Some regular Slice-reading New Yorkers might be wondering why a national pizza blog with a strong New York bent has been completely mum on the pies at Nicoletta, the new pizza venture from über-Chef Michael White who happens to one of the greatest (not to mention one of our favorite) Italian chefs in the city. And you'd be right to wonder. Other than a brief First Look, we've been silent on the subject. Honestly, it was the initial negative press culiminating in Pete Wells' zero-star review in the New York Times that made us give pause and consider the matter. I mean, what is Michael White doing serving heavy, midwestern pizza with a sauce made with dried herbs and low moisture Wisconsin mozzarella? Here's the real story.
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With Michael White behind Nicoletta, it was one of the most anticipated openings of the year. And we may be biased here at Slice, but all the more anticipated because it was pizza! There's nothing like a scathing New York Times review, however, to extinguish the excitement surrounding a new restaurant.
Bittman's column in today's New York Times today makes a good case for making pizza at home, but it's made at the expense of the reputation of New York pizza. But does the recipe he provides in the Times even produce results that are better than the most average of take-out slices?
It's a big pizza day in the New York Times' Dining Section. As part of "The Pizza Issue," best-selling cookbook author and Times columnist, Mark Bittman, will be conducting an hour long chat over on the NYTimes Facebook page from 3pm to 4pm (EST).
Wow. A resounding recommendation from the New York Times for Polpettina, a small pizzeria just north of NYC in Eastchester, New York.
This just in, thanks to Twitter: New York Times restaurant critic Sam Sifton is leaving his position, after less than two years. He'll move on to become the paper's national editor, but what we're wondering, of course: who's next? Leave hopes and speculations in the comments...
Melissa Clark of the New York Times Dining Section offers a respectable basics guide to making pizza at home. That's not to say there aren't some debatable points. (At the risk of sounding snobby, I can't advocate pre-shredded mozzarella. And, garlic a must? Debatable. I don't want to talk about the kitchen shears.) But this video is full of practical at-home modifications for the occasional pizza maker, like using the back of a baking sheet as a peel (my go-to method), not using a rolling pin, using moderation with toppings, and getting the oven properly pre-heated. Certainly better tips than these. Ultimately, it's great to see guides that encourage more home cooks to make pizza.
- Crispy Squid: Pan-fry calamari and maitake mushrooms and serve over arugula for a great spring meal.
- Ramen to the Rescue: Instant ramen, born of hardship, might help feed Japan's earthquake victims.
- Drinking near Times Square: Newcomers help answer the old dilemma of where to find a civilized bar amidst all the neon.
- More than Shaken and Stirred: A bartender with the power to evoke memory, cure hangovers, encourage spending money, and "bring about stirrings of a carnal nature."
- Veggie Manifesto: A vegetarian's account of why meat is murder, but plucking plants from soil is okay.
- Three Stars: Veritas is reborn as a destination for wine geeks and food-lovers alike.
- Two Stars: At Marcus Samuelsson's new Harlem restaurant, the scene is cheerful and the fried yard bird is worth a trip from anywhere.
- Yolks vs. Whites: Chefs find creative ways to put all the parts of the egg to good use.
- Modernist Cuisine: This 40 volume book is "mind-crushingly boring eye-bulgingly riveting, edifying, infuriating, frustrating, fascinating, all in the same moment."
- New Chef in Tijuana: Javier Plascencia hopes his new restaurant Mision 19 will help revitalize the city he calls home.
- Sake-Steamed Chicken: Trade in crispy for this aromatic chicken with a texture soft as custard.
- Diet to Live Forever: The billionaire David Murdock avoids dairy, alcohol, sugar, and salt so that he can live to celebrate his 125th birthday.
- Puritan Chefs: Some New York restaurants answer customers' special requests with a "no way."
- Making Waves in Chinatowns: A California bill moves to ban the possession of shark fins, and thus the popular Chinese shark fin soup.
- Coconut Oil: Once feared as a saturated fat bomb, coconut oil becomes the darling of the health food world.
- A Chef's Life: "On the page and in the kitchen, [Gabrielle] Hamilton can be charming, tempestuous, persnickety, vulgar, poetic, provocative and mothering," and sometimes all at once.
- Napa Cabernets Under $100: A great vintage makes for wines with freshness and spunk.
- Food Revolution in Pittsburgh: A city known for its pirogi and kielbasa is welcoming farmers' markets and conscientious cuisine.
- Oscar Party Eats: Recipes for spicy caramel popcorn, savory cheddar biscotti, and more.
- Burgermeester in Amsterdam: Beef, tuna, and lamb burgers are served at this mini-chain, where the walls are adorned with cow art.
- Quickie Banh Mi: A sandwich that maintains "the porky-pickled-fiery essence of a classic banh mi with easy-to-find ingredients."
- Coke Recipe: People go crazy for favorite corporate recipes, like the one for Coca Cola.
- Cocktails, Sans Booze: For the nondrinkers: yuzu and rose spritzes and kumquat-and-fennel smashes.
- Time for Dinner: It's a challenge to juggle cooking for your family and working all day.
- Next: The chef Grant Achatz's new restaurant in Chicago will completely change concepts every three months.
- Actresses Stuffing their Faces: A media obsessed with skinny celebrities and big appetites.
- Razor Clams: Winter is the peak season for razor clams, which are popping up all over New York menus.
- Braised Pig Parts: Simmering sauerkraut makes a nice bed for pigs' feet, and other parts.
- Chocolate Desserts: Recipes that feature this Valentines day staple, like olive oil brownies and chocolate-banana pudding.
- Maximal Flavor for Minimal Cash: For New York on a budget, try Veselka for borscht, Caracas Arepas Bar, and plenty of food carts.
Ok, so I'm gonna pull an Adam and pull out the Truth Hammer for this one. Pardon me as I sputter indignantly in public for a moment. Was anyone else flabbergasted at the appalling lack of reporting, knowledge, and taste displayed in New York Times writer Jordan Michelman's recent article about bánh mì modestly titled "Banh Mi In America"? Reading through it the other night, I was so shocked at the level of ignorance and the misinformation displayed that I was compelled to shoot off an email to Chichi, Robyn, and Tam just to vent. Never mind that his choices for best bánh mì in the country are... puzzling (you don't have to take my word for it: OC...