If you’ve recently walked by the intersection of Greenwich Avenue and 13th Street during lunchtime, your curiosity may have been piqued by the wide windows on the corner looking into Rossopomodoro (118 Greenwich Avenue; 212-242-2310). Opened late in 2014 by Simone Falco (who owns a slice of New York’s Eataly and a few restaurants back home in Italy), the restaurant is quiet and somewhat empty midday, resting in anticipation of the dinner rush that floods in nightly.
Those daylight hours are the best time to settle in for a lunch meeting or post-imbibing weekend brunch. The staff is energized and attentive, the wood-fired oven manned by pizzaiolo Rosario Granieri is ready to sizzle and char, and executive chef Kenneth Welch is already turning out creamy pastas with house-made mozzarella, thinly pounded chicken, market vegetables grilled until just-soft, and chunks of marinated and stewed meat.
However, the most pressing reason for some particular New Yorkers to race to Rossopomodoro is its phenomenal gluten-free pizza crust. Yes, it exists, and the non-gluten-free eaters who have joined me there for several lunches agree.
The crust, made primarily with a combination of rice and potato flour, is not at all reminiscent of flavorless cardboard. Rather, it’s thin and pliable enough in the center to be folded for optimum slice-devouring; the dough itself tastes salty and chewy and satisfying, and the dark char on the rim provides oh-so-satisfying crunch. Topped with a rich, sweet San Marzano tomato sauce, pickled red onions, buffalo mozzarella, and basil, it’s exquisite; a white version teeming with spring onions and drizzled Neapolitan olive oil is equally satisfying. Order sides of the rotating market vegetables, such as artichoke hearts or asparagus, pair it all with a chilled rosé or classic Italian cocktail, and you’re ready to tackle the rest of the workday (or a walk on the High Line).
A note for those with Celiac disease: The pizzas are made in a shared oven, so if cross-contamination is a worry, opt for one of the many gluten-free pastas (including the gnocchi!), which are also delicious.
The Village Voice is counting down to our Best of New York City issue in October. We’re combing the city every day, one dish at a time, to guide you to the most delicious food in NYC. These are our 100 Favorite Dishes for 2015, in no particular order, save for the top 10.
Here’s our countdown up to now:
#100: Laminated Blueberry Brioche at Dominique Ansel Kitchen
#99: Egg Shop’s Golden Bucket Fried Chicken
#98: Ramen Lab’s Torigara Shoyu
#97: Cannoli at Ferdinando’s
#96: Breakfast Sandwich at Dimes
#95: Banana Royal at Eddie’s Sweet Shop
#94: Fletcher’s Burnt Ends
#93: Almayass’s Mante
#92: Empellon Taqueria’s Fish Taco
#91: El Rey’s Sardine Tostada
#90: General Tso’s Pig’s Head at the Cannibal
#89: The Vegetarian at Meat Hook Sandwich Shop
#88: The 21 Club’s Creamy Chicken Hash
#87: Deep-Fried Olives at Via Carota
#86: Pougi at Loi Estiatorio
#85: Shelsky’s Hot Pastrami Sandwich
#85: Pearl & Ash’s Smoked Bread with Chicken Butter