I don’t always crave a fine dining experience. In fact, I often fantasize about an excellent pizza or a juicy burger. How lucky for me that Emily at 35 Downing Street in the West Village, has both. Matt and Emily Hyland opened their first woodfire pizza spots in Brooklyn. In 2017, they took over the former Blue Ribbon Bakery spot on a very desirable corner in the West Village. It is cozy, casual and welcoming with floor to ceiling windows. In the basement is a stone pizza oven that is over 100 years old.
The restaurant is often dubbed Pizza Loves Emily, and their pizza is rated among some of the best in New York, along with Roberta’s and Paulie Gees.
This location does a grandma style pizza, a rectangular pie, with a thick chewy, amazing crust. I sampled a few pies and my favourite was the white pie with truffle cheese and pistachios and honey. OMG, it is outstanding. If it isn’t on the menu the night you go, just beg for it. That is what I did. The night we were there they didn’t offer any of their round pies, and I’m not sure why. We had some smokey roasted carrots on the side, caramelized to perfection with tahini and black lentils.
But if this wasn’t satisfying enough, they also make a killer burger. It is a double-decker of La Frieda, dry aged beef, with a sweet Emmy sauce, caramelized onions, American cheese and pickles on a Tom Cat pretzel bun, with a side of curly fries. This $26 beauty is soft, juicy and messy.
They play classic rock in the background and the crowd is young.
The tough decision is agonizing over what to order, the fabulous burger or the sumptuous pizza. I say order one of each and split them.
Open for dinner, closed on Tuesdays.