Emily and Matt love pizza. It practically served as the foundation for their relationship so it was a no-brainer that when Matt decided to open a restaurant of his own, pizza would be at its core. And it’s a solid core. I’ve been hearing about this pizza (and, surprisingly, the burger) at Emily for the last few years. Unfortunately, I just never made it out to Brooklyn to try it. Just as I decided enough was enough, they opened a Manhattan outpost and I immediately made plans to get myself to the West Village to try it. (And I do mean immediately – I think I made my reservation the day it opened.)
This is a pizza restaurant, yes, but it’s so. much. more. Everything I tried was absolutely delicious and so far from the status quo. We started with the shishito peppers, made with fish sauce and parmesan. Since I almost always see blistered shishitos with sea salt and chili flakes – maybe some yuzu – this was a really nice departure. Good start to the evening and made me want to go back to try some of their other innovative takes on veggies (the shredded sprouts with pickled shitake, cashews, buttermilk blue, and miso look particularly interesting). We snacked on our peppers while sipping some cocktails – vodka lavendar lemonade for Jourdan; Pimm’s, gin, cucumber, and strawberry for me – that were not overly sweet but certainly felt appropriate for the summer season.
Now for the main course. We perhaps overordered, but I don’t regret it at all. We knew we were going to get the burger because it has consistently been ranked as one of the best burgers in the city (and beyond). We also got two pizzas in their signature Detroit style. A word on Detroit-style square pizza: I was wary of “the grandma slice” as I thought it would be. But this pizza was only sort of deep dish and not nearly as doughy as the big square things you see in the neglected corner of a New York pizzeria. This pizza made me want to go to Detroit. We tried two kinds, the Arenstein (pink sauce with pepperoni, pickled chili, and honey) and the For the Nguyen (chicken, Korean wing sauce, scallions, buttermilk blue, and radishes). Both were fabulous. The For the Nguyen was totally unique without feeling like a novelty pizza.
And then the burger. Since Emily opened (the original location), I’ve probably heard more about the burger than the pizza, which is kinda crazy, considering it’s a pizza restaurant. The Emmy Burger is a double stack of LaFrieda dry-aged beef, Emmy sauce,
caramelized onion, American cheese, and pickles on a Tom Cat Pretzel bun. Everything about it was perfect. I was worried the pretzel bun would be chewy and salty, distracting me from the burger, but it too was perfect. It was stupid. This burger is stupid good. Oh and it’s served with curly fries that are crispy without being crunchy and don’t really even need any dipping sauce.
Everything here is good. Everything. It’s rare that something so lives up to the hype. And they place is cute! Simple furnishings and white walls to let the large windows and cute West Village street corner do the talking. I’m already plotting my return (as in I may have already made a reservation).