Arturo's Coal Oven Pizza
106 West Houston St
New York, NY 10012-2529
Phone: (212) 677-3820

Date and time of trip: July 24, 2003, 8:15 PM
People Present: Audrey, Tien, Guest Reviewer: Calvin
Pre-meal Events: Various (work, apartment searching, watching tv)
Weather: sunny and 81°
Hunger Factors: Audrey - very hungry, Tien - very hungry, Calvin - hungry

Pizza Ordered: 1 Large Peperoni, 1 Large Meatball
Beverages: Audrey - Peroni Gran Riserva, Tien - Peroni Gran Riserva, Calvin - Peroni, Coke

$14 for a large peperoini pie, $14 for a large meatball pie, $4.50 per beer, Coke - unknown

With our love for pizza, this should have been finished.

Wow, what to say about this pizza? Going in, the group as a whole was expecting a lot with the great service at the bar (which stocks a full compliment of liquor) and live music. The expectations, however, would quickly be shattered. After a short wait to be seated, the food was ordered quickly by our famished party. Generally, a slice of pizza takes about 2 minutes from ordering to eating, and a pie takes anywhere from 10-30 minutes, with 30 minutes rarely occurring. At Arturo's, however, it probably took about 40 minutes until we had our pizza. Unless they were curing the pepperoni or making fresh meatballs, this is inexcusable. The wait for the pizza even caused Audrey to scribble a frown face on our trademark envelope notes. When the pizza finally came, there was no apology, no mention of the delay, nothing but a "thank the lord" from Audrey.

After the pizza finally arrived, the crust was burnt on the some of the edges, which happens at times. Tien noted that the crust was very crunchy and that he "could be a coal miner" with the crust. Audrey enjoyed the flavor of the crust, which had good saltiness, which, as loyal readers will know, is very important to her. Audrey also noted that the sauce was good and fresh tasting and that there was much more cheese than typical New York brick oven pizza. The cheese amount was similar to the slices that one can pick up at any pizza place in New York. Tien even "felt overwhelmed by the cheese," which was very chewy and tasty at the same time. The pepperoni was peppery, but unlike the thicker pieces that one finds at Grimaldi's or Lombardi's. Audrey actually compared the pepperoni to Domino's pepperoni (you never want to hear a pizza place compared to Domino's) and liked the meatball pie more.

The ambiance in Arturo's was better than the actual pizza, which in retrospect was not hard to do. As previously noted, there was live music and a full bar. The wall decor was unique with the restaurant giving off a homey and comfortable feeling. Audrey also noted that there was an "old New York" look (she always notes this). There is also an excellent selection of wines and appetizers, something that most places places tend to overlook.

It should be noted that Tien and Calvin did not eat very much considering their hunger levels (they once ate 2 large pies at Grimaldi's - yes, insane) and were "gravely disappointed" and would not come again. Audrey didn't think it was bad, but she did feel that it's not worthy of being included with NYC's best.

Comments to take away:
"Coal Miner Crust", "Pepperoni like Domino's", "Gravely Disappointed "

Overall Ratings (out of 5):

For more comments, take a look at the CitySearch page for it.