Thursday, October 4, 2007

When the Moon Hits Your Eye

One of our favorite restaurants in the burg is Bridges Brick Oven Pizza. This is a food we are never not in the mood for. We always sit at the same table, the closest one to the ovens, which is particularly nice on a cool or rainy evening. We’ve never ordered a dinner entree, and the subs and salads are as pedestrian as they come, but the pizza is fantastic. Very thin crust, crispy on the bottom with the slightly smoky flavor of the oven, a light tomato sauce, thin sheets of fresh mozzarella, and freshly grated Parmagiano Reggiano cheese over the top. And in addition to the traditional toppings, they have some you don’t often see in pizzerias, like eggplant, spinach, artichokes, and tonight’s choice, roasted red peppers.

Now, Bridges claims to make authentic New York style pizza. That’s a debate I won’t be dragged into. I grew up on Long Island, where I regularly consumed pizza by the slice after school, made by Rocky at the Centurion on Nassau Blvd. The bready crust was thin and hand-tossed, baked with the occasional big air bubble, light on the sauce and plenty of cheese. We never ordered it with any toppings, and using silverware to eat it was unheard of—you just picked up the big, floppy slices, folded them lengthwise, and inserted mouthwards. I never in my life saw anyone use sliced fresh mozzarella on a Long Island pizza, or put eggplant on it, and the Centurion’s ovens weren’t brick. But just because Bridges doesn’t make the pizza of my youth doesn’t mean it isn’t terrific. In fact, it’s a lot like the pizzas I had in Italy, with the thin sheets of fresh mozzarella and the lengthy list of toppings including meats and veggies you don’t often see in the U.S. Just don't compare it to other pizzas you've eaten...just judge it on its own merits, and I think you'll enjoy it as a change of pace from the usual heavier pizzas you find around the burg.

As for what I call New York pizza, the best we ever found in the burg was the pie made at Villa Capri, a now defunct Italian restaurant a few miles out of town on Rt. 3 West. We mourned its passing, and keep hoping it will reappear somewhere else in town. Mr. Iolascon, where are you?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I agree! Bridges pizza is my favorite!