Sometime last year, I had a biz meeting in Midtown Manhattan and opted for the joy of an early morning walk uptown from the Path train to the World Trade Center. While the exercise of a brisk hike is no doubt good for my health, the people-watching and sightseeing are without a doubt the best part. Of course, I keep an eye out for new pizza joints, and as I headed up Sixth Avenue and whisked past 4th Street, I looked left and noticed a change in the landscape.
Just off the Avenue, the storefront on the building that circles the corner of Cornelia and 4th had changed and now sported a rather plain and simple sign that read W4 Pizza. It was still Starbucks time and way too early for a pizza joint to be open, but I made a mental note of the place. Speeding forward to earlier this year, during a Sunday night walk about Greenwich Village, I headed over to see what W4 was all about.
Sometimes my observation skills are off duty and all this time, I put no thought whatsoever about the derivation of the name W4. Obviously not named for the tax form you give to your employer, it finally popped into my feeble brain that it was short for West Fourth. I also did a Google search and found that when this corner site last looked familiar to me, it was Karavas Place, a popular Greek cafe.
I got quite a surprise when I opened the door and saw how small the place was. The narrow rectangle of a room was split in the middle between the working and seating areas. The rear saw the pizza oven behind a tall display case while the front was limited to just six seats at a counter facing the window. I wasted no time plunking down three bills (cash only) for a plain cheese slice.
When I got my slice, I can’t say that I was bedazzled by its looks. It did however turn out to be cooked quite solid when I picked it up, and the first bite found it to be at my optimal eating temperature. Hot enough to enjoy and not injure, the more I ate of this slice, the more I found myself liking it.
The cheese was yummy, and the light coating of tomato sauce was tasteful and nicely seasoned. While I’d cut down on the quantity of cheese if I were W4, I’d certainly leave the well-done crust alone. I rather enjoyed the W4 slice although I can’t say that there was anyhing magical or unique about it. It was just an awfully good solid slice of New York Style pizza.
W4 was quick and fast and is somewhere you could grab a slice to eat as you are walking by. Unless of course it’s 7am and you’ve yet to have your coffee, and they are still making the day’s pizza dough!
PIZZA SNOB RATING ****Near Perfection
162 West 4th Street (corner of Cornelia Street just off 6th Avenue)
New York, NY 10014
[no phone or website]