I'll add A16 to the ranks of restaurants that get good reviews far in excess of their actual quality.
Took a friend there last night for my 2nd visit. I had gone when it first opened b/c of my affinity for both Italian food and real, neapolitan pizza. My reaction on my initial visit was -- better than averagae pizza, but not earth-shattering.
My review upon my second visit is no different. We split a "funghi" pizza that was overwhlemingly garlicky. You couldn't enjoy the mushrooms b/c of the intense, garlic smell and taste.
The octopus orchietta contained perhaps 1 or 2 recognizable pieces of Octopus. I could taste enough brine to confirm it was a seafod pasta, but I expect to have a noticeable quantity of octopus. The dish tasted good, but not remarkably so.
The highlights were:
(a) mozzarella barrata. An excellent, runny fresh mozzarella. Not as good as the rave granted it by out server, but good enough to be the best think we ate all night (more a reflection of the competition than anything else)
(b) Value. A16 is not expensive. Two people got out of there -- after two drinks, two appetizers, two entrees - for under $100 (tip included). That's a good deal.
(C) Happening dining scene. Fun people watching.
In general, A16 does not live up to its reputation. The pizzas are just barely better than average. I don't think simply having a wood fired oven and thin crusts is any longer a basis of distinction -- maybe five years ago, but not today. The rest of the menu is average, at best.
I would recommend this place only for the "scene."
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