After reading some favorable reports here as well as in Bruni's NYT piece, decided to check out Veloce Pizzeria last night with some friends. Overall, it was only ok, but I am willing to give it one more shot to see if it was just an off night.
Service was friendly, though spotty at times, but fine. Sara Jenkins was ever-present, which was nice.
We ordered two salads and three pies for four of us - more than enough.
The ballaro salad was limp & insipid. Not at all worth it. The arugula salad, of which I only had a bite, was better with a nice Parmesan and was far better dressed with just a little olive oil and lemon.
The three pies: a margherita (Bruni's #2 pie in NYC), a mushroom, and a special with zucchini, gran padano and rosemary, which I did not sample. I thought the crust was very good on both the pies I tried: spongy and crisp at the same time; flakier than a Neapolitan or New York style crust, but still with a nice char on the bottom. But the toppings - tomato sauce, mozzarella and basil on the margherita, and mixed mushrooms, mozzarella, gran padano and thyme on the mushroom pie - didn;t feel like they were in the right proportion to the heavier crust and, with the exception of the mushrooms and gran padano, devoid of much flavor.
I was a bit disappointed after reading such great reviews. I'll give it one more shot, but, at this time, I wouldn't recommend it to a pizza lover except as a change of pace to Neapolitan pies, albeit a pedestrian one.
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