What an awesome centerpiece! Sprinkle some on your meal.
If you’re looking for an old school New York style of pizza, Pala might not be for you, but you should go anyway. Pala, which means “peel.” (the paddle used for pizza making) is a Euro-chic artisan pizzeria located in the heart of the Lower East Side (L.E.S.). The layout is bistro style, complete with wood tables (decorated with a beautifully bundled dried herb centerpiece (pictured above), a marble bar and orange colored brick walls. Upon arriving, the wait staff cracked open an aluminum rolling door (it looks as though this was the site of a car garage at one time) that revealed addition seating on the street and a great view for people watching.
First, our drinks arrived. Mac had a sweet and slightly tart Strawberry Lemonade (made with Bacardi Dragonberry rum) and I sucked down a light imported Italian beer called Menabrea Bionda. We kicked off our lunch with a vegan Carciofi Al Parmigiano (artichoke salad) and an all-time favorite, Sicilian Caponata, which is an eggplant relish of sorts. The salad was savory and the caponata’s eggplant was sweet and the olives fresh, which complemented the other ingredients.
Pizza di Porri e Salsiccia (Vegan)
Afterwards, our much anticipated Lazio or Roman-style Porri e Salsiccia pizza arrived. Oval shaped and fragrant, this tasty pie boasted an artisan-style crust, with just enough tasty vegan sausage, leeks, Daiya mozzarella cheese, sundried tomatoes, pink peppercorns and hot pepper to fill you up…almost. We managed to “force” ourselves to try Pala’s vegan chocolate cake with a scoop of vegan ice cream, which was rich and yummy.
Although Pala is not a vegan restaurant, there are enough good vegan options that warrant return trips. Pala is a bit pricey, but the quality of the food is on par with the above average bill you’ll receive. Mac and I are looking to return there sometime soon!
198 Allen St. (between 1st Ave & Stanton St)
New York, NY 10002
Neighborhood: Lower East Side