Monday, May 28, 2012

Toby's Public House

86 Kenmare Street (crn. Mulberry Street), New York, NY
(212) 274-8629

There is pizza and then there is pizza in little Italy New York. On the corner of Mulberry and Kenmare, there is Toby's Public House. Very quaint looking, with open windows and easy atmosphere, this looks like a place where you could go in for just coffee and read your newspaper or come in with all of your family for a full menu sit down meal.

In the mood for some pizza and salad, I went in and was soon seated right where I could see the fiery wood burning oven, their speciality. I ordered one pie with primavera tomato, mozzarella, artichoke, olives, red onion, and arugula. To be on the safe side and to have all my greens, I had also opted for the chopped romaine salad, with fresh seasonal vegetables, cherry tomatoes, chickpeas, ricotta salata, and lemon dressing.

I should not have worried, as when the first pizza came, I was happy to note that the arugula was generously on top. The pie was well baked with burnt wood flavor steeped in. Sometimes, pizza is all about the crust or the sauce, though this time, the fresh green toppings made it tastier for me. Toby' Public House has a well stocked bar. They have bottled sodas, waters, speciality mocktails and for the coffee inclined, the espresso and cappuccino.
Guess what, the tap soda is on them and that helps with kids wanting less and more without advance notice. We went on a Sunday afternoon and the place was buzzing with activity. There were mostly families, a few loners at the bar who appeared to be local, and a kid's birthday party celebration.

And then I turned my attention to the next pie, which was the classic Margherita tomato, mozzarella and basil. This is the most well known variety of pizza besides the plain cheese one, and is one that I suspect pays secret homage eponymously to the famous Italian mother persona. Giving it the prefix of 'Margherita' a name so similar to Margaret (which means a pearl in greek), this too has become tied to childhood memories of mother's recipes.

This pie too was well seasoned and with goey mozzarella was spot on for lunch time in the city. All pies come in one size which makes it easy to order. One thing to note, when you do visit, this is a cash only place and so come ready, as you might end up trying more than one item on the menu.

I feel that you cannot leave an Italian restaraunt without tasting the Tiramisu. Made with fresh mascarpone cream, this was soft and delightful. Too bad the kids polished it off before I could even get the camera. Some other time, when I come in only for late night coffee, since the place is open till midnight, I will remember to add a picture or too.