Friday, October 27, 2006

Day 27, 2006: Nick's Pizza (UES, NYC)

LOCATION: Nick's Pizza (1814 2nd Avenue bet. 93rd and 94th St, NYC)
GUEST(S): Ron Taylor (no relation)
ORDER: 2 slices of pepperoni, 1 slice of cheese
PIZZA REPORT: Oven question solved!  Coal-fired brick ovens are great but they're also illegal.  Due to pollution, no new pizza place can open with a coal oven unless 'grandfathered in'.  Nick's pizza has a solution.   Their cynderblock material oven powered by gas comes about as close as possible to coal-fired brick oven pizza with what some would argue as an improvement.  The two noticiable differences are that the edges are only slightly charred and the pizza crust, as a whole, remains soft and chewy even as it cools.  Nick's, in the tradition of the better known pizzerias, also uses high quality ingredients.  My cheese slice was evenly topped with fresh mozzarella cheese and shredded basil.  It was delicious.  The pepperoni slices were pretty solid but suffered from a case of too-much-too-centered.  This caused one of my slices to fall apart and make a mess.  Of course, pizza is one of those messes I don't mind cleaning up.
ATMOSPHERE: All the comforts of a date place.  Nick's ovens serve both form and function.  In addition to cooking near-perfect pizza, they provide a beautiful backdrop for the seating area in the front of the store.  The comfortable temperature inside, despite the chilly weather outside, almost makes it seem you are being warmed by the very visible flames in the back of the twin ovens.  The soft background music, nice wait staff, clean interior, great tasting pizza, and reasonable prices make you wonder how come there isn't a line out the door.  Then you realize there is another equally pleasant seating section in the rear.  If you want good and you want it now, go to Nick's! 
VERDICT: 4.5 out of 5 
MISC.: Ron Taylor and I talked about beer, Steve McQueen, motorcycles, and IPA.
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