4-5 trips since the last update and a lot more awesomeness out of Marta to compensate for the dubious title (I must have just watched Gladiator for the 100th time). The Carbonara pie is just about my favorite pie in NYC at the moment, though recently I also discovered the Mushroom pie that does it for me. Rabbit meatballs was replaced by chicken but you hardly notice a difference. Get the grilled chicken people. One of the most tender, gorgeously brined birds out there. The Suppli Cacio e Pepe (there he goes again with the C&P) carry a lot of punch. Took friends here last night and Marta Marta Marta delivered yet again.
Two more fantastic meals at Marta. Patate Alla Gricia – Good amount of potato with Guanciale, Pecorino, Black Pepper, and egg which was a supplement at that time. The Gricia was later replaced with Patate Alla Carbonara. Same potato, Guanciale, Pecorino but now with lovely egg “juice” poured all over the pie. While I missed some of the original black pepper this was still quite fantastic. Another must is the Rabbit Meatballs with fresh Ricotta – Some of the best tasting meatballs I’ve had in NYC (though I fully admit I’m saying it quite often lately). The plain Margherita is where you can really appreciate the thinless of this thing. Any thinner than this and you get an Olsen twin. Once done with the pies dont let them take the tray away until you have a chance to play with the crust crackers leftover. By play I mean eat (for the bread fetish readers). The chicken here is delicious as well. Its what every family BBQ chicken should taste like. Its beer brined and the result is super moist, juicy, and very flavorful. Gelato sandwich is more than a respectable finish.
In Rome, a tourist can come and go back to the boat or hotel room without ever experiencing the true Roman Pizzerie. And there’s a very simple explanation to that. It’s closed! The tourist may have seen pizza by the slice (Pizza a Taglio) at some stores or bakeries and may have enjoyed some of those, and perhaps a pizza Bianca or 3, but for the true Roman Pizza experience you need to seek out the wood burning oven joints that are normally open at night only. Some open as late as 8. I can go on and on explaining why pizzeries are open so late and that Italians take their lunches more serious than Americans, and historically even more serious than dinner… But I have to make this post quick because I have to go feed the kids and check their homework, and yell at them for not vacuuming the kitchen (I have muffin crumbs stuck to my feet. Tastes like chocolate so its them).
So while Romans have to wait until 8 to eat their pizza, new Yorkers can now have it starting at noon. It would have been just as odd to make this one evenings only for New Yorkers, as taking away a free bread basket at the Italian restaurant near you.
Roman Pizza is Matzoh-like thin. Danny Meyer and Nick Anderer’s second Roman venture Marta opened 5 days ago in the Martha Washington hotel. Nick is there mopping the floor and inspecting every pie coming out to make sure its Kosher. Get a seat at the bar to watch the team in action including Rabbi Nick inspect every pie coming out of the wood burning oven. He lifts the pies up as he looks for consistency, a crisp bottom (dont we all) and to make sure he sees the ceiling light fixtures through it.
Started with the Popettini di Maccheron, a pair of aromatic fried pasta balls with tasty tomato pecorino sauce. The balls had a hard solid exterior which provided a nice crunch, unlike your average Arancini that break apart when you just stare at them
I broke my own rule and started with something other than Margherita (I do it often these days and I’m not liking it). This is the Salsiccia – Mozzarella, Tomato, Pork Sausage, Crimini Mushrooms. Very good overall. Not soggy whatsoever, cracker crisp at the edges and fairly crispy thoughout. No forks were hurt or needed in the process to scoop up ingredients trying to escape. Nicely done! With Roman pies I found that less is more, meaning the more ingredients and toppings you add the less exciting the pie gets. This was simple enough with good flavor, but I do want to try the Margherita next. And the rest of the good looking, fried filled menu.
Marta (Martha Washington Hotel)
29 East 29th Street
Recommended Dishes: Rabbit Meatballs, Patate Alla Carbonara, Chicken, Ice Cream Sandwich