Teetering on the cramped uneven sidewalk, amid the delivery bikes and pedestrians, I stood waiting to meet a friend who is an editor for a New York-based food site. She’s a razor-sharp, passionate young lady who lives with her husband in the East Village. There was no doubt that I would leave our dinner choice up to her, and since I hadn’t had pizza in New York yet, she proposed Motorino, a couple of blocks from her place.
It was good to get away from the action of the conference I was attending in New York last week, even though it was my last night, also the night of the awards ceremony. I ended up missing the awards because of some work I had to attend to. By the time I huffed four blocks over, I wasn’t allowed in the theater, so I mingled at the awaiting cocktail reception until I was about to run late for dinner. And though I bumped into another editor friend who had meandered into the reception after having just won an award, I left him in a mysteriously disgruntled state. (Because I had missed his acceptance speech? Or his comment that his drink was way too tart?) In any case, I was more than ready for that pizza.
Maggie and I squeezed into a little table for two in the narrow place, pulsating with heat from the pizza oven. “Wow, there’s no wait tonight,” she remarked. “Usually there’s a long line out front.” I would soon find out why this was true. On the chalkboard was an eerily named pizza: Ramps Pizza. I asked about ramps, and learned that they’re a small, green, oniony vegetable with a green stalk and white base, similar to a leek. And apparently New Yorkers are crazy about them when the season hits, so restaurants try to cram them into their daily specials. Ramps Pizza it was.
“Let’s eat this one first,” said Maggie, quickly reaching for the Ramps Pizza. “It tends to get soggy faster than the other pizzas.” (We had also ordered a brussels sprouts and prosciutto one.) The classic Neapolitan pizza–Motorino is said to be the best in the city–had a thin, chewy crust, and moist tomato-strewn and cheesy inner circle. The ramps lent a really nice garlicky flavor that wasn’t overpowering. A wonderful vegetarian pizza option popping with flavor. Now I can’t wait for ramps season. And to return to New York, of course.