/Roberta's in Bushwick: Parla Tested, And Somewhat Approved

Roberta's in Bushwick: Parla Tested, And Somewhat Approved

My sister Laurenparla.

Within a few days of returning to the States for a brief trip in October, I began to crave pizza. When I’m at home at my mom’s house near Princeton, Conte’s is the logical choice. But when I visit friends and family in NYC, the options are far more numerous. In past years, I’ve tried most of the critically acclaimed spots and this trip I gave Roberta’s in Bushwick a try.

I paid a visit with some friends and my sister Laurenparla and we liked it. But I’m not convinced all that hyperbolic praise lavished on it by critics is deserved. The pizzas are good, but nothing more. And no pizzeria that serves that blinding white cheese with an unnatural snap will ever fully win over my heart or stomach. (There must be some half-decent mozzarella in the Tri-State area!) The dough is alright but could use a bit of work; it lacked the characteristic aromas and elasticity of the classic Neapolitan pie, which it aspires to be, at least in form.

While people generally visit Roberta’s for its pizzas, I actually preferred its sandwiches. The lamb breast sandwich–all juicy meat and popping fat with yogurt and mint–is satisfying. I would gladly eat 10 of them. There is also a nice beer list and pretty ok atmosphere, if hipsters don’t ruin your appetite; the service, sadly, is awful.

So Roberta’s will do for a savory sandwich or a carb fix, but can do better on many counts. I’d start by training the servers.

2017-02-17T15:24:08+00:00 November 12th, 2011|Categories: Carbs, Food & Wine, New York City, Pizza|6 Comments


  1. Lara November 13, 2011 at 1:33 am - Reply

    Couldn’t agree more. The service left a lot to be desired. The pizzas were indeed tasty, but any cheesy pie out of a wood burning oven usually is….Didn’t find Roberta’s any different than, say, Frannys (also in BK). Delicious carb fest, but definitely not a culinary event.

  2. Marian November 13, 2011 at 2:40 am - Reply

    Katie, why go to Brooklyn? You can come to Montclair next time you are at home in NJ for some really good mozzarella. Rosario’s is one of two (or maybe three…) in town who makes it at least once a day. Not sure whose cheese is on the pizza a ‘Ah Pizz…. the vera napoletana pizzeria in town.

  3. Jason November 13, 2011 at 3:48 am - Reply

    The hype surrounding Roberta’s is really about the non-Pizza dishes.

  4. Angie November 15, 2011 at 12:03 am - Reply

    Have any favorites in Manhattan? I’d be curious to know which get your stamp of approval. I get those intense pizza cravings too…. I get all crazy eyed and things get weird…

  5. Kris November 15, 2011 at 3:21 am - Reply

    Read that some international federation of pizza (if such a creature exists?) claimed two of the seven best pizzas in Europe were in Clapham, London. As someone who lived in Clapham for 5 years, I find that hard to believe. Your thoughts on London pizza?

  6. Kelly November 21, 2011 at 12:49 am - Reply

    Jason is right.
    The pizza is fine, nothing spectacular. Service is typical for Bushwick and Williamsburg, though that’s no excuse. I have been going here since they opened and have had some great meals (not pizza) though sometimes the portions can be a bit stingy.
    Angie… try Motorino on East 12th, their Brooklyn location (which has since closed) was great. If you want to venture over the Williamsburg bridge, Paulie Gee’s in Greenpoint is delicious and the space is cozy and warm.
    Keste in the West Village is another good choice or Co. in Chelsea.
    For slices make a pilgrimage to DiFara in Midwood, Brooklyn for a square slice. If you haven’t heard of him just google his name.

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