Friday, June 17, 2011

Roberta's, New York

Wow, Brooklyn is so mean. So hip. I felt positively young coming here. Actually I felt puzzled, because when we got off the train at Morgan Street, with someone wearing Dior and me already dressed for dinner, there were no people on the streets, and nothing but warehouses.

So we went to the address implied by J's invitation ("best pizza ever", and mentioned regularly in best-of-NY lists), and this is it. No one outside. Barely a sign. Definite concern that we had come to the wrong address. We were early and walked down to the end of the street to kill some time. When we came back, there was a hipster douche on the bench outside, so I figured we must be in the right place.

Push aside the velvet drapes, and inside is a different world. An altogether cooler and more self-conscious world. There was another painfully skinny hipster douche behind the coffee counter, and I swear he kept staring at me. "Hey, maaaan," I wanted to say, "I went to Wesleyan, OK?"

Obviously I didn't have the best attitude about the hipness of Brooklyn. I forgot it all with this meat plate, which someone and I did our best to polish off before our vegetarian leader arrived (and the consistently friendly and attentive service helped too). Two of these meats were from a producer in Iowa, the other from Brooklyn. All three were awesome. The only better hams I can remember were at Print. last year (and I believe their hams are from Brooklyn), and of course the World's Best Ham, in Barcelona.

With this really good bread and oil, $10 for the whole assemblage is terrific value. I don't often say that, do I?

Another thing I don't say often is "great pizza, dudez!" This is just a Margherita except that J wanted to add olives. It's a good pizza, nice cheese and sauce. I have to say this some time though, and it may as well be here: I think the guys at Tamburello studied a little harder in crust-making class. This was a touch stiff, then crackling and chewy like the best crusts. I haven't lost my belief that pizza is something you should be able pick up without folding, but if you're going to make floppy Napolitan pies, I want that firm-but-chewy crust.

[6/25/2011: We went to Tamburello again today. Their crust is just perfect.]

I saw someone else getting a nice ruccola salad and sorta coveted it, but then the pieman dumped it on top of a freshly-basked pie and I thought "oooh." Usually I would expect this to come with ham in some form, but their 'Green and White' is just the ruccola and mozz; we added ricotta because we could. Again, the crust isn't quite right as far as I'm concerned, but this is a nice pizza.

I'm proud to say we didn't overeat. That was it. But I couldn't go past a coffee - it's the uber-snob's favorite, Stumptown. With locations in New York and Portland (Brooklyn's sister city), they offer beans like Kenya Tegu, of which they say 'pineapple aromas open the door for an elegant, complete coffee that offers distinct flavors of pomegranate and honey encompassed by a buttery mouth feel.' That's great, guys. Keep 'em comin'.

But yeah, it's a great cuppa coffee. All the floral smells you could want, which I think is the easy indicator of good coffee brewed right (as if I know).

We finished up with three flavors of ice cream, the flavorings of which excape me at this late date. It's neat though - even without reading other blogs or looking at their web menu, you can guess that they care a lot about ingredients and preparation. It feels like there could be something better going on at dinner, which is evidently the case.

There you go, there's an upside to the hipness after all.

1 comment:

  1. Dior? No wonder you guys got stared at.

    Give the hipster an espresso from Bear Pond. Watch his head explode.