Olio Pizza NYC
One look at Olio Pizza e Piu and it's easy to see why this West Village newcomer was something of an instant hit this summer. With its wide-open frontage and double row of outside tables, located just off a bustling stretch of Sixth Avenue, Olio Pizza NYC is close enough to the throngs to feel the energy, but set back enough on that wide Greenwich Avenue sidewalk for comfortable spectating. A young, lively crowd has been enjoying the vantage point–and the extensive cocktail menu–since July. Question is: is Olio Pizza NYC serving good enough food to sustain the early momentum once winter sets in, and those big front windows seal the party inside?
The answer is: yes and no. We've been to Olio Pizza e Piu a couple of times now, with wildly different degrees of satisfaction. Our first visit was late, after 10:00 on a Saturday night, and we were impressed both by the not-obnoxious, professional attitude as well as with our meal. Our Emiliana salad, for example, was bright and fresh, the pile of arugula generously blanketed by a decent Prosciutto di Parma and lots of sharp parmesan. Most important, the pizza, wood-fired Neapolitan style, delivered. We went with the Capricciosa, which was heavy-on-the-cheese creation, just on the right side of messy, covered with chunks of ham, mushrooms, artichokes, olives. A little wet in the center, yes, but the fire-charred crust was chewy and salty and it all worked…. which is why we returned a few days later to Olio Pizza NYC, unfortunately with different results.
Our second visit started off poorly, when we caught the host in a blatant lie about an empty table, which he tried to backpedal away from with another, equally poorly-told lie, only to be saved by a waitress, who sat us right away. The service was pretty much a disaster all around this time: charm, cuteness, and the ability to grow an excellent three-day beard can't cover up cold food, dirty plates, repeated requests for basics (a fork, some water, our dinner) unanswered. But all that would have been excused had the food been adequate, which it was not. This time the Emiliana salad was limp, with about half the amount of meat and cheese as were trained to expect from our previous visit. The waitress blamed the "new menu" on the new austerity.
The Funghi pizza was cheesy enough, and the crust just as chewy and charred as before, but cold pizza is only fun when you're 16 years old (if then), and there was maybe a dime's worth of bland supermarket mushrooms scattered on top, making us wish we had stuck with the plain Margherita and saved two bucks. Worse was the Lasagna, new on the menu so maybe they'll figure it out eventually, but this was a soggy, no-flavor, unbaked waste of time. We'll probably be back in a month or so to give Olio Pizza NYC one more chance, because good pizza in a spacious, comfortable setting in that neighborhood is definitely something to root for. Until then, Olio Pizza seems pretty dicey.
Olio Pizza e Piu NYC Details
Olio Pizza NYC is located just west of Sixth Avenue on Greenwich Avenue, and is open on Sunday through Thursday from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m., and Friday and Saturday until 4:00 a.m. For a complete menu, please see the Olio Pizza website.