Saturday, July 9th, 2011
201 West 103rd St. New York, NY 10025 (212) 531-8730
July in New York City is a time to enjoy trips to the beach and picnics in Central Park with friends. The latter of which, is how we opted to spend our seventh Ninth at Nine of 2011. The weather was beautiful and the picnic our friend arranged had carried well into the evening. Instead of heading to a restaurant, we chose to enjoy the fruits of New York by having gourmet pizza delivered at 9:00pm to our picnic spot at 103rd and Central Park West.
Buca Brick Oven is described by the owner, Sebastiano Cappitta, as an “Italian small hole in the wall”. Striving to follow the ways of a traditional restaurant in Naples, all dishes are cooked in a wood-burning oven that sits on display in the rear of the tiny space. Pizza is the primary meal, but antipasti, pastas and dolci (desserts) are also prepared in the open kitchen.
Our al fresco dining room was located on a soft sloping hillside, snuggled between trees that leveled off to a small pond. As we awaited the arrival of our dinner, we spread out in a large circle and tossed two Frisbees back and forth, one that lit up in tie-dye colors. Having worked up an appetite we were all thankful that dinner arrived right on time latched to the back of a bike.
The delivery guy sensed our excitement and zipped through the 103rd street gateway and down the path to greet us. We made the cash exchange and laid the four pizzas across our quilt of blankets. As we opened each box, we tried to decipher which pizza was which by the glow of our smartphones.
“Which one has the anchovies?” “Here is the Margherita!” “Just give me a slice, already!”
Without too much worry, we grabbed a slice from whichever pizza lay closest at hand and proceeded to munch away. The crust was thin and crispy. The sauce tasted of fresh tomato with a slightly sweet note. In the ambience of fireflies we gobbled up the four pies in minutes flat. It is worth noting that the pizza was delivered nice and hot — always a big plus regardless of the establishment.
Perhaps a pizza picnic is not a traditional Ninth at Nine – what is traditional anyway? — Summer is too short not to take full advantage of beautiful evenings like this one. Some of New York’s best dining spots are not in any restaurants at all, but rather with the company of friends in the grandeur of NYC’s green spaces. Whether you choose Buca Brick Oven or your own favorite delivery gem, we highly recommend finding your own special outdoor dining room to enjoy this summer.
Experience = 8/9