I was super excited to try Nicoletta. As you regular readers know, I’m a huge Michael White fan (and I LOVE pizza) but sadly Nicoletta debuted to mixed reviews. I decided I needed to try it for myself.
We were meeting some friends coming in from Brooklyn so the East Village was the perfect location. It was a fairly quiet scene but the smells of Italian goodness filled the air. I was getting excited. Since we came in with a large group, we decided to order and share...pretty much the entire menu. I was pleasantly surprised (not really that surprised) that everything was delicious.
We started with the Patate (a suggestion from the manager). It was basically cheesy, fried potatoes with lemon. They were fantastic. We also enjoyed the meatballs, the fresh mozzarella (I was actually disappointed as these were small balls instead of larger slices) and the Arancini. The Arancini was incredible. What’s not to love about fried balls of creamy risotto?
We continued to the main event. The pizza. I knew Nicoletta was known for their "off-menu" Carbonara Pizza. Yes, a Carbonara Pizza. A pizza topped with parmesan, pancetta and eggs. OMG. FYI-This pizza is technically a secret. It's not on the regular menu but offered as an off-menu special to those in the know. You MUST ask for it.
We also ordered the Funghi and the Tarfutata. Both very good. The pizza’s are not traditional New York-style pizza and I think this may be one of the reasons the reviews have been mixed. The crust is thin and crispy but the pizza is smaller and does have a very different texture then what some New Yorkers may be used too. I found the pizza to be delightful and a nice change. The Carbonara was my favorite.
I would highly recommend Nicoletta for a good and fairly inexpensive meal. They do not take reservations but you should be able to walk in with out a wait. They serve only wine and beer. Order the Carbonara Pizza.
Patate aka crispy fried potatoes with a lemony parmesan sauce for dipping. Amaze.
House-made Meatballs. Just like my fictional Italian mama used to make.
The king of NYC off-menu specials: Nicoletta's Carbonara Pizza