Based on the recommendation of some helpful Yelpers – Nick and I hiked down to the Lower East Side to try out Pala Pizza. I didn’t mind the trip though because we got to see the sights and sounds of Washington Square Park on the way.
We started out with the arancini, which are risotto balls stuffed with mozzarella cheese and spinach, then they’re fried in a dedicated fryer. There are a ton of other options for appetizers as well, but according to all the reviews, these are a must-have. They were like a more sophisticated mozzarella stick…crispy outside, arborio rice that sticks to your teeth, and a sweet tomato sauce to dip in. My only complaint about this dish is that there weren’t more of them! $4/risotto ball is pricey no matter how you cut it.
Then the big decision on pizza – Nick loves meat toppings, of course, but they wouldn’t let us get a half and half, so he left it up to me to choose 🙂 I picked one with spinach, ricotta, cherry tomatoes, mozzarella, garlic and parsley pesto.
Now this…was a pizza. The best gluten free crust I’ve had. Not to diss my old-faithful, Risotteria, but this pie really takes the cake. For a second I panicked, thinking that they gave us the wrong pizza because there was no indication that it was gluten free. This crust has the slightly crunchy/chewy bottom, takes some effort to pull apart (in a good way), and has yummy written all over it. The creamy ricotta, fresh tomatoes, and stringy mozzarella were just right.
They also put a bundle of oregano on the table, so you can sprinkle it fresh right on your pie:
Somehow, after finishing the pizza, we still had room for dessert. So we got the apple tart:
The tart was…alright. Although I don’t think I’ve tasted anything remotely like pie crust in years, so I was satisfied. The crust is kind of like a shortbread, then there’s boiled apples with cinnamon on top. They also had an almond cake with chocolate sauce, that I’m regretting not getting in retrospect.
Ah well…the pizza made up for it.
Thanks for the recommendation! I will definitely be back!
Try it yourself: Pala Pizza – 198 Allen Street.