217 Eldridge Street (LES)
Yeah, the time I took my parents there we were fortunate enough to witness a drug deal six feet from the entrance, but the creepy street Ápizz sits on definitely shouldn’t deter you from wandering in. From the moment you do, you’ll be immersed in pure comfort – one room, one bar, dim lighting and wooden surfaces that make you feel like you’re sitting at home in the country.
What I love about Ápizz is that nothing is pretentious and everything is done to perfection. The food, reasonably priced for what you’re getting, is delicious and filling with ingredients and preparation that are noteworthy without getting too fancy. Oh, and their bread basket comes with marinara and ricotta.
The funghi con polenta was dank. It’s mushrooms done two ways, and while the roasted mushrooms are good, the polenta cakes definitely…took the cake. If your guests are willing, definitely go for one of the brick-oven pizzas. They’re too big to be eaten alone if you’re getting an entrée, but sharing them is a great move. I’m a personal fan of the Rocket pizza with prosciutto, parmesan, mozz, and plum tomatoes, but you really can’t go wrong.
You have a number of sick options for your main. Ápizz kills it with the short rib gnocchi, wild boar lasagna, and my personal favorite, the Polpette e Pomodori. Two larger-than-fist sized veal-pork-beef meatballs sit in a dish, bathing in a creamy, fresh tomato sauce and injected with fresh ricotta cheese that seeps out as you bite in.
I’m always full when I walk out, but somehow sitting in the dim lighting for a couple hours and hearing the white noise of neighboring tables’ quiet chatter under my own always calms me. Good for dates, the parents, a chill dinner with friends, Ápizz should not be overlooked.
(image from examiner.com)