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 ROBERTA'S

 
 

    A Gastronome's Piece of Pie

   

 

  

 

The simplest of ideas, and an ancient one, that of flat bread topped with various herbs and ingredients.  In the Italian mezzogiorno, pizza, like its northern cousin polenta, was once a dish associated with the poor, street food thought to be unfit for a proper bourgeois kitchen.  In the Middle East, lahmacun, made from flat bread topped with minced meat and sprinkled with lemon juice, is a staple throughout Turkey, Syria, and Lebanon.  Manaeesh bi'za'atar, popular in Arab countries, is made simply from dough topped with the fragrant mixture of spices called za'atar.  To diehard Napoletani, only Pizza Margherita (tomato, mozzarella, basil) and Pizza Marinara (tomato, garlic, oregano and olive oil) qualify as true Italian pizza.

 

eCognoscente recently dined at Roberta's in Bushwick, where the allure lies in the ingenious mixture of sometimes uncommon ingredients.  The inventive menu is constantly changing…and on the night we visited, we tried four pizzas, each one cooked to crusty perfection: The Hawk (topped with ramps, pepperoncini oil, ricotta, parmigiano, and breadcrumbs); a classic Margherita, the Axl Rosenberg (mozzarella, tomato, mushrooms, double-garlic jalapenos, and soppresata); and the Specken Wolf (speck, mushrooms, oregano, onions, mozzarella).

 

The large former warehouse has been converted into a warm space with exposed beams, with long old wood tables and an assortment of flea-market chairs -- and there's outdoor seating and a beer garden as well.   Roberta's is owned by musician Chris Parachini and his partners and co-chefs, Brandon Hoy and Carlo Mirarchi; Parachini imported the brick oven from Italy.  You might justifiably think that you've taken a wrong turn as you approach the restaurant's graffiti-covered brutalist gray brick wall at 261 Moore Street, located in a neighborhood of old factories and converted lofts.  It's a minute's walk from the L train Morgan Ave. stop, and, we think, well worth the gastronomic trip….!

 

Eat: Roberta's 


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