Day Two: Good evening, Roberta’s
By the time we got to Roberta’s, we had sampled 20 different slices from 10 different pizzerias during Slices Roulette and had at least 5 different types of pizza at Kesté, and to be honest, we were fairly intimidated by the thought of eating again. The neighborhood, while I’m sure is absolutely bustling in the day time, had an eerie, abandoned feel. From the outside, Roberta’s has a nondescript cinderblock facade with a small, handmade sign. But, we walked into Roberta’s and immediately relaxed. The place felt like home. To the right of the door is a wall of chopped wood supported by metal pipes. To the left of the door is the open kitchen, wood stove open to view with a handful of smiling, adorable boys making pizza. (we were wondering if they enforced a mustache policy because they all had one) They serve wine in small, jelly-sized Ball jars, they have a rooftop tomato garden, a little radio studio where they podcast from, and a patio the size of the restaurant where one side is covered and cozy and the other side has picnic tables and a fence lined with vintage bikes. I don’t know if the bikes were decoration or not, but they fit right in to the eclectic, casual feel of Roberta’s. The place is really cool, and not in a pretentious way.
We started out with Prosecco and pitchers of locally brewed beer. Antipasti included a baby arugula salad, delicious mixed olives, meat and cheese plates that were out of this world. I’m not an aficionado, but I love cheese almost as much as my mom (and my mom is wicked rad) and there was this Brie or very Brie-esque cheese that was the loveliest, creamiest thing. I actually snapped at someone trying to pass the plate on while I had my knife in the cheese. I was kinda mean. But it’s not my fault! The cheese made me do it. The second course was pastas. The braised lamb ragu pappardelle was fricking amazing. The meat was tender and full of flavor and the pappardelle seemed to me to be homemade and cooked to perfection. Definitely my favorite dish. Not to undersell the pizza, but I was a little pizzaed out at that point (I know I know, but I’m only one human). The pizza was delicious. They have really incredible topping choices including caper, smoked mozzarella, two types of prosciutto, and Berkshire pork sausage?! Yum. We were pretty tickled when a pizza came out with chorizo, radish, cilantro and sour cream. We were like, “OMG, we can’t escape Mexican food!” Not that we would ever want to, but you have to mix it up. It was pretty damn good, I have to concede, even though I’m more of a pizza purist.
The pizza chefs let our kitchen manager and magician behind our desserts, Phil, get back there and freaking make pizzas with them. How awesome is that? If you are ever there, chat them up, they are all sweet and open to talk about whatever. Pizza. Life.
What I can surely say about Roberta’s is that out of all of the wonderful places we went, and I would and will go back to all of them, this is the place I’m going to take my friends for no special occasion to have a delicious meal, enjoy each others company, wander in twos out to the patio to listen to some music, and chat with the guy who made my pizza and find out his mom is sending him chiles from her garden for the next special pizza(Alfonso, you rock!), like it’s my house but way, way cooler!