NOLITA: the New York Style Pizza



In search for a new pizza experience in Manila?
There's actually a relatively new pizza joint found in The Fort, serving New York-style pizza: thin, and the slice so huge you'd have to fold it before you take a bite. Just like what you see in movies and TV shows set in Manhattan. 

New York at The Fort.


Nolita, which opened January this year, is short for "NOrth of LIttle ITAly," the actual name of that Italian-American neighborhood in Manhattan, where the pizza was actually inspired from. Owned by Patrick Santos, the same guy who owns The Bourhough at The Podium, another NY-style comfort food restaurant, along with New York native chef, Cuit Kauffman, Nolita offers the New York pizzeria experience to Filipinos.

Six months after Nolita opened at The Bonificio High Street, I found myself sitting in one of the rustic, charming, wooden booths inside the pizza joint, ready to take my first bite of a new pizza experience  New York style  right here in Manila.

THE PIZZA

Nolita serves 16 rotating flavors of pizza throughout the day  by the slice, on a paper plate  so if you want to taste each and every flavor, you have to go back again and again to the restaurant. And one slice is so huge that it can be divided up to three parts if one wants to share with friends a little bit of every flavor. 

Last Monday, for lunch, owner Patrick ordered for us six flavors to share. First bite of the Buffalo Chicken with Blue Cheese (PHP250) was somethin' else. Spicy. The blue cheese strong and complementary, all melting into a rich, flavorful, and new pizza flavor experience. Chicken Parmesan (P250) was deliciously...parmesan, the cheese the dominant flavor, lingering. 

L-R: Cheeseburger, Pepperoni, Chicken Parmesan


The rest, namely, the Regular Cheese (PHP130), Pepperoni (PHP160), Spinach & Artichoke (P210) and Cheeseburger (PHP210) were...bland. Surprisingly. You bite, and there's nothing quite special to them; none of that homey, comfort-food experience of even such classic as the pepperoni pizza. No, they're not bad at all, but if I'd draw a smiley face, the mouth would be a straight line. Blank.

L-R: Buffalo Chicken with Blue Cheese, Regular Cheese, Spinach & Artichoke

From the total of six flavors, I could honestly say as a pizza lover that I've tasted way better pizza in other places. The first two flavors I've mentioned were different and good   but I did not experience anything "Woooow" or "Mmmm!!!"  The pizza offered to us were no longer warm, straight from the display window, so I cannot say if it would make a difference if I bit into the fresh, hot version of them. 

We were also given a basket of beer-battered onion rings with Sriracha dip (PHP160) to crunch on...and they are crunchy; crispy, not that oily, and tastes fine. The fun is all in the crunch. The potato chip fries with dip (PHP130) were a delight for a potato fan like me. Both, I can do without the dip. They're good snack material.

Beer-battered onion rings with Sriracha dip
Potato chip fries

For dessert, Patrick opted to let us taste the white chocolate and peanut butter tiramisu (PHP280), which was nice, filling, deliciously chilled, crumbly, and rich, the white chocolate overpowering the peanut butter a bit, which I prefer.  And the funnel cake, the light and crunchy-on-the-outside-and-soft-on-the-inside fritter-like pastry, sprinkled with confectioner's sugar and dipped in butterscotch and whipped cream is absolutely delectable, a heavenly treat for a sweet-tooth like me.

White chocolate and peanut butter tiramisu
Funnel cake with butterscotch and whipped cream


All the food on the menu are made from scratch, admirably.


THE AMBIANCE

It's hip, casual, and laid-back. The space is very small; can only seat around 45 diners, but the cleverly placed floor-to-ceiling mirrors on one wall prevent that claustrophobic feel. With overhead blackboards at the counter, the menu carefully written in colorful-chalk letters, the hip and modern light fixtures, and the overall Manhattan vibe, makes it one of the coolest and eye-candy pizzerias in town. 

"Hmmm...what to order?"


The wooden tables give it a more picnic-y, park-y, casual New York feel to it, and the pizza on paper plates completes the New York pizzeria experience. 

Perfect.


THE SERVICE

Self-service. Line up, order your pizza, grab a table, wash your hands, and eat away. They actually posted a helpful instruction for you, bolted on their wall in modern and artful graphics, in case you enter clueless.


OVERALL VERDICT: 2.5 out of 5 stars

Let's be blunt: If you're rich, or a luxurious eater, and buying a PHP200+ slice of pizza is something you won't think twice, then Nolita is a place to go to if you need your pizza fix and it's the nearest pizzeria to your place. Or if you're with a group of friends looking for a place to hang out, where bonding at a cool joint is your priority over the food, then with PHP 200 per head, you can all chip in and order various pizza flavors to share over animated conversations. You can also opt for free ice-cold water to go with your pizza, available on the counter, with colorful plastic cups.

For me, with only six flavors to base my experience from, I would recommend Nolita for what it actually and literally offers:  New York-style pizza. The operative word here is style, not really the pizza itself.

***

Nolita is located at 7th Ave. corner 31st St., Bonifacio High Street Central, Taguig. 
Operating hours: 11 a.m. daily to 12 mn (Sun-Mon), 2 a.m. (T-Th), and 5 a.m. (Fri-Sat).

______________________________________________________________________
I would like to thank OpenRice.com, Asia-Pacific's Premier Dining Guide, for the invitation.



Photos by Stephanie and Jessica Mayo




Comments

  1. I agree. I guess if I want to try it, I'll drag a few friends to share the tab. I won't be able to appreciate it if I only get to try one flavor, given the price. :p

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