaurant and stood in line for 10 minutes to place my order, stood in a second line to pay, a third line to receive my wrap (not prepared according to my specifications) and a fourth line to receive the soup I'd ordered.

          2. elansey RE: TAKEOUTISFORME Feb 25, 2009 02:16 PM

            I ate there for lunch today with my wife. We both had a plain slice and a vegy slice and shared an order of (5) garlic knots. The plain slice was very good - cheesy, thin crispy but still chewy crust and a good sauce. The vegy slice (mushrooms, peppers, broccoli, eggplant, spinach, I might be forgetting something) was good, although it wasn't warm enough when they served it. The garlic knots were crispy on the outside, moist and chewy on the inside, with a good, but not overpowering garlic flavor. However, they also could have been heated up some more. This brings me to my last comment:
            The service was fast. We were there late lunch time, and there were lots of people and they had rapid turnover. I think we waited under a minute before ordering, and when we got to pay our food was ready. Well, almost ready, at least....

            1 Reply
            1. re: elansey
              elansey RE: elansey Feb 25, 2009 04:54 PM

              Oh, and I forgot to mention - the slices were larger than typical Kosher slices.

            2. k
              Kosher Critic RE: PIZZAMAN28 Mar 17, 2009 10:48 AM

              I trekked there again today for the best kosher slice in NYC. Happily, the place was packed. Time it took me to place my order, be served and pay? Three minutes. And yes, incongruously, there is now sushi.

              1. e
                eh270 RE: TAKEOUTISFORME Mar 25, 2009 08:37 AM

                So disappointed that Rosa's went kosher. Everything on the menu is 30-50% more expensive than it used to be.

                1 Reply
                1. re: eh270
                  Kosher Critic RE: eh270 Mar 25, 2009 08:45 AM

                  From the perspective of us kosher-keeping folks, $2.50 for NYC's best kosher slice is not too shabby. By comparison (price only) J2 charges $3.50 for its slice, Mike's is $3.00 and Milk & Honey is $3.50. Kosher does cost more, though not necessarily as much as the premium being charged at some places.

                2. m
                  MartyB RE: TAKEOUTISFORME May 24, 2009 11:21 AM

                  My daughter spoke highly of Rosa's pizza so I figured that since today was moveout day at Stern College I would go to try it out. We got there at 10am and although it was open, the lights were dim and sign said that it opens at 11am on Sundays. There were a few workers there and they too said that they open at 11am. Since the weather was nice we decides to walk around to kill the hour. We came back at 11, place was open and no pizza's in sight. I saw them begin to make one pie and asked when they will begin serving they said come back in an hour!! Needless to say I said, forget about it and headed back to the 5 towns.

                  Very disappointed. Considering that they opened back in Feb, they should have gotten their act together by now. Open at 11am does not mean come back at 12!.

                  15 Replies
                  1. re: MartyB
                    Dovid RE: MartyB May 24, 2009 04:37 PM

                    I am surprised to hear that people who went there before it went kosher haven't noticed a difference in the pizza. I thought that one of the complaints about kosher pizza was that kosher cheese is not that well suited to making a good pie.

                    I am interested in Kosher Critic's observation that a dairy place that comes under supervision has to sell sushi. It is a shame that a place cannot simply do one thing really well, and concentrate on that. Sushi is the kind of thing that if the place is not doing a high volume of business in it, is not worth getting.

                    I suppose that having been closed over Shabbos, they might not be geared up to start serving at 11. However, I would think that an hour would be enough to get everything prepped. I would have asked the manager to change their opening hours to reflect the actual pace at which their staff is working.

                    1. re: MartyB
                      avitrek RE: MartyB May 24, 2009 05:19 PM

                      I'm surprised they were open at all on a Sunday. It's a midtown lunch spot, without office workers no reason to even open. Also, this place has been treif for a lot longer than Feb. So it's not an issue of getting their act together, that's just how they operate. How many people really want pizza before 12 on a Sunday?

                      1. re: avitrek
                        MartyB RE: avitrek May 24, 2009 05:40 PM

                        >> How many people really want pizza before 12 on a Sunday?

                        That is not the point. If you advertise that you open at 11, you should not tell a customer at 11 to come back in an hour. If they can't serve their customers till 12 then advertise that you open at 12. I would not have waited around at 10am if I knew that they would begin serving at noon.

                        I fail to see the logic in advertising an opening time of 11 if you have no intension of serving your customers till noon.

                        Am I the only one to see a problem with this picture?

                        1. re: MartyB
                          flo220 RE: MartyB May 24, 2009 07:51 PM

                          I though they were open before 12 for Breakfast- bagels & muffins and such. I agree, I would have been annoyed as well but to be fair, most restaurants don't serve breakfast after 11, so they don't serve lunch till 12

                          1. re: flo220
                            MartyB RE: flo220 May 24, 2009 08:34 PM

                            Well I had no breakfast that morning and saw nothing in the store at 11 and was told to come back in a hour. so I have no idea what "open at 11" means. I would have gladly had a muffin and coffee. I wound up eating at the Dunkin Donuts in the 5 towns instead.

                            1. re: MartyB
                              flo220 RE: MartyB May 25, 2009 07:09 AM

                              I've picked up bagels and muffins for breakfast there during the week . If they are open on Sunday and don't have that, that is ridiculous. In case you are ever in the area again early on Sunday, I think Circa across the street on 33rd opens for breakfast and they have all kinds of eggs and things like that.

                              1. re: flo220
                                LA Hungry RE: flo220 May 25, 2009 06:09 PM

                                Who eats pizza at 11 am? The fact that they didnt have pizza ready at 11am on a Sunday when most midtown restaurants are not open on Sunday doesnt change the fact that their pizza is great and also the most economical of all pizza places in the midtown area.

                                1. re: LA Hungry
                                  MartyB RE: LA Hungry May 25, 2009 06:24 PM

                                  I made no comment about how their pizza tastes, in fact I went there because my daughter said that pizza tastes good. I still come back to my question. Just what does it mean when the say "Open at 11am". If they have no intension of serving till 12 then have your sign say "Open at 12" then some fool like me won't hang around from 10 to 11 only to be told come back in an hour.

                                  1. re: PIZZAMAN28
                                    Kosher Critic RE: PIZZAMAN28 Jun 3, 2009 09:07 AM

                                    It's a bit ironic that a restaurant across the street from Rosa's has a banner proclaiming that it serves the best kosher pizza in town.

                          2. re: MartyB
                            PIZZA PIZZA RE: MartyB Jun 20, 2009 02:21 PM

                            hey marty there has never been a sign posting the hours of operation EVER at rosas...where did you see them advertise that they open at 11am? if u read the menu it clearly states: Sat. Night & Sun. "call for seasonal hours"......As you stated: "the lights were dim" didnt you realize they were preparing to open and not fully opened yet.....should they stand there in the dark while they heat up the oven and prep the food? UNFortunately, you missed out on the best kosher pizza (even the non-jews love it) in town.....and on chowhound arent we really concerned on how the food tastes???? yes service is important as well and i feel rosa's staff is always polite and frienndly .....its worth another trip Marty

                            1. re: PIZZA PIZZA
                              MartyB RE: PIZZA PIZZA Jun 20, 2009 07:15 PM

                              The lights were dim at 10am when we first arived, The time was on a poster by the door which had a listing of what they offered. My daughter went over to one of the workers and asked when they opened and they said at 11. When we came back at 11 it was open, all lights were on but no food in sight.

                              I am rarely in Manhattan so I was looking forward to trying them out. Maybe I will buy a few slices tomorrow since I have a lunch get together with family at a place called "My Most Favorite Food". Problem is my lunch is at noon and as we found out, they wont have any pizza to sell until after noon so I will have to pick up the slices after my lunch affair. Since where I will be going is a dairy restaurant, I wont be vey hungry when I stop buy after my lunch. I hope the slices freeze well.

                              1. re: MartyB
                                PIZZA PIZZA RE: MartyB Jun 21, 2009 09:17 AM

                                hey marty good news I happen to here right now and am eating delicious pizza...Rosa's is opened is serving pizza....I checked the poster you were refering to and it clearly states: "Sat. night & Sun. please call for seasonal hours"....so i dont how you "found out they wont have any pizza to sell until after noon"....I've been here since 11:30 enjoying my food.....i suggest you stop for a slice

                                1. re: PIZZA PIZZA
                                  MartyB RE: PIZZA PIZZA Jun 21, 2009 02:36 PM

                                  I went to "My Most Favorite Food" for lunch today, crazy expensive!! So I told my wife, don't order much and we will go to Rosa's Pizza afterwards. I had plain pancakes, 4 small pancakes with syrup and my wife an appetizer of Caesars salad. Total bill after tip and taxes $33, sick!

                                  We then went to Rosa's, excellent pizza! To quote Madeline Kahn from ``Blazing Saddles,'' ``It's twu! It's twu!''. My daughter (and you) were right! Great pizza.

                                  1. re: MartyB
                                    queenscook RE: MartyB Jun 21, 2009 06:44 PM

                                    I am not a fan of that restaurant, so I'm not defending the place itself (though I haven't been in 10 years, when it was still called My Most Favorite Dessert; maybe it's better now), but given that $8 or $9 of your total $33 was tax and tip, leaving $25 for the meal itself, did you really think you were going to spend less than $12 dollars for a meal in a kosher restaurant in the Broadway area? If you didn't want to pay that much for a meal, why would you go there? Their menus are readily available online; you could have checked exactly what you were going to have to spend.

                                    1. re: queenscook
                                      MartyB RE: queenscook Jun 22, 2009 04:00 AM

                                      It was a family get-together; I saw what I was getting into. I did look at the menu in advance and told my wife to get the cheapest item on the menu, hence the choice of a plain pancakes for me and the appetizer of Caesars salad for my wife. Believe me I would not go there and plan on never going there. I just had no choice. Goodness, $13 for an order of plain pancakes, sigh.

                      2. i
                        ilovemooshoo RE: TAKEOUTISFORME May 26, 2009 09:57 AM

                        Ate there on Sunday, and was very happy. Fresh, delicious, and the staff was very nice...especially the sushi chef!

                        I wanted to order today with some coworkers and, despite being told by the owner that they would deliver to my office (which isn't close) for the $10 minimum, when I called today, a very rude woman told me that it would be "$15...I mean $20 minimum." Just for fun, my husband called half an hour later and gave my office address, and the woman told him $25 minimum for delivery. I am unhappy because good pizza is surprisingly hard to find in NYC. Bummer.

                        1. r
                          Realityfood RE: TAKEOUTISFORME Jun 3, 2009 11:10 AM

                          I have no allegiance to any restaurant and am very surprised by this thread. The pizza at Rosas is OK at best. People are all hyped over the Grandma slice which is only because its new to the Jewish customer. Nothing that special. The Salad Bar and Sushi are sub par and the hot food is pizzeria tasting and bland. You get what you pay for. Rosa's serves its purpose as a cheap quick "alternative".
                          For non kosher eating cutomers- the cheese they use is Anderson for LA which is of lower quality. I know this because i asked them what company they use for Kashruth purposes. That is why it doesnt taste the same anymore.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: Realityfood
                            Kosher Critic RE: Realityfood Jun 3, 2009 11:32 AM

                            When discussing the relative merits of available kosher pizza offerings, it is irrelevant whether better non-kosher cheese alternatives exist. Anderson for LA's line, which includes the Les Petites Fermieres label, a French-made Emmenthaler and Sol Danablu, is actually is a step up from some of the more widely-used kosher brands. My point, which is that Rosa's basic slice is far superior to any other kosher slice in NYC, stands.
                            As an aside, "grandma" slices are hardly new to this Jewish customer.

                            1. re: Kosher Critic
                              avitrek RE: Kosher Critic Jun 3, 2009 12:32 PM

                              How does Rosa's compare to Mike's or Noidue?

                            2. re: Realityfood
                              cheesecake17 RE: Realityfood Jun 3, 2009 03:44 PM

                              You say that the pizza is OK at best, but in another thread you say you don't like pizza from anywhere....

                              1. re: cheesecake17
                                Realityfood RE: cheesecake17 Jun 8, 2009 01:26 PM

                                I still have taste buds! Mikes has some good tasting pizza. His cheese is haolam (same as millers) which at least in my opinion is best for mozzarella/muenster. Andersons other lines happen to be fantastic but after asking many people in the industry there muenster/mozzarella is cheapest.
                                Did anyone try j2's new pizza (new owner i am assuming new recipe)? I wasnt of it before.

                            3. r
                              rebeccaLunch RE: TAKEOUTISFORME Jun 12, 2009 10:29 AM

                              Today I met my friend Emily for lunch. Usually we have our lunch dates at Circa (on 33rd and 5th), but we decided to try Rosa’s Kosher Pizza and Pasta, the pizza store in the Empire State Building that became Kosher a few months ago. The menu was pretty similar to Circa’s. I ordered some sort of beany vegetable soup. It was a bit bland at first but I added salt and that helped make it more flavorful. The soup came with half of a roll, which was kind of doughy in the middle and really delicious. Overall, I was satisfied with my lunch, but not amazed. I liked that the restaurant itself was less crowded than Circa usually is, and it seems that you are less likely to run into people you know .

                              1. g
                                GilaB RE: TAKEOUTISFORME May 15, 2012 12:37 PM

                                Rosa's Pizza is no longer under the OU; it's currently the top item on their Kosher Alerts page (http://www.oukosher.org/index.php/con...), but there's no way to link to the announcement directly. A friend posted on FB that it's become entirely non-kosher, but I haven't seen confirmation of that elsewhere.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: GilaB
                                  tamarw RE: GilaB May 15, 2012 02:55 PM

                                  too bad. I never got a chance to check it out. :(

                                  1. re: GilaB
                                    bigredesq RE: GilaB May 16, 2012 06:47 AM

                                    GilaB - I can confirm that they are "entirely non-kosher". I naively attempted to eat lunch there yesterday. As I approached the restaurant I thought that I was in luck in that there were so many empty tables at the height of the lunch rush. Then I noticed the small sign on the door that they were no longer kosher.

                                    I was a pretty regular patron when it first opened, but stopped going when they were shut by the board of health about a year ago (they subsequently reopened and secured an "A" grade from Department of Health). Anyone have any insights as to why they closed?

                                    1. re: bigredesq
                                      GilaB RE: bigredesq May 16, 2012 07:54 AM

                                      My friend posted that the partners who owned it split up, and the remaining owner decided to make it non-kosher, but I haven't heard more than that.

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