Rivoli Pizza in Greenwich Village—Another Textbook New York Slice

Rivoli - outside - RESIZE

This latest Pizza Snob lead came courtesy of musician Richard Barone who wouldn’t know me from the Man in the Moon. A DJ pal of mine (listen to his great “Pop Top” show on-line every Friday at 5 pm Central) who is friends with Barone on Facebook pointed me to his direction. Barone was the leader of the great Hoboken band The Bongos. In 1997 as a solo artist, he released a chamber-pop masterpiece entitled Cool Blue Halo that was recorded live at New York City’s The Bottom Line.

Barone’s lead sounded promising, although I was initially surprised that someone would spotlight an NY-style slice place so close to Snob Hall of Fame spots like Joe’s Pizza and Bleecker Street Pizza. Nonetheless, I made Rivoli Pizza Restaurant a target on my latest trip back to the City.

Rivoli - INside - RESIZE

Rivoli sits right next to the famous Village Vanguard jazz club on busy Seventh Avenue. You can forget about parking nearby, so my Bro was out-of-luck. He had to just let me out of the car to grab a quick slice. Their sign boasted “Pizza*Pasta*Heros*Burgers.”  This joint looked about as classic as an NYC “street-slice” pizza place can get. Rivoli’s also offers wine and beer in addition to one of my fave treats—Italian Ices.  (I’m partial to cherry.) Noting an ATM inside, I failed to check, but I reckon they may be cash-only.

A plain cheese slice set me back $2.50. Since the doors were open on this lovely spring day, I opted for a pleasant sit-down pizza-eating experience in their small room while Bro circled the block. After about 3 to 4 minutes reheating in the big oven, my slice came out as it should–piping hot. I was a little surprised that its end crust looked thicker and wider than the norm.

All the way through was a fine slice of pizza—crisp and tasty right down to the extra crust on the end. I enjoyed eating every morsel. Making a slice otherwise trim and thin, Rivoli is a perfect purveyor of the Snob’s should-be-patented “Fold and Rip” technique. I did experience a little cheese run-off which was likely the result of my impatience in not allowing for the proper cool-down that a slice this hot requires.

Rivoli - slice - RESIZE

The busy-ness happening at Rivoli said it all—this is a great place for a slice. I have now found the third leg of what I will dub the “Greenwich Village Pizza Triangle,” consisting of Joe’s, Bleecker, and Rivoli. These are three perfect, classic NY-style slices that won’t steer you wrong.

A few weeks later, I came upon Rivoli Pizza II while walking over on Hudson Street. I’m not sure of its connection with this Rivoli, and I will give it a try at a later date.

Thanks go out to Richard Barone for the tip. This guy knows his pizza as well as his pop!


PIZZA SNOB RATING     ***** Sets the Standard

Rivoli Pizza Restaurant
176 7th Avenue S.
(Near 11th Street) New York, NY 10014
[no website]


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