Mangia Trattoria recently opened on 5th Avenue and Sterling across from Key Food in the space formerly occupied by Tony & Sons, another pizzeria. While opinions on T&S were mixed I personally thought they were OK. Mangia Trattoria has now demonstrated that evolution can work in reverse.
I *wanted* to like this place. The crew from Los Pollitos is running things (see the link below) and they are very friendly and eager to please. Theyve renovated the T&S space and made it more civilized. Gone are the dingy white walls and industrial florescent lights. A newly exposed brick wall adds some warmth and the overhead lighting is more subdued. A faux stone floor has been installed. Nice atmosphere.
I stepped up to the counter to order a basic slice and Coke and was told that it would be brought to me. Yes, they have waiter service for single slices of pizza! I am not sure if there is a previously untapped demand for this feature but I dutifully tipped the guy for bringing over the slice. Too bad he never removed the table crumbs left by the previous occupant.
While the crust looked good it had the dry blandness of old Saltines. The sauce had a weird sweetness and the mozzarella was white, airy, with no discernable flavor. In short this was a shopping mall food court slice at it's worst. Wasted calories.
The friendly counterman asked how I liked things and I didnt have the heart to tell him. They were so far off the mark that it was beyond any helpful hints I could give to put things right.
Like many pizzerias they offer a selection of Italian dishes to compliment their pizzas. I am not tempted to try them but perhaps someone else will take the plunge.