Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Pizza Loves Emily and You Will Too.

"The Colony" at EMILY: A pizza adventure.
With barely two weeks on the NYC pizza scene, the word has apparently already gotten out about newcomer EMILY in Clinton Hill, and this charming establishment was packed when I arrived for brunch this past Sunday. From the moment you peer through the window, peruse the enticing pizza options and the posters for workshops such as "Yoga and Pizza Making," you can tell this is a place with character and a story. Pancakes and pizza together for brunch? Yes please.

EMILY's story began with its namesake, Emily, and her now-husband, Matt, sharing a pizza twelve-and-a-half years ago. On their website, you can read about how their mutual affection for pizza helped their budding relationship grow, and eventually led to them opening EMILY together. This isn't just a pizza place, it's a human interest story.

Step into EMILY for dinner or weekend brunch, and you'll witness for yourself the pride Matt takes in making his pizzas, and taste firsthand the love in every bite. There's a wood burning oven in the back and Matt can often be found right next to it mixing dough and handcrafting mozzarella for the smoky thin-crust pies. Even the dollops of addicting sauce adorning the red pies are artisinal.

EMILY mixes it up with something for everyone. Pizza purists may like "The Classic" (sauce, mozzarella, basil) or "The Luca" (Classic + buffalo mozzarella). Those looking for a real pizza adventure might want to try "The Colony" (sauce, mozzarella, pepperoni, pickled chilis, honey) or "Emily" (mozzarella, taleggio, pistachios, truffle sottocenere, honey). I polished off an entire 12-inch Colony pie on my own, relishing in the savory contrast of sweet and spicy.

There are several variations of red and white pies, and it only gets better as you move toward dessert. At dinnertime, try a "S'mores Calzone" made with marshmallow, chocolate, and graham cracker. At brunch, there's a "Deep Fried Elvis Calzone," made with peanut butter, banana and honey. Coolhaus Ice Cream Sandwiches are also always available. Any restaurant that pays homage to both pizza and Elvis in the same menu and also patronizes local businesses is already ahead of the game in my book. Matt and Emily plan to rotate the menu seasonally, and I can't wait to see what else they have cooking.

Brunch at EMILY: What could be better than fluffy, sweet pancakes AND pizza? 
Special thanks to designer, Justin Fuller, for introducing me to EMILY.

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