Choosing to take me up on my “will travel for food” mantra, my friends lured me to the Upper West Side to Angelina Pizza Bar with promises of fabulous company, tasty pizza (standard and less traditional varieties), and fantastic drink specials. At the time, the special ran Monday through Wednesday at the bar only, and was 50% off of all pizza and house beer, wine, and cocktails. Not bad indeed!
I wasn’t with my friends who visit frequently the first time I went, so I approached the menu blindly. Hmmmm. The Veneta sounded delicious… broccoli rabe, roasted garlic, Luganega sausage, and provolone. How couldn’t it be? Okay, so it wasn’t bad. But not my favorite. The lack of cheese was notable and I just felt a little … well … unfulfilled.
The other half of the group had ordered the Quattro Formaggi (gorgonzola, pecorino, fresh mozzarella, and parmigiano), and was willing to let me barter away a slice of mine for one of theirs. While I was able to satiate my cheese craving, the overwhelming flavor of the slice was blue cheese. Lost. I was lost in the overpowering blue cheese. The other cheeses, no matter how delightful they may have been, were no match for the power of the blue. Big fan of blue cheese? Then this one has your name all over it!
Fast forward a little over two months, and I found myself back for dinner. The special from before is still around, except for it’s now offered every night! This time around, I’d been tipped off to what is supposed to be one of their best pies – the prosciutto. The Proscuitto included prosciutto, provolone, salami, roma tomato, and fresh basil. The saltiness of the prosciutto paired with the spiciness of the salami made for pizza gold. Get their classic crust – it’s not as crispy as I originally expected it to be, but is close to the NYC standard.
If you’re there with a friend, their pitchers of wine are a bargain. And if not, their quartinos are roughly a glass and a half. Not sure on brands, but the house selection pairs well with pizza – both red and white.
Hungry for dessert? Settle up, and go around the corner for peanut butter pie at The Abbey Pub. Less than $5 a slice and worth every penny.
Angelina Pizza Bar – 2728 Broadway (at W 105) – 212.932.1000
The Abbey Pub – 237 W. 105th St (at Broadway) – 212.222.8713