Has red-sauce-saturated Brooklyn had its fill of Neapolitan-style pizza places yet? Apparently not, as the thin-crust slingers just keep on coming. One new spot that’s worth a trip from anywhere in the borough is Emily, which opened in Clinton Hill last week. The narrow sliver of an eatery on Fulton Street is helmed by Matthew and Emily Hyland, a husband-and-wife team who were formerly co-owners at Brooklyn Central in Park Slope–one of the best Italian-style pizza places to open here in recent years, in my opinion.
More exciting to those of us addicted to topping our pizzas with crazy, there’s the Camp Randall pie. Those who recognize the name of the University of Wisconsin’s football stadium won’t be surprised to find cheese curds as the base for a sausage, pepperoni, and mushroom pie.
More exciting to those of us addicted to topping our pizzas with crazy, there’s the Camp Randall pie. Those who recognize the name of the University of Wisconsin’s football stadium won’t be surprised to find cheese curds as the base for a sausage, pepperoni, and mushroom pie (some of Matt’s family members hail from Wisconsin). At brunch (which starts Feb. 8) there will be a “suburban hangover” pizza featuring bacon, soft sous vide eggs, and cheese.
On the classic end, there’s the Luca, a heavy-on-the-sauce margarita named after Matt’s mentor at Sottocasa in Cobble Hill where he cooked before Brooklyn Central. With each pizza, he makes the mozzarella himself, mixes the dough by hand, then cooks the pie for just one and a half minutes in the 900-degree oven, achieving a spotted charred crust that’s just this side of burnt, in a good way. This is a pizza place that takes its crust just as seriously as its dairy. The dough is even incorporated into non-pizza treats both savory (garlic-cheese-and-herb sticks) and sweet (a s’mores calzone filled with marshmallow and chocolate, then topped with a powdery graham-cracker crumble).
The pizzas are Neapolitan-sized pies, which means a full pizza is more than enough for one person, not quite ample for two. The idea is to also order some of the share plates, which range from rabbit rillette served with Clinton Hill Pickles to a crispy pig’s ear salad. Fresh pastas made by nearby Sfoglini Pasta Shop are also excellent.
Hitting all the Brooklyn notes, Emily has Coolhaus ice cream sandwiches, Toby’s Estate Coffee, and handcrafted cocktails like a vodka-spiked housemade lavender lemonade. There’s also a charming six-seat chef’s tasting table right next to the wood-fired oven. While that program isn’t quite ready to go yet, it looks like a beautiful (and warm!) spot for a small birthday dinner. On the first Tuesday of every month the restaurant will offer pizza-making workshops. The first one will be a Valentines-themed couples pizza class, and in March they’ll put Emily Hylan’s other career as a yogi to work with a yoga-and-pizza workshop. So yeah…hard to see how this place won’t succeed in Brooklyn.