Friday, October 31, 2014

Day 31, 2014: Zero Otto Nove (Flatiron, NYC)

DAY 31: OCTOBER 31st, 2014

LOCATION: Zero Otto Nove (15 West 21st St, Flatiron District, NYC)

GUEST(S): Rob Penty, Michael McLarnon

ORDER: 2 slices of Margherita (tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, parmigiano, basil), 2 slices of La Cirilo (Butternut squash puree, cream of truffle, mushrooms and fresh mozzarella), 1 slice of Diavola (tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella and spicy sopressata)

A new favorite.  Named after the first three digits of chef Roberto's Italian phone number, Zero Otto Nove is now available in the 212 area code!  Since it opened in 2008, Zero Otto Nove consistently finds the top of lists ranking New York City pizzerias but its original Bronx address has kept it a relative secret.  But now, thanks to owner and chef Roberto Paciullo, there's a new Zero' in town! And not just anywhere, but near one of the busiest intersections in Midtown Manhattan.  Combining tried and true recipes from the original and another successful endeavor called Roberto's Restaurant, the midtown Zero Otto Nove menu is packed full of upscale Southern Italian influenced dishes and pizza.  At the far end of the extremely spacious-yet-rustic dining area sits a intricately tiled imported wood-fired brick oven.  The well trained pizzaioli quickly transform balls of dough into high quality ingredient laden masterpieces.  Each Margherita is layered with a generous amount of imported San Marzano tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella cheese, rich parmigiano and diced basil before being baked to perfection with a crisp-yet-chewy outer edge.  Be creative and try the popular La Cirilo which combines butternut squash puree, cream of truffle, mushrooms and fresh mozzarella for a unique and delicious eating experience.  I recommend ordering at least one traditional and one signature pie because at Zero Otto Nove, they can do it all and with the crew of friendly servers cutting and serving each slice, they prove it. All you have to do is eat it. I'm looking forward to doing just that on my next (of many) visit.


Pizzaiolo and a wood/gas brick oven
Margherita, pre-bake
Margherita, ready-to-serve
slice of Margherita
La Cirilo
Slice of La Cirilo
Slice of Diavola

Rob Penty and Michael McLarnon
1. Rob Penty and Michael McLarnon and I are three of the computer programmers that help function.  We also are three performers there.
2. It turns out that cappuccino is singular in Italian so if you ever order more than one, you can say "cappuccinos" but know that Italians say "cappuccini."
The last slice of Pizza Month 2014
3. Thus marks the end of pizza month 2014.  Happy Pizza Month to all, and to all a good night!


  • VALUE:


  • TASTE:

20/21 = .9523 x 5 = 4.7619

Day 30, 2014: Speedy Romeo (Clinton Hill, Brooklyn)

DAY 30: OCTOBER 30th, 2014

LOCATION: Speedy Romeo (376 Classon Ave, Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, NY)

GUEST(S): Scott Wiener, Angela DeManti, Robin Rothman

ORDER: 2 slice of Margherita, 2 slices of Kind Brother (Wild Mushrooms, Smoked Mozzarella, Farm Egg, Sage), 3 slices of Saint Louie (Provel, Italian Sausage, Pepperoni, Pickled Chilis)

A hands down winner.  Speedy Romeo, named in honor of a racehorse owned by the family of one of its founders, proves that sometimes dreams really do come true. The day this Clinton Hill Italian restaurant opened its doors, the freshman fantasy college chums Todd Feldman and Justin Bazdarich dreamt up of one day putting their creative and culinary skills together and opening up a restaurant had became a reality.  Though the location and menu of the resulting eatery is a bit off the beaten path, the taste is on the mark!  Speedy Romeo burst out of the gate delivering non-traditional pizza and grilled entrees in a unique and exquisite way. Take for instance the Saint Louie which borrows from the duos Midwest roots and combines provel cheese (a blend of provolone, Swiss, and cheddar) with savory pepperoni and sausage and pickled chilis for a swift kick in the bit.  Whether it is the chilis, the herbs, the smoked mozzarella, the ingredients on Speedy Romeo's wood-fired brick oven signature pizzas are just better than the competition across the board. Giddy up, let's go to Speedy Romeo!


underside of Margherita
Kind Brother
Pizzaiolo and wood-fired brick oven
Kind Brother in the oven

Say "cheese"
1. Scott Wiener runs pizza tours (link) around NYC and they are awesome.  I love listening to him talk about sauce and cheese.  Here I caught him in the act snapping a photo of Provel.
Scott, Sean, Robin, Angela
2. Angela DeManti bakes delicious vegan chocolate cake and writes hilarious articles on Reductress.
3. Robin Rothman is auditioning to perform with her guitar during the lunch rush at Potbelly sandwich shops in New York City - fingers crossed.
Sean Taylor and Justin Bazdarich
4. I met owner and chef Justin Bazdarich who less than 24 hours prior was sitting in the stands at game 7 of the World Series.  As you might gather from his hat, he is a Kansas City fan.


  • VALUE:


  • TASTE:

18/21 = .8571 x 5 = 4.2857