The Pizza Snob can only walk by a Manhattan pizza joint so many times without having to pay a visit. Such was the case with Rosa’s Pizza on the busy downtown thoroughfare of 14th Street—especially when there’s a cute little pizza guy statue out front trying to lure me in.
It was a family day in the City, and the entire time I was plotting a quick drop-in at Rosa’s. My set up was perfect when I inconspicuously led our group for a rest and a cup at a nearby Starbucks. I knew that in the time it would take for them to relax, I could make the three-block walk to and from Rosa’s with time to grab a slice in between.
Rosa’s is a pizza, salads and subs joint that also offers a rather full menu of your usual Italian dishes. Inside, a double-layered glass display presented their slices at the counter. Despite their advertisement of “Rated Best Sicilian Pizza” and the rather appealing look of the said square slice, I stuck to the basics and ordered a plain cheese slice ($2.75).
Just as they plopped my slice into the oven for a quick toast-up, a sea of New York City policemen entered the joint—fortunately on break and not on business. After a few such encounters, the Snob is not sure whether the presence of NYC’s Finest means they know where to find the best pizza or if they are simply limited to the confines of their beat.
Sitting at one of the few small tables, I was shortly summoned up to claim my slice which looked much wider than usual and was approaching equilateral triangle status. There was also so much steam coming from it that I knew it would be too hot to eat. This was a disappointment since the Snob is always ready to dive right in on delivery and doesn’t like to wait for a cool-down. Like I have said before, there is an art in knowing how to reheat a slice that’s bite-ready upon delivery.
Rosa’s slice was also a tad on the oily side. When added to the heat issues and some runny cheese, this slice was somewhat of a challenge to eat—especially when I was in a hurry to get back to the family over at S-bux. This execution flaw was a shame since otherwise we would have been dealing with an otherwise spectacular slice of pizza.
Rosa’s crust scored quite high with the Snob. The bottom was covered with a full char that made for a tasty crust with a good solid crunch. The Mozzarella cheese was delightfully seasoned and tasted delicious. It was however a shame to see the loss of some runny cheese to the wax paper after I was finished.
All in all, Rosa’s is a fine example of a New York slice that I would not hesitate to both order again and recommend. I just hope it doesn’t come out so hot next time. Maybe I will even give that Sicilian a try.
PS They also have a joint in Port Washington out on the north shore of Long Island.
PIZZA SNOB RATING **** Near Perfection
2 West 14th Street (between 5th and 6th) New York, NY 10011