But schlepping out to Roberta’s in Bushwick is just really difficult for a workin’ girl in Manhattan. They don’t take reservations and their wait times are ridiculously long. The Boyfriend and I once went at 9:00 on a Sunday night … and were told we could sit down sometime around 11. (We didn’t stick it out.) The way to make it work is for a late lunch / early dinner on the weekends — the wait around 3:00 or 4:00 in the afternoon is non-existent. But that requires planning your entire day around a pizza afternoon. On a weeknight after work, forget about it, unless your office lets you out at 5:00 on the dot and you’re still willing to wait at least 30 – 45 minutes. (Also, if that’s the case, can we talk about how your job is the unicorn of New York City? I don’t know anyone who has a paycheck and also that kind of flexibility.)
That’s not to say that it isn’t worth it — Roberta’s is amazing. Like, just as good as the reviews say it is. And they make the wait as comfortable as they can in a lovely, sunny garden out back with a full bar. And once you actually get a table, the pizzas are phenomenal. We usually go off-menu for a bee sting pizza (mozzarella and soppressata with chili-infused honey) and something seasonal — recently, a corn-tomatillo number with prosciutto and labne. The duck prosciutto is smokey and succulent, and the pastas consistently deliver (but can I specifically recommend the pig-tail ragu orecchiette? It’s crunchy and meaty, and the pasta is perfectly cooked).
But if you don’t have a couple of hours to spend in a garden in Bushwick to get a table in a barely-converted cinderblock building, check out the UrbanSpace on Broadway in the Garment District this fall. From September 15 – October 17, 2014, Roberta’s has a pop-up stand between 40th and 41st where you can get — dun-dun-da-dunnnnnnnn — a bee sting pizza! It’s cheap, it’s easy, it’s amazing, and it’s so convenient. Last week a total of 15 minutes elapsed between the time that I jumped in (a very short) line, paid my $12, watched my pie topped with soppressata and mozzarella go into and out of a wood-burning oven, salivated over a heavy drizzle of chili-infused honey and was chowing down on the pizza I can usually only dream about.
The UrbanSpace Roberta’s has a very limited menu, but the food they do have is phenom. If you’re in Times Square between now and October 17, you would be crazy not to check it out.
261 Moore Street, Brooklyn
UrbanSpace, Garment District
Broadway between 40th and 41st
September 15 – October 17, 2014