Like NYC Pizza? You’ll Love Marta and GG’s, Two of the Fall’s Best New Restaurants (So Far!)

Marta pizza restaurant in the NoMad neighborhood of Manhattan.

September saw a slew of new restaurant openings in New York City (with an even bigger slew coming this month!), and my two favorites so far, by a comfortable margin, put pizza front and center on their menus. No surprise, really: is there a food that's MORE NYC than pizza?  Ok, maybe bagels… but still: PIZZA!  Anyway, here's a quick look at this awesome duo: Marta, in the NoMad neighborhood, the latest from Danny Meyer's Union Square Hospitality Group; and GG's, which is Nicholas Morgenstern's revamp of his Goat Town in the East Village. Both serve first-rate individual-sized pies, an array of appealing non-pizza dishes, and satisfy equally well as neighborhood spots and destination restaurants.

A meatlover's joy. The Macellaio pie, with sopressata, sausage, and guanciale from Marta

Marta's Roman Pizza: For The Thin Crust Lover

First, Marta, from Danny Meyer and the great Chef Nick Anderer, who made Meyer's Maialino in the Gramercy Park Hotel such a success all these years. At Marta (which is also in a hotel, the Martha Washington on East 29th), Anderer unleashes vast amounts of firepower–a broad open grill, a mountainous wood burning oven–to bring you a beautifully cooked meal. The pizza is Roman-style, with a thin, crisp crust, and it is delicious. At least, my meaty Macellaio pie, with sopressata, sausage, and guanciale, was delicious; I'll have to return to try out all eight of the other varieties. And Anderer's charred octopus, in a salad with purslane, cherry tomatoes, and cranberry beans, was the best I've had in years. The place is already jumping–I had to talk my way into a seat, and it was early on a Tuesday night–but if you live or work nearby, Marta could be your new go-to.

A detailed photo of the charred octopus salad from GG's in the East Village

New York Style Pizza Fresh out of the Oven from GG's

 And GG's might me even be better! Owner Nick Morgenstern–whose still-newish ice cream parlor on Rivington gave us many a sweet summer night–rebooted his (also good) Goat Town on East 5th Street, and, thanks to the considerable skills of Chef Bobby Hellen, late of Resto, has a big winner here. Pizza is at the core of GG's tightly-focused menu (there are also grilled meats and baked pastas) and the version I devoured on the restaurant's opening night was fantastic. Called "1986" (Hellen is a huge Mets fan; '86 was the last time they won the Series), and topped with spicy sopressata, fennel agrodolce, pickled peppers, and anise hyssop, this pie delivered the perfect balance of crisp and chewy-ness, heat and sweet. Excellent-tasting crust, too; get a crock of a homemade ricotta for dipping. Hellen's Fried Lambneck Meatballs, were a huge winner as well. Call it exciting comfort food. GG's rules.

A fresh spinach pie out of the oven from GG's

Delicious Lambneck Meatballs from GG's in the East Village

For More Information and Menus from Marta and GG's

  • Marta is located on East 29th Street, between Madison and Park Avenues, and is open daily for breakfast, lunch, brunch, and dinner. Follow them on Twitter and Instagram to find out more, to make reservations and to see the complete Marta menus, 
  • GG's is located on East 5th Street, between Avenues A and B, and is open every day for lunch, brunch, and dinner. For more information and the complete GG's menus, visit their website.

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