Owned by Sebastiano Cappitta, who recently opened nearby Bettolona, Buca is a tiny space on a quiet block, with six tables — seven if you count the one on the sidewalk — perhaps fitting for a place whose name means hole in Italian. It's small but doesn't feel cramped. Attilio Reale is the pizzaiolo here, manning a fire-breathing oven akin to the one you may have seen at Roberta's.
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"Very favorable first encounter. They favor a less puffy cornicione than Keste, to the benefit of a crisper undercarriage, while remaining extremely light. No tip sag or swampy middle whatsoever on my Margherita, even on the last slice. The crust achieves an excellent balance between shatteringly, audibly crisp, and light, airy, and delicate. No doughiness. A pleasant yeasty tang. Just enough salt. The tomato and cheese were good, not extraordinarily so, but of obvious quality. The star here is the crust. I have yet to try the other offerings, but from the benchmark test, which is the Margherita, I'd say it's very promising. If you're anywhere near the area, I'd very enthusiastically recommend eating here. Sorry no pics, I didn't bring a real camera and it's too dim on here for crappy iPhone pics."
Reaching in to the Slice mailbag, we've got some intel from Simon on a new pizzeria just about to open on the Upper West Side on 103rd Street between Broadway and Amsterdam. [Photographs: simon] Buca Pizza is for real! I wrote to you about this a while ago, and nothing seemed to be happening there — until tonight, when I thought I'd see if there was any activity. Lo and behold, she's almost ready to open. And it looks and sounds promising. Wood-burning oven. Homemade pasta specials. Owner, a really nice, really Italian guy named Sebastiano, hopes to open next...