Every weekend in this fair city, hundreds if not thousands of people get their drunk pizza fix before heading home. I’d say the witching hour is somewhere between 1 and 3 am, but guaranteed you’ll see every local slice spot filled to the brim with dipsomaniacs ordering toppings and flavor combinations you never thought possible. Sure there’s plenty of street carts and falafel joints, but pizza will always reign supreme as the number #1 booze soaker-upper. While opinions wax and wane as to which pies are the best in the city, I openly admit to being a huge fan of Artichoke Pizza.
It doesn’t take a degree from NYU to know why this place has a line outside every night. Location obviously being a plus, but it’s their signature artichoke pie on thick Sicilian style crust that keeps the crowds coming back for more. Sure it’s greasy, and is basically spinach and artichoke dip piled high on top of pizza crust, but goddamn is it good. Veterans know to come early to avoid hob-nobbing with popped collars and drunken 19 year-olds, but sometimes the siren call is too strong and you just have to deal with the line. But luckily for the rest of us non-Village dwellers, the founders Francis Garcia and Sal Basille, are expanding their empire to the West Side.
Granted the Meat Packing district dishes up an equally unsavory crowd, but I’ll take what I can get. It doesn’t hurt that it’s only one block away from my office and they’re adding a bar. Taking over the old Red Rocks Saloon space, the new eatery will include seating for 80 and an expanded menu that goes beyond just pies. While it saddens me I no longer get the see the same denim-glad bikers puking outside of the bar, I’m glad the space is being turned into something more exciting than a rental space for Real Housewives Events like the old Earth space next door. Plus the area is in dire need of some more wallet friendly options that don’t include a giant gilded Buddha or Mario Batali’s pasta palace. While the interior is still under construction, the sign is up and it looks like it might be done by the end of the month. Until then, we all wait with wagging tongues.
Artichoke Basilles Pizzeria and Bar
Corner of 10th Ave & 17th St [Chelsea]
Summer ’10 Opening