Well Marta and I have finally come face to face. I had starting making arrangements to dine here back in January, then again in the spring, only to be canceled on by my dining companion, as I was walking out of the door. I am half amazed that our destiny actually took place this past weekend. Finally, finally I was sitting down to the pizza I have been longing for! After all it is a remnant of my 2015 to do list (http://thequeenoff-ckingeverything.blogspot.com/2015/03/for-year-5-2015-2016-to-do-list.html).
As a pizza lover and pizza blogger I knew I had to have the complete experience. I was going without a care to how long I lingered there. I was determined to try at least two varieties of the pizza I had been hearing so much about. I had only one lunch partner otherwise I might have aimed for a third pie. You would be surprised how much you can eat when you are starving and presented with greatness.
I wanted to be sure I got to try two different kinds of pizza one with red sauce and one without. My friend and I chose the Pollo- grilled chicken, market greens, red onion, béchamel, mozzarella, and fontina cheeses. Our other pie was a favorite of mine the Margherita- mozzarella and basil, so simple yet so delicious. This is a hard recipe to mess up.
As for the taste of these beauties all I can say is wow. Once again the photos here do not do the taste any justice. But now that I have had them if I look closely I can see my favorite parts. For instance if you look at the Margherita pizza on the right hand side of the photo, where the thin crust is extra flat, you will see the mozzarella is hanging off the side baked to perfection. Its one of the sexiest things I have ever seem. I happen to know that there was like half a slice of this one left when we were done and right about now I would cut my left arm off “127 Hours” style for those crumbs.
The Pollo pizza did its fair share to declare itself the winner in the taste test as well. Truthfully they were tied. Both pizzas were too delicious and different to compare. I ate as much of each of them as fast as was physically possible. The thin crust fools you into thinking you will have room for more once these trays were empty. That couldn’t have been further from the truth. However here too only a slice or so was left behind. The light seasoning and the grilled chicken were a nice contrast to the somewhat sweet marinara sauce of the Margherita pie.
Needless to say if I took these same simply ingredients and cooked a pizza in their ovens with their guidance the outcome would not be more different. In fact it is the illusion of simplicity that makes the taste jump up and say hello.
In January of this year the Pure Wow website released a list of the top thirty “most amazing slices of pizza” to have in New York City. There were the popular choices like Artichoke Basille, which came in at number twenty-eight (http://thequeenoff-ckingeverything.blogspot.com/2016/02/for-chance-to-get-my-hands-around_17.html). I seem to be the only one in N.Y.C. who thinks this pizza doesn’t deserve to be on any list of this kind.
As for Marta, they ranked in at number eleven for their Patate Alla Carbonara- potatoes, guanciale, black pepper, pecorino, and egg. This of course crossed my mind as a possible choice for my lunch but we did our best. This could have easily been pie number three, or pie number one when I go back for brunch. I figure pizza + cocktails = happiness and I intend to prove it.
It should be known that Marta, located in the incredibly gorgeous Redbury Hotel, has a quite extensive menu including many other edible delights besides pizza but after this experience I doubt I will ever found out.
To think that if you are staying in this hotel this is your casual downstairs eatery is impressive. Just going to the restroom was enough to get me to want to stay here.
Marta is part of the Union Square Hospitality Group. Danny Meyer began this venture after his extreme success with Shake Shack (http://thequeenoff-ckingeverything.blogspot.com/2012/03/for-shakes-and-shacks.html). Those in charge are apart of a new movement of elite restaurants who have decided to ban tipping and include hospitality fees within their regular prices.
When making my own best of the best pizza list one other institution comes springing to mind and that would be Frank Pepe’s Pizzerias in Connecticut. My most recent visit there (http://thequeenoff-ckingeverything.blogspot.com/2016/07/for-my-follow-up-visit-to-frank-pepes.html) began similarly to that of Marta’s. I was beyond starving and then blown away by what I was eating. It is the best of all possible scenarios. Hunger can make you crave food of a lesser quality just to get something in your system but you will be sorry when you could have just held out a little longer for a once in a lifetime taste. Whereas if you are in the know, which my readers are naturally, you will have many more experiences like this to look forward to.
The only thing harder than picking out a pizza place to try in the heart of this major city is deciding what kind to have. I always get nervous when deciding on toppings that would go well together. I hate to order wrong and know that my dissatisfaction is all my own fault, especially after doing research ahead of time. The folks at Marta want to help you in such times of need.
Grab a pen and piece of paper and listen to the advice they share here:
All of my pizza needs should be answered so easily. But I guess when it comes to Marta’s they already are.
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