A new NYC hotspot, Apizz is located in the Lower East Side on Eldridge near Stanton Street (map). "Apizz" is Italian for pizza and is pronounced "ah-beets."I recommend making reservations a couple days ahead of time and be on time, especially if you want a good seat. I got lucky and got the last Thursday evening reservation after calling earlier that afternoon. But given the cocktail menu it's not a bad spot to have to wait at the bar and enjoy one of their concoctions. My favorite? The Blood Orange Mojito. My friend Rolland Berry and I went here a couple weeks ago and loved the food. Each meal starts off with a basket of rustic bread served with ricotta cheese and tomato sauce instead of butter. For an appetizer we shared the amazing APizz Bianca E Verde, a flatbread pizza topped with fresh ricotta, parmigiano-reggiano, buffalo mozzarella d.o.c. and sauteed spinach. For my entree I ordered the Insalata Di Formaggio- romaine hearts, drunken goat cheese, cherry tomatoes, croutons and I substituted the creamy sherry vinaigrette with the lemon-honey vinaigrette. The salad was good but did not stand up to the quality of the pizza appetizer. Rolland had the Lasagna Cinghiale- lasagna, ragu of braised wild boar and parmigiano-reggiano, which he apparently wanted to try since it was a unique twist on the traditional lasagna dish.
Overall, I enjoyed Apizz but would have liked to have sat in the main dining area of the restaurant instead of the tables by the bar. I've heard that Apizz is not only great for dinner but a wonderful weekend brunch spot as well.
John Lafemina is the owner and executive chef of Apizz and The Orchard as well as the author of A Man and His Meatballs.