By Sean Perri
When you name your pizzeria “Espresso,” you tell the world that you’re so confident in your product, you can call the restaurant anything you want, even something completely irrelevant to what pays your rent. When you open a box of pizza from Espresso Pizzeria (9403 Fifth Avenue), recently featured on an Eater list of best old-school pizzerias, that confidence is quietly echoed again: that cute little white plastic “table-looking” thingy isn’t there! Not only can Espresso make a great pie, but it can deliver it without any technical props. too.
One night this week, we had our second taste of Espresso pizza, and it didn’t meet expectations—it exceeded them. For starters, though it was tough to believe, cell phones don’t lie—the delivery arrived within 22 minutes! However, quickness without quality is, well, what the Triad of Crap Pizza (Dominoes, Little Caesar’s and Papa John’s) is for. Espresso offers both.
Our pizza arrived hot and crispy, satisfying even our toughest critics: our eight- and nine-year-old daughters. The Espresso Pizzeria round pie is made up of what can best be described as the “no-nonsense” Brooklyn slice. (While this sounds simple, the eternal question—”What’s the best pizza in Bay Ridge?”—wouldn’t be posed so often if it were.) In our two tastings, the slice maintained consistency and can best be described as well-balanced. The crust is thin, but it’s not too thin, and it’s crunchy but also has a bit of chew to it. Neither sauce nor cheese dominates the other.
Having lived out of NYC during my lifetime and experienced “NYC-style” pizzerias, I’m sure the slice Espresso makes is what all such places aspire to be. If you’re looking for fancy pizza, look elsewhere. However, if you want a consistently true Brooklyn slice, dial up Espresso—of course, they’re not on Grubhub!