Back in October while scarfing some pies at Nomad Pizza, I met Mark Horowitz, a fellow Park Slope pizzaphile. When I asked him where his top pizza joints in the hood were, he said something like, "I don't know, I only go to Toby's." After three or so months, I finally paid it a visit.
Pretty classy spot, eh? Almost looks like something out of a 1920's gangster flick. The place, for all intents and purposes, is in fact an Irish-style pub (hence the name), with one exception:
It has a bad-ass brick oven built into the wall like it's not even a big deal. Look how fresh that thing is! Toby's serves up Neapolitan-style pies, and does a pretty damn good job at it. As always, I was obligated to order the Margherita, in addition to a quattro formaggi and a smoked pancetta and something else I'll get to later.
The Margherita was tasty. Not amazing or ground-breaking, but pretty delicious. The crust is thin but airy and light, and the pie had some great pizza warts (I think I just invented that term, thank you very much).
I like a breadier, chewier crust, so I wasn't knocked on my ass with this pizza. I also wish it had some more basil, but like I said, it was tasty. Next up was the tomato-less, sauce-less quattro formaggi, which consisted of mozzarella, Gorgonzola (DOP), Parmesan, and Pecorino Toscano (DOP).
This guy was yummy, but ultimately nothing new. I like Gorgonzola, especially on a four-cheese pizza with no sauce, but I think it's hard to execute. It's easy to get carried away with a cheese like this, and with such a strong flavor, it's even easier to turn the pie into Gorgonzola with a side of pizza, know what I mean?
The undercrust on all the pizzas was fair, I think it could have stood another 20 seconds in the oven, but it was by no means under cooked. Now let me get to the crazy smoked pancetta pizza-
Here's what is on this sucker: tomato, mozzarella, crimini mushrooms, black garlic, and smoked pancetta (at least on half- I'm a veggie remember?). Now just what the hell is black garlic? Adam at Slice goes into some detail about the stuff, but basically it's fermented garlic that has a slightly sweet taste.
I'm not gonna lie- this was a pretty great pizza. All the toppings worked really well together, and I bet if I ate the pancetta I'd only feel stronger about this. I could never really pinpoint the black garlic aside from an occasional fruity taste, but I liked that none of the ingredients stole the show here. I would definitely go back to Toby's just to order this.
Just before leaving, I nearly forgot to do something I rarely do- order dessert. Paulie Gee had been raving about Toby's dessert calzone filled with nutella and ricotta cheese, and considering I'd never had a dessert calzone, I figured one was in order.
I know, I know, you're not getting the full effect here. Basically what happened was the thing looked so incredible that I forgot to take a picture of it until I had nearly destroyed the whole calzone- give me a break for cryin' out loud! I never would have thought nutella and cheese would go so well together, but with a blizzard of powdered sugar on top, how can anything taste bad?