Saturday, May 21, 2011


Whew! Alright, after an extensive pizza chow-down sesh in Chicago I'm finally back in New York! Just shy over an hour after landing in Newark (ugh) I found myself in my old, much beloved neighborhood of Hell's Kitchen to finally give Zigolini's Pizza Bar a proper look-see.

I have to admit I didn't walk through ZPB's doors with a totally unbiased attitude. Zigolini's is located on 9th Ave. between 46th and 47th, and I used to live directly across the street. The demise of Orchard Caribbean Soul Cuisine in this location begat this pizzeria at what felt like the instant I moved to Brooklyn, so a part of me almost wanted to hate this place in order to save myself pangs of regret.

Zigolini's is a relatively traditional Neapolitan-style pizzeria and, as the name suggests, a bar to boot. You won't find any surprising pie concoctions here as most of the menu is comprised of traditional Italian toppings ranging from buffalo mozz DOC to truffle oil. Naturally I ordered the Margherita to see how it held up.

Okay. That's how this pie looks, and that's how it tasted. Not bad, not amazing, but okay.

Don't get me wrong, the mozzarella was plenty flavorful with a nice salty zing and the tomatoes were kept deliciously simple to make a decent Margherita, but the pizzaiolo here could stand to throw another sprig or two of basil on before firing up his pies. If there's one thing that gets me unnecessarily heated over a Margherita is a lack of basil. C'mon, it's a compulsory ingredient, not a garnish!

My pizza had a nice cook to it, both under and over. That being said, the cornicione was nothing to write home about. I like my Neapolitan crusts big and fluffy enough to take a nap on, and this guy just seemed flat without much discernible flavor. Again, okay.

The service? Okay. The decor? Okay. That being said, if I still lived across the street I'd be here once a week. I finally had to face the facts: a decent brick oven pizzeria had opened up close enough for me to roll out of bed into had I still lived in Hell's Kitchen, and now I have regrets about my move. Not okay.

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