Zagat Editor Kelly Dobkin recently chatted with Chef Michael White who is bringing high-end pizza to the East Village and filed the following report.
Located on the corner of E. 10th Street and Second Avenue, Nicoletta is chef Michael White’s most casual eatery to date.
"The inspiration for Nicoletta is maybe ten fold. Number one it’s really a central part of the Italian kitchen and pizza is something I haven’t done yet in my career. We’ve been playing around using different ratios of flour and salt and yeast and water, and really trying to perfect the pizza that is somewhat different than most pizzas here in New York City," says White.
The menu offers 10 different speciality pizzas as well as a make-your-own option.
"The biggest difference with the pizza that we’re doing here is we’re grinding our own sausage," explains White. "So we’re taking pork butts and we’re grinding those but then we’re placing this sausage right directly onto the pizza skin and then we sauce it and add cheese and all that flavor bakes into the crust."
Also available are small plates, salads and mini-appetizers that all come before the pizza.
"There’s little Suppli which are Roman-style risotto balls filled with Primo Sale cheese which is a Sicilian soft pecorino cheese. We have the mortadella skewers, and little fun things like that but if you want to have a full meal, you can do that as well," says White.
The open air dining space, formerly home to Cafe Centosette, features exposed brick walls, and shiny silver detail both in the chairs and the light fixtures.
"Some of the my favorite details of Nicoletta - one is the brick wall, something that’s synonymous with New York City. The pizza stand, we really thought about it for months and we came up with doing it here in the table where a stainless steel tube goes into the table and has a platform for the pizza," explains White. "The experience that we want to create here at Nicoletta is one that’s very convivial, meant for sharing but it was pizza given to you in a different way."
For more information on Nicoletta and other new restaurants, visit blog.zagat.com.