With all the NYC pizza joints selling by the slice, its hard to know how to sort through all the choices. Especially when you are hungry! Artichoke Basille’s Pizza, an unassuming little storefront on 14th between 1st and 2nd, has recently gained a rabid following with lines snaking out the door and around the corner. Some argue that waiting over 20 minutes in a city with pizza parlors on every corner is insane. But if Keith Richards and radical chef David Chang dig it and the foodie blogs are ablaze with rave reviews, there must be something to it, right?
Whatever Artichoke Basille’s Pizza lacks in tables and other restaurant decor, it makes up for in tasty homemade food. This is not dainty stuff. Portions are huge, even sloppy. Grated cheese is strewn with abandon, and tomato sauce liberally applied. The pizza is lumpy, a little heavy-handed with the mozzarella, occasionally burnt, but undeniably delicious. Of the three varieties usually on hand, the square Sicilian (made with a combination of fresh mozzarella, a sprinkling of pecorino and Parmigiano-Reggiano) is the best.
A large part of Artichoke’s attraction comes from its improvisational menu, a compendium of Italian-American dishes made on a whim. Crisp, greasy cauliflower fritters, flattened meatballs-on-a-stick, the mounds of sauted broccoli rabe mingled with Kalamata olives are all standouts. Don’t miss the colossal stuffed artichoke-spinach pie, the joints namesake dish bubbling in a super-creamy butter and wine sauce.
328 E 14th Street
(between 1st Ave & 2nd Ave)
New York, NY 10003