For the third year in a row, I’m going to attempt to eat every single item on Time Out New York’s annual 100 Best Dishes list. In no particular order, here’s my take on their Top 100. Let the gluttony continue…

If I’m going to have a drink with pizza, I like a nice light lager beer or if I’m at one of the nicer pizzerias in the city (ie, Kesté), maybe a glass of Chianti. But vodka and pizza? Not what I’d call the perfect combination. But the vodka pizza raved about on Time Out’s 100 Best list, works wonders. It is not a slice with a shot of Smirnoff, but in fact pizza with vodka sauce. Vodka pizza.

Vodka sauce, for any red sauce newbies, is a creamier tomato sauce that has some vodka added, mostly to aid in bringing out the flavors of the tomato, spices, and herbs. The sauce has found its way onto pizza recently and the version at Rubirosa has been raved about constantly.

We didn’t get to try this on our first visit last year so we returned for a light dinner and to see what all the fuss was about. This most recent experience was not quite as enjoyable as the first (service was curt and apathetic this time around), but I’m sure glad we dug into the vodka pie.

The small pie was the biggest small pie I’ve ever seen. Granted, their crust is stretched very thin so the body of the pie was not as filling as it might have appeared. That gives it a wonderful cracker-like consistency, however it could have used a bit more dark char on the bottom.

The vodka sauce was creamy and cheesy with an extra tanginess and a subtle bite at the end, the fresh mozzarella that dotted the pie was rich and buttery, and the crust is as thin and crispy as it gets.

While the service may have slipped a bit at Rubirosa, I’m pleased to say the food has not. Maybe the cranky wait staff just need a shot of some Smirnoff with the pizza and we’d all be better for it.

Would Rubirosa’s Vodka Pizza make my Top 100 of the year? It’s a nice flavorful version with some really thin crust (if that’s your thing). I give it an 8 out of 10.

RUBIROSA
235 Mulberry Street (between Spring and Prince Street)
Nolita
(212) 965-0500
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About the Author

Brian Hoffman is a classically trained actor who is now a full-time tour guide, blogger, and food obsessive. He leads food and drink tours around New York City, which not only introduce tour-goers to delicious food, but gives them a historical context. He also writes food articles for Gothamist and Midtown Lunch in addition to overseeing this blog and a few food video series, including Eat This, Locals Know, and Around the World in One City.

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