Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Itsy Bitsy 'ino

After all that goodness at Motorino, we took off on a brisk 1.5 mile walk to get some hunger back so we could eat at 'ino, which happens to be teeniest, tiniest place I've ever eaten. The whole restaurant is about the size of my dorm room in college. We managed to slide into seats at the bar and ordered a bottle of Le Rose di Regaleali Sicilia, which quickly turned into two bottles of said wine. Apparently the walk was further than we thought. The waitress didn't have a cold bottle, so she had to go to the basement to get ice. For only seating less than 20 people, this place was serving A TON of wine.

Steeped aperitifs and the entirety of their beer selection. Told ya it was small!

A quick perusal of the menu showed mostly bruschetta and panini sandwiches, so we decided to try a selection of the crostini. We got a Sweet Pea & Pecorino, Pesto & Taleggio (my favorite) and a Prosciutto & Fig. The Pesto & Taleggio was creamy and tangy. The only knock is that they didn't toast the bread, but I guess that's the case when the kitchen is the size of a small walk-in closet. We were pretty full at this point and occupying about 20% of the seating at 'ino, so we decided to head to Gramercy Tavern for a drink. We walk outside, it's dark, but it's still about 95 degrees and I feel like a pizza being cooked on a stone!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

NYC- Motoring to Motorino

The first stop of our trip was a no brainer. Jared had already eaten at Motorino, in the East Village, and raved about the wood-fired pizza made from the magic Acunto oven. So we bolted off the plane with empty bellies in search of the perfect pie!

We walked in and were seated right away. SCORE! The space is simply decorated, with tin stamped ceilings, black tiled floors and white walls.


We ordered a bottle of Falanghina del Taburno made by Fattoria La Rivolta, which was delicious and tasted of "ripe apples, banana and notes of sage". That's the menu description, not mine! 

Everyone weighed in on the menu, and we decided on 3 pizzas to start off. I was really looking forward to trying the slightly black speckled crusted goodness that was coming out of this bad boy!
Obviously had to get the Margherita. Tomato, Mozzarella and Basil- The Trinity of Toppings! 

Cremini and Sweet Sausage with Mozzarella, Garlic, Thyme and Pecorino. The ingredients paired together splendidly, but they should have par-cook the sausage. 

Brussels Sprout with Smoked Pancetta, Mozzarella, Garlic and Pecorino. The slightly charred sprouts were mindblowing. 

The server was acute enough to tell that we still had pizza on our brain, so he twisted our collective arm into ordering a Soppressata Piccante with Mozzarella, Spicy Soppressata, Garlic and Oregano. We didn't get a photo of this one, as I think the cheese was starting to numb our brains. 

Motorino knocked it out of the park. The bottom crust was slightly runny, and your fingers were dirty after eating it (that was a new one for me), but it somehow all came together to form a delicious pie! 

Now slightly satiated and starting to feel the effects of the heat, we started marching towards the West Village to try 'ino, which proved to be the tiniest tiny restaurant I've ever been in! 

Sunday, July 11, 2010

NYC- 100 Degrees and Rising

The A Tavola boys decided to head up to NYC to see some old friends and sample the local cuisine. We managed to book our trip for the hottest week in four years with temperatures reaching well above 100 degrees, so please excuse our sweaty bodies! Armed with our cameras, and as we soon learned, eyes much larger than our bellies, we hit the streets. Here are some of the sights, I'll be posting about the cuisine soon enough. 

It's impossible for me not to take a picture of anything porcine related.

View from our hotel. Jared was VERY excited that we were staying next to a Mies Van Der Rohe building. 

Setting sun. 


Hootie hoo!

Can he save me from this oppressive heat?

Friday, July 9, 2010

How It All Started- Pizza Night at Take the Cake

About this time last year, we hijacked Take the Cake's kitchen on Thursday nights to put on a little shindig called Pizza Night. Yes, we know it's a very original name, thank ya very much! It was $10 for all you can eat pizza, appetizers, and if you were lucky dessert (Thanks to Sierra of Fork Heart Knife! Check her and Leah out at 1437 Main Street!) What started out as a way for us to avoid cooking in our small kitchens at home quickly turned into something much more. As the popularity grew, we started to realize a couple of things.

First, people love pizza. Specifically, people love snacking on pizza while socializing in a laid back environment. Take the Cake's space lent itself to this concept perfectly. You could sit at the bar or a communal table with friends and munch on whatever caught your eye. As the seats started to fill up and it became standing room only, we realized we were on to something.

Second, we really enjoyed sharing our passion for fresh, homemade food with old and new friends, family, and complete strangers. The open kitchen at Take the Cake allowed us to socialize and work at the same time. This created a connection between us and our patrons that proved enjoyable for both parties. It made the dining experience much more personal for the patron, and it allowed us to get immediate feedback on what their tastes were.

The first Pizza Night had about 50 people show up, and the last one drew a crowd of over 150 people! Check out the time lapse video below of one of the last Pizza Nights, courtesy of our friend Matt Joy.

While we are no longer hosting Pizza Nights at Take the Cake, we are forever indebted to Doug and Melissa at Take the Cake for graciously allowing us to use their kitchen. Thank you both so much for the opportunity to get the pizza dough ball rolling! 

We are currently working on our own space to continue what we started. More details to come later! 

Back At It Again

Greetings Pizza Lovers! It's been a while since we've posted anything here, but you better believe that we've been cooking up a storm. We've catered a number of parties and one wedding (congrats Joe and Daena!!) over the past couple of months, check out our catering menu!

In addition to these items, we have a wide array of pizzas that we can make with either a wood-fired oven or a propane grill. Please email atavolapizza@gmail.com to book us for your next party! Here's the crew during one of our recent events. 

Pictured- Gina, John, Jared, Sam, Billy and Katie. Thanks for sweet aprons, Deborah! 

Expect to see upcoming posts on our eating tour of NYC and the other tasty goodness that we've been working on! 

Monday, July 6, 2009